Is the cartoon complaint an orchestrated political hit?

Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox (Getty Images)

Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox (Getty Images)

To begin with I just assumed that the perpetually offended were behind the complaint to the Human Rights Commission about the cartoon by BoomSlang that we published. Now, after coming across an article on Voxy I am not so sure.

The headline screams, ‘Maori Party ‘saves HRC roles and condemns Whaleoil.’ It looks like there may be a link between the complaint and a political push to justify the role of Race Relations Commissioner within the Human Rights Commision by the Maori Party. This is of real concern to me as it makes me wonder if they need a conviction in order to justify their continued existence. Has Whaleoil been set up as a sacrificial lamb? Are we to be slaughtered to appease the need of the Human Rights Commision to appear relevant?

'Lamb. We're looking for a sacrificial lamb, but we will keep your name on file.'

‘Lamb. We’re looking for a sacrificial lamb, but we will keep your name on file.’

The Māori Party has successfully argued for the statutory recognition of the roles of Race Relations Commissioner and Equal Opportunities Commissioner within the Human Rights Commission.

The Human Rights Amendment Bill being considered today before Parliament intended to disband the roles of Race Relations and Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioners. The responsibilities of these two roles were intended to be shared among other Commissioners.

The Māori Party urged Justice Minister Amy Adams to continue these roles in the new structure of the Human Rights Commission.

“We only need to look at the comments of Mike Hosking regarding Māori wards in the past week to know that these distinct positions are necessary” says Māori Party Co-Leader Te Ururoa Flavell.

“These roles make strong contributions to enable a more equitable and balanced society, and we will continue to promote their importance” he says.

Māori Party Co-leader Marama Fox says: “the recent publication by right wing blogger Cameron Slater of a severely racist cartoon is another strong example of why we need these important roles”.

“Using the issue of child abuse to convey racist commentary is both repulsive and hateful. Child abuse is a whole of population issue that affects people of all backgrounds,” she says.

Just in case you have been away and have missed it here is the cartoon that Māori Party Co-leader Marama Fox has described as severely racist. It was in reaction to the news story about the beating and slaughter of a young child named Moko.


BoomSlang cartoon-


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  • Christie

    I think the reaction to the cartoon would have been much the same regardless. Whenever anything is hard to face up to, a cry of ‘Racism’ or ‘Sexism’ usually detracts everyone from the important issues.

    • Simo

      Same outcry of racism from the Maori elite to keep the same Maori elite in the headlines. Attention junkies the whole lot of them. Shame the real attention is not been focused where its really needed.

  • Dave

    in my opinion, without doubt.

  • papagaya

    I would say, whaleoil, that you are absolutely on the money with this one.

  • Union Jack

    The Maori Party are one of the most racist organisations in NZ closely followed by the Human Rights Commission.
    Total wastes of oxygen both of them.

    • Nyla

      Mana Party is the most racist … Maori party comes in a close 2nd … human rights isnt needed anymore so close it out

  • sheppy

    Given that mediaworks called you for comment before publishing, and that they seemed almost balanced in the reporting I’d say you can guarantee its a setup.

  • Nebman

    It’s only a “whole of population issue” because it’s the entire population that pays the price and cleans up the mess and predominantly brown kids are maimed and die at the hands of predominantly brown parents.

    Yes, european kids get abused and die but nowhere near in the same numbers or percentages that brown kids do.

    Yet to point it out is racist?

  • JEL51

    Well, Marama Fox didn’t even take a moment out to drop head in shame. There is not one drop of leadership in that response. Shame on her.

  • Hobbes

    When you have to resort to the race card you have already lost the argument.

  • iera

    Connecting the slaughtered child’s name, Moko, to the respected marking of Maori skin, ta moko, is the cartoonist’s device to draw a comparison between the meaningless abuse damaging a child’s body, to the proud enhancement of an adult’s appearance. Do you put a cartoon in words? That is surely why it is a cartoon.

    But basically it plays on one marking (ta moko) being acceptable, respected and tradition, the other (bruises from a bashing) being utterly none of those! I see the comparison as within the Maori context – that appears to be the point made. So how is it racist?

    Unless critics are saying the cartoonist is (assumed to be) non-Maori, so that is why it is racist.
    Let those calling it racist EXPLAIN EXACTLY why they think it is so.

    • Sticktotheknitting

      In my humble opinion, people may think it is racist because it underlines an inconvenient truth. Maori bash their kids and the media party hungry for headlines publish it. But NO-BODY does a damn thing about it. If that makes me a racist then I’ll wear the label but please STOP hurting children.

  • venator

    You are probably guilty of posting a stupid and inappropriate cartoon . However this is your train set and you can do what you want. People can then make their own choices and read it or pass it over. I note a number of other blogs have reposted your cartoon along with their normal anti Slatter barb. That is just the world you choose to inhabit and I defend your right to do it.

  • Gazza

    Ahhh the Streisand effect is alive and well; had they said nothing the cartoon would probably never have seen the light of day again, but for the faux-outrage it has been front and centre across a number of media platforms and political circles for days and probably days to come… famous in NZ. Congratulations WO and BoomSlang for achieving exactly what it was intended to do which is debate, and loving the cartoon today bravo!

  • cows4me

    let me fix her statement, “Using the issue of child abuse for an ideological gain is both repulsive and hateful. Child abuse generally effects a small proportion of the population and generally those of Maori blood, to claim otherwise is ignoring the truth.”.

    • Big fella

      As they say, the truth hurts.

      • Keanne Lawrence

        Too true but love hurts too if you are a native.

  • Keeping Stock

    Marama Fox has jumped the shark here. She should wait until the HRC’s investigation has been concluded. By stating so unequivocally that the cartoon is racist, she has put the integrity of the HRC investigation at risk. She has been exceedingly foolish to make such a statement.

  • Davo42

    So what is Miriama Fox doing about the atrocities committed predominantly by her constituents? Nothing as usual, just cry racism and try to sweep the issue under the mat. I guess the irony that she is part of a race based political party that excludes the best interests of most NZers based on ethnicity is missed on her.

  • Oh Please

    I find a TV channel only for maori racist. I find parliamentary seats for maori only racist. I find Miriama Fox racist.

    • waldopepper

      it certainly meets the dictionary definition, just not the left wing social justice warrior definition.

  • Sticktotheknitting

    Miss Ardern has jumped on the bandwagon. Tonight on Prime she is blaming the CPO for accepting the plea bargain from Moko’s murderers to plead manslaughter. Has she been reading Whale Oil did she see we are all getting fed up with these murdering sadistic evil perpetrators.

  • papagaya

    The Maori “leaders” and “spokespeople” have basically given up on the issue of Maori child murders. Firstly because they’re scared of the feral families themselves (Moko’s father was Black Power, right?) and secondly because any meaningful discussion must include the impact of rampant social welfarism. None of these “leaders” is going to suggest cutting benefits when so many of their relations live on them.

  • sandalwood789

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the complaint is an orchestrated “political hit”.

    I would demand of the HRC and RRC – “show me measurable *proof* of the number of people whose lives have been improved – *demonstrably improved* – this year, because of your existence.”
    I would be very surprised if they could show me such proof.

    Saying that “all Maori feel better because of HRC and RRC” doesn’t cut it. I want to see evidence that HRC and RRC have *directly and measurably improved* someone’s life.

  • Caprice

    Do the folk who cry racist know that Boonslang is not the pseudonym for a 24 yo woman of Ngati Maniapoto and Ngai Tahu descent who is studying law at Vic, and who wants to make her first cartoon contribution to the world, a subject close to home and dear to her heart?

    I personally haven’t a clue. But is it racist to assume she is could not possibly be?

  • Beria

    News stories over the years have persuaded me that Maori are grossly over represented in child abuse. The cartoon is a sad reflection of views commonly held in the community. If there is no basis to those views, Marama has a massive public education problem on her hands and attacking a cartoon should b3 the least of her concerns.

  • Tiberius

    SJW will tell you the reason Maori get special treatment/seats etc is because of inequality and poor outcomes. Yet when these poor outcomes (maori child abuse rates) are discussed that’s then racist?

  • Graeme

    Marama should read and take note of Alan Duff’s column in the Herald . It is about Maori child abuse and worth reading because it really hit the nail on the head.