Whaleoil cartoon meant to create debate – creates debate


A cartoon posted online highlighting child abuse with tā moko, was posted with the intention to spark national debate around a controversial issue. The cartoon has angered a Māori advocate calling it racist but an expert moko artist says the image does have its merits.

Naida Glavish surrounds herself with images of meaning in her office, but Whaleoil’s latest cartoon has her enraged.

“When I saw this picture I thought, racism is very much alive amongst us at the moment”, says Glavish.

The cartoon was recently published by blogger Cameron Slater. Mr. Slater told Te Kāea it was the first cartoon they’d posted by cartoonist Boom Slang, and it was a move to provoke debate around child abuse.

Expert tāmoko artist Mark Kōpua says the cartoon does have its merits.

“This will awaken discussion for this huge problem happening amongst our people. It’s clever!”

The cartoon was posted following the manslaughter charges on Tania Shailer and her boyfriend, who allegedly assaulted 3-year-old Moko Rangitoheriri.

Naida Glavish does not condone violence but says the image points the finger only at Maori.

“What I’m offended about is, who is this person to continue to ridicule us like this, and they’re perfect? White skin, red skin, white necks all those types, are racist toward on us, and that’s wrong! This is not going to enhance relationships within people groups.”

Koopua says the cartoon is relevant to creators of moko.

“According to the saying, pursue the works of the underworld. That talks about turning your thoughts from this world, to the underworld, which is about caring for people.”

The whaleoil blogger Cameron Slater expects more of these cartoons to appear on topical issues from Boom Slang.

We haven’t quite got BoomSlang to commit to a regular spot yet, but his next piece is queued for Monday at 11 am.

I also want to congratulate Maori TV on a balanced piece of old fashioned reporting.  No hyperbole about me, just the facts ma’am.  Both points of view reported on.  Perhaps some funding should be diverted from Radio New Zealand to Maori TV.  They clearly still get what news is supposed to be.

It was refreshing to be interviewed by someone that isn’t out to “get me”.  Feel free to contact me again Maori TV.  Professional job all the way.


see the TV clip at Maori TV

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.