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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  • woollyone

    Unfortunately many of the child abuse cases are done by Maori. At some stage they have to acknowledge their cultural problem instead of trying to pass any comment off as racist. Other races that abuse their children in NZ are just as pilloried, but they come up far less often.

    • kereru

      Hi Nadia, how about getting past the hackneyed knee-jerk reaction and consider this: if the main perpetrators of child torture and murder were another ethnic group, would you cry ‘racist!’ when a cartoon drew attention to the problem, or would you seek to find a way to address the situation?

      May I suggest that you employ enough humility and maturity to cease denying the problem by trying to shut down debate, and be part of the solution instead?

  • Quinton Hogg

    Nadia is upset?
    Good. she needs to focus on the issue rather than rhetoric.

  • Cadwallader

    I think the aim of the cartoon was correct as it seems to have ‘hit home!” The so-called advocates for maori fail by quickly and directly hauling out the ‘racist card.” I am not confident that NZ will ever significantly reduce the instances of abuse/murder of infants until the primary perpetrators address their failings. The numbers don’t lie but those who see this as a racist issue do!

  • Chris EM

    An inconvenient truth is displayed for all to see, so someone shouts, “Racism!” It’s becoming all to familiar and monotonous.
    On the other hand, a well balanced article. I had to re-read some of it, as I’m not used to both sides being reported these days. Yes, Well done Maori TV.

  • Left Right Out

    when the racism card is pulled in situations like this they have lost the argument. The fact of the matter is, too many of these horrible high profile abuse cases are Maori and they are no closer to resolving it until they admit there is a problem.

    PS, well done Maori TV on offering up a balanced news item

  • Gazza

    Naida was offended…..no one cares…..’you’ are continued to be ridiculed because the facts show Maori lead in abuse statistics….offended? you should be ashamed! More Boom Slang WO, it is obviously having the desired effect.

  • Richard

    Maori TV didn’t get everything right, and this was the most important fact.

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

    At the time of the cartoon, there was nothing “alleged” about it, the guilty pleas were heard days before it came out.

    Unfortunate typo? or sub-conscious continuation of the very excuse making that leaves this issue unaddressed?

  • George Carter

    I get concerned when she states “This is not going to enhance relationships within people groups.” A classic deflecting move by another Maori academic. The cartoon was not aimed and bringing peoples together but highlighting damning figures of child abuse that are dominated by one demographic. Had she addressed the actual issue I would have time for her.

    • Tiger

      Well said, yet that is how the academic troughers work. I’m not referring to all academics as many do excellent and relevant work, but those who create an issue, where mostly there is no issue.

  • KGB

    The violence must end, if statistics offend a few people along the way, so be it. Anything to keep the issue for front.
    White males are statistically most likely to sexually abuse a child – fact.
    Maori male are statistically most likely to murder a child – fact.
    Crying racism delivers nothing by way of change. Faux outrage further divides us.

  • Ravan

    “Racism’ is an Orwellian or Voodoo–Black Magic word and, ironically, is used continuously by ignorant and highly emotional hardcore actual ‘racists’ as a mute button to shut down serious discussion based on alarming realities. People can become ‘racist’ because the actions of people from another ethnic and cultural tribe threaten and intimidate them causing repulsion and expulsion. The issue here is tortured and murdered children–that is what should ‘offend’ a Nadia Glavish whom I suggest must be, significantly,
    European to have a name like that.

  • InnerCityDweller

    Meanwhile, Sue Bradford is nowhere to be seen or heard…

  • Mav E Rick

    Nadia Glavish sounds very insecure. ….”White skin, red skin, white necks all those types, are racist toward on us, and that’s wrong!”

    She needs to read and understand statistics. Burying your head in the sand and blaming every other culture except for your own has never worked. You have to feel sorry for Nadia as she doesnt understand the problem so will never accept the solution.

  • RightofSingapore

    “thats racist” isn’t an argument. It was meant to create debate, either debate the issues and facts Nadia or go home.

  • Seriously?

    Factual and (mostly) balanced reporting like that… they are sure to have their union membership questioned.

  • D.Dave

    I get peeved when the first response is to drag out the ‘racism’ card. The cartoon shows someone of slight colour, it doesn’t show a sign saying Maori or Samosn, or Tongan. It is the assumption of the individual looking at it, that the subject is Maori. That , in itself , indicates a feeling of guilt by the viewer. They should deal with the issues, not shoot the messenger. Yes, NZ have a severe problem with a section of society bashing their kids to death. It is appalling that so-called “Leaders”in these communities have not stood up and said “we have had enough”. It is not like society has not provided resources for these families. Iwi, for one, are sitting on millions of dollars, most of which is not being used to benefit those at the bottom of the heap. WINZ fires money in the direction of these “at risk” families, without ever checking what happens to it. Time,I think, for vouchers, instead of cash.multiple follow-up visits to these homes, and the ability for authorities to remove children from any situation where they are at risk. Irrespective of ethnicity, a child should have a safe place to eat, sleep and play. There needs to be action. I would start with a new charge of Infanticide, with a mandatory minimum parole period of 20 years. I don’t care about the rights and feelings of any adult who inflicts harm on a child, most of them deserve Capital punishment.

    • Keeping Stock

      @disqus_T0YLhRRFyh:disqus – it’s a bit obvious when there is a placard about Ta Moko, and references to markings on Maori bodies!

      Yes; it was a provocative cartoon. Kudos to Maori TV for talking a balanced approach to a very tough issue that is all too easy to sweep under the carpet. It is an indisputable FACT that Maori children are over-represented in abuse statistics.

      As for WINZ firing money without any checking; that is EXACTLY why the Government’s investment approach to welfare and education is both a radical and commendable response. The Government knows who these at-risk families are, and rather than just dishing out more money, they will be directing intensive resources to try and break the cycle for the youngest generation. It’s about time a government tried something else than money as the answer, when it clearly isn’t.

  • Martin

    It’s usually Maori women who shoulder the majority of the burden of taking offence. If you looked at race relations in New Zealand I believe relations between Maori men and white men would be far better than between Maori women and white women and certainly white men, (unless we sleep together which is usually very nice!) I floated this idea with a local Maori artist and he looked around conspiratorially and said: “the relationship between Maori men and pakeha is probably more harmonious than the relationship between Maori men and Maori women e hoa!”
    All that anger and hatred must really wear a girl out.

  • Damon Mudgway

    Oh Nadia you silly girl…you just had to go and make the issue about you and your feelings didn’t you. The cartoon is not about you, so get over yourself. It’s about the continiued abuse of our most vulnerable by statistically the highest abusers, Maori.

    Don’t undo the good work so many Maori are trying to do by labelling this issue as racist. It’s lazy and, quite frankly, plain dumb.

  • Mark

    Good on Maori Tv & Mark Kōpua,like the Maori Party who had the guts to call for a smoking ban,they are willing to stand up for their people firmly.
    I have had more than a few Maori in my life who do the same,they are not the race card playing,hypocrites that only focus on labels & rhetoric.

    • johnandali

      There has been a suggestion today that people should be paid to give up smoking. I wonder whether that could apply to drug taking and alcohol as well. The Government could offer a package deal.

      • Mark

        Since smokers more than cover the health costs associated with them,frankly I think they should be getting a tax break.
        I have mentioned it before that I would commit to a regular donation for vasectomies & a bonus lump sum would be acceptable use of my funds also.

  • Herb

    I’m sorry Nadia. You will need to save your offence for another time and issue. There is already an oversubscribed list of real victims here – and in the rock-paper-scissors of this issue – children being murdered beats offence-taking all day and every day.

  • Bryan

    I remember when the film ONCE THEIR WERE WARRIORS was first screened in Rotorua when we were living there, and how that did a power of good to bring this issue out into the open as many man began to see that they were very like Jake.
    The big issue is self control and this is costing our country billions every year with medical treatments, police and court time, broken homes and the long term social welfare cost.
    At the bottom people simply cannot control themselves. We get in car and we drive over limits, we drink and then think we can drive, and as to law and order respect we have this problem us kiwi’s that as soon as a law is passed we think that there has got to be a way this does not apply to me, as if we have the right to not obey the law.

    It is also just not the Men as there a just as many violent women who not only abuse with the fists but also with the mouth, nasty, hurtful words, that linger in the mind and heart long after a bruise has healed, twisting and damaging children and partners for generations, we are not nice or smart but just so rough and selfish and abusive.

    For a country that thinks we have so much to give the world, we need to hang our heads in shame in that we cannot simply live together in a peaceful manner,and show daily more care for each other.

  • JEL51

    I am sorry I missed the program. Now the ice has been broken, how about Nadia and others who cry racism, get stuck in and look at the stats with fresh eyes.

    Find out how many of the last 13 lives lost were living with both their natural mother & father.
    Find out what support net-work were available to the parents.
    Find out if there was any support from grandparents.
    Ask things like why is that young mother not living with the father of the child.
    Ask what could have been changed before those little-ones were mistreated.
    So many answers that could lead to ending the horrendous stats which are just numbers that represent the loss of beautiful little lives that never deserved what they received.
    Nadia, it is not about you but it is about those connected to you, as it is with us. We all feel the shame, we all want to see an end. Get on now and do something about it.

  • Kevin

    It’s not racist. Another example is the highest ratio of child sexual abuse is committed by white males. As a white male would I be offended or see it as racist if I saw a cartoon pointing out this fact? Of course not. The truth, not matter how uncomfortable, is the truth, and shouldn’t be hidden.

  • Jonat

    If you need to illustrate a negative action, make sure your image depicts a white male. This is safe; it cannot be deemed racist or sexist (as long as it remains negative).

  • Rick H

    Ms Glavish –
    How is it racist, when it depicts the statistics accurately?

    • Dumrse

      She is having a whinge at the white man. She, like the rest of the iwi, have no interest in talking about the number of infant deaths amongst Maori. The issue is somebody is taking the piss and that’s upset her.
      Maybe Boom Slang should be commissioned at each and every similar event because sure as hell nobody like Ms Glavish listens or comments at any other time. Let’s engage them, nothing else seems to work.

  • taxpayer

    Someone was always going to scream racism over this cartoon.
    The rest of NZ give a dam if Naida thinks it’s racist, people are talking about the issue, Maori people are talking, good it needs to be talked about, the more the better.
    Justice for Moko facebook group are planning a nation wide rally Monday June 27th when the Murderers are to be sentenced for manslaughter.
    I am not the protesting type, you only have to look at the hippy muppets who are at most pointless protests to understand why, but this is one protest I may go to.

  • Jonathon Stone

    I saw a post on Facebook just now indicating that the Human Rights Commission are reviewing the cartoon, I assume to decide if some poor wee thing’s feelings were hurt.
    The sad truth is that their investigation will fail to identify that the only breach of human rights that has occurred here is the right of the poor child Moko to live.

  • KatB

    I still think that by focusing on the race aspect of these statistics, it lets people, especially the guilty parties, be sidetracked away from the real issues. Sure Moari’s are highly represented, but why give them any more reason to think they require special laws or representation around the issue. Violence is not ok regardless of race, gender etc. All too often we see the hostage situation where whanau think they should be in on the negotiation or the negotiator should be Maori. They think they are owed a different style of policing, or they should be allowed to deal with things “in house” and by making it about race, we play into that way of thinking. We keep hearing, “you’re picking on us because we’re Maori, (and some of them hardly are), when in reality we need to be saying, “no I’m picking on you because you’re a thug, or drug addict, or you have 7 kids to 7 different fathers”. The real issues need to be addressed and not deflected with a cry of racism. Obviously these examples are the Maoris the media wish to show us. The Maoris I personally know are just part of society and wish for no special treatment.

  • Oh Please

    If this woman thinks those of a different race have the same problems as Maori then she has her head in the sand – or elsewhere. Wake up and smell the roses, lady – and fix YOUR race’s problem. I’m sure your tribe has made enough cash from their skin colour to start fixing this issue.
    Yes, I’m sure we can find the odd white, red or even Asian child molester – but the numbers simply don’t stack up to those of the iwi.

  • Big fella

    Racism is shouted when they don’t have an argument or valid response.

    • Isherman

      And when that fails, someone will pull out the ‘colonialism is to blame’ card, which is really the same thing with a different sticker on it.

  • Crookednose

    Reminds me of Hosking’s opinion piece on the New Plymouth Mayor and the Maori seats on council (or similar). One of the first responses – racist!

  • Doug

    Great to see someone actually thinking about this, rather than that knee jerk reaction of racist!!