Apr 12, 2021


Maori News & Indigenous Views

Holmes: morally repugnant and deeply racist | Morgan Godfery

4 min read

I dont read Paul Holmes the man has no credibility, little sense and somehow, god knows how, his arrogance jumps off the page and strangles anyone in sight. With that in mind, I wasnt going to give this piece the time of day, but someone needs to call Holmes on his racism.

In the vilest column Ive ever seen, Holmes comes out swinging against Maori. The column is undeniably racist. At several points Holmes slurs the entire Maori race. For example, Holmes taints Maori as loony and irrational. The offensive and unfair language he deploys and the overall message of the piece encourages discrimination. Take this, my favourite passage in which Holmes asserts the following:

No, if Maori want Waitangi Day for themselves, let them have it. Let them go and raid a bit more kai moana than they need for the big, and feed themselves silly, speak of the injustices heaped upon them by the greedy Pakeha and work out new ways of bamboozling the Pakeha to come up with a few more millions.

Initially, I was furious with this. Well, I was furious with the whole piece actually, but this paragraph really rarked me up for some reason. After stewing on it, I just found it sad. Sad that someone would say something so nasty, hate filled and utterly unfair. This would go unnoticed in private, but this was published in New Zealands leading daily the Herald. It was totally irresponsible for the Herald to publish Holmes hate speech. And thats what it is, hate speech. Holmes, in the most blatant terms Ive ever seen, disparages and vilifies Maori, thus encouraging prejudice against Maori. That satisfies the definition of hate speech for me.

Sadly, Holmes doesnt distinguish between individuals and Maori as a race. Although Holmes bases his hate on the actions of a few individuals, he taints the entire Maori race. Its unfair and its racist. What also annoys me is that Holmes is furthering highly offensive and unfair stereotypes.

There is no place for racism in the media. Of course, some people are going to rush to Holmes defence. This is the saddest part. No doubt some people will prasie Holmes for telling it like it is, but he isnt telling like it is. Holmes is basing his claims on spurious grounds. He isnt taking into account the deeper meaning of Waitangi day, he isnt taking into account the socio-political context and, quite simply, he is misinterpreting the actions of Maori at Waitangi. Waitangi protest needs to be interpreted taking into account the history of the day, the history of Crown-Maori relations and the contemporary political situation. You cant boil it down to lunacy or irrationality. I guess it goes to show that Holmes mind operates on a very, very shallow level.

Others will defend Holmes right to free speech. A right he undeniably has. However, free speech does not extend to hate speech. The line is drawn when ones speech incites prejudice or disparages another. There is international consensus that hate speech is irrelevant to free speech. Importantly, hate speech is also illegal under both domestic and international law.

Unsurprisingly, Holmes also makes a number of factual errors. For example, he speaks of the never defined principles of the Treaty. This is a ridiculous claim. The principles of the Treaty are well defined and are, to quote a legal expert, not vague and unknowable. After over two decades of judicial refinement, the principles are unambiguous.

Holmes then takes aim at breast feeding advocates. This part of the column was just as nauseating as the beginning. No mean feat may I add. Holmes then tops it off with a crude and simplistic reading on the situation in Syria.

He must be in a bad place, old Paul Holmes. I tend to think his column was an attempt to comfort and confirm his own self righteousness. Pretty sad really. If the Herald had any sense (or dignity), theyd sack Holmes. The rubbish he produces is unbecoming of our major daily. You can make comparisons with Michael Laws, but Laws knows where to draw the line and at least hes literate. I suspect Holmes is not. He must go.

Over the next few days Ill be laying a complaint with the Editor of the Herald, Tim Murphy, Ill also be laying a complaint with the Race Relations Commissioner. Lastly, Ill be boycotting the Herald as long as Holmes remains. I encourage you to do the same. Send the message that theres no place for Holmes and his hate in our public discourse.

As an aside, it’s interesting to compare the contrast between Holmes piece and this from John Roughan. Where Holmes is offensive, ill considered and rude, Roughan is sober, analytical and fair (even though I don’t really agree with what he says, but that’s for a post on Monday).

  • (You can, I think, complain to Tim Murphy at [email protected])
  • (You can also lodge a complaint with the Human Rights Commission here)
  • (For another perspective see this at Reading the Maps,this from TW.com and Danyl writes here)

Original article taken from – http://mauistreet.blogspot.co.nz/2012/02/holmes-morally-repugnant-and-deeply.html

26 thoughts on “Holmes: morally repugnant and deeply racist | Morgan Godfery

  1. Whoa! This blog looks just like my old one! It’s on a entirely different subject but it has pretty much the same page layout and design. Great choice of colors!

  2. Hi men I believe this is a great publish I’ll definetely continue reading through your functions, congratulations. It is very important to have high quality material on the web, we are able to rely on them as a reliable source for the tasks.I have see clearly along with enjoyment and Im sure I’m gonna study the rest of the stuff you will create, great work man!.

  3. Ka pai you morgan for raising your voice to shed light on his slanderous statements.
    Paul Holmes would benefit from the understanding that you cannot build your own mana
    By tramping the mana of another. As an uni student who attended waitangi for the first time
    this year it was a truly inspiring experience. Perhaps if Paul was at waitangi instead of lying
    in bed on waitangi morning he could’ve raised his views in the political tent. Which his ‘brave’ friend
    John key did not attend. Pauls article was nothing but dribble.

  4. The trouble with people like Leo and 5 gen white NZer is that they clearly know very little about the ACTUAL history of NZ. They simply would not write what they do if they did. That’s why people go and get an EDUCATION so that they actually know what they are talking about! If Pakeha are so great (I am one, myself) then why were there more Maori than Pakeha who could read and write in 1860 even though Pakeha were a majority at that point. But after the land wars and confiscations – the economic and educational strength of Maori went down the gurgler. Umm, well damned if I can not see the obvious. Duh!

  5. As a Maori I am deeply hurt by the article that Paul Holmes wrote, I have never read anything so ignorant. My son happened to read that piece and he is only 7.

    He then asked me ‘Mum do Pakeha hate us because we’re Maori’.

    It was really sad to hear that from him but with all that is being said it was hard to reply,
    so i simply replied with ‘No son, there are just a few people that disagree with our History’.
    Then he made a good point by saying ‘Well do they know the History or are they just copying what this man (Paul Holmes) is saying’.

    Please Paul Holmes think before you say things, if my child can understand what you wrote then there will surely be a lot more that do to. So remember you are a public figure and your words do hurt, if you have a problem with the protesters then aim at them and don’t go throwing all Maori in to one basket.

    1. Emma how sad that Holmes’ horrible thoughtprocess (if you can call it that) has spilled onto a public page where your son can see it. You did really well answering how you did. And with the mind your boy has he is going to go far. What a perceptive little guy – he must make you really proud. I feel your pain answering his questions my little man is part PI and has said some heartbreaking things along the same lines. Arohanui, Huia (Tauiwi)

    2. OOOOOOh Emma that is so heart breaking to hear that your son asked that, no child should have to ask that and no parent should have to explain. but it is reality that not everybody gets along.
      and Huia Minogue is right, you gave him the right reply.

  6. This is a well written and important article. Thank you.

    I will indeed be boycotting, and suggesting that he is removed from the Herald.

    Logic for the win.


  7. well well..!Paul Holmes….he must be resurrecting his already failing carreer….Hows his daughter anyway…??Dont blame Maori for the “P” thing that got her into alot of hotwater.. In my opinion he used that to push himself into the public arena and managed to get alot of sympathy and support behind him..from people like you and me….Plenty of White collar people out there doing alot of damage and getting rich on it and getting away with it….OR…maybe he is being recruited to stir up enough muck in the light of the asset sale and treaty clause and to get our focus off what is important to us right now…If you get paid enough money even I could probably make a living writing alot of garbage…So as Maori who are strongly opposed to asset sales and government fiddling around with the treaty clause..”STAY FOCUSSED>>””

  8. I would have gone with your original feeling of not replying to Holmes and his unintelligible rant. The man is obviously deluded and has been going a bit porangi ever since he became hooked on drugs that gave him a more english accent.

    Honestly I think the ravages of old age are taking its toll and Holmes is not quite sure what century he’s in for despite this obvious slur against te Ao Maori this was a quote from a report on his Stellar Trust dinner:

    Holmes was most moved when the Tainui tribe bought a table at the last minute and the Maori King Tuheitia attended. “He was charming, gracious and charismatic”, Holmes said, “and it meant so much to us that he was there.”

    Either his mood swings are the beginnings of dementia or he thought that Kingi Tuhaitia knew all the dealers personally and could put an end to it there and then. Either way its obvious from his recent shows and this hate speech that he’s loosing it.

    On another note factually the Principles of the Treaty are fatally flawed from the outset, self contradictory and are as far from the heart of Te Tiriti as Holmes is from sanity. Apart from the Waitangi Tribunal contributions which are great yet still ultimately toothless.

    Nga mihi & keep it up e hoa.

  9. Hey Holmes boy, you starting to sounding like the other fellow that got sacked from TVNZ, what his name, Henry, just to get your ratings up, you go and pick on someone less fortunate or some undeserving people. Thing is if thats the best you can come up with, you should start to think about retiring and leave with your pride.

  10. I do believe there are many Maori leaders who regularly rant in exactly the same tone as Paul Holmes has used in regards to the white population of our home land. I am a New Zealander as much as any Maori person (especialy considering most if not all of the maori population is diluted with white blood). I do however support protest on waitangi day for what ever reason, this is a national day and should be used to speak of national isues. We as a nation have built a very productive and successful country out of wild lands in a short time… Name another society that has achieved this. We should remember this and be proud to be a nation where we can still openly share our views.

    1. Well good luck with that, only a very very few Maori will accept you
      We can bend over backwards our entire lives. At 57 I have learnt it is not the colour of your skin that can be black, but the colour of
      your hearts…
      Some cultures just want to always stay violent. They enjoy it.

  11. Although I applaud your well thought out and well presented blog/article I have one point I’d like to make.
    How is it that “certain” Maori radicals (not my definition I might add but one that has been bandied around for quite some time) can do exactly the same and it is classed as “we as Maori standing up for the rights and beliefs of our peoples” whereas a well known and almost always controversial presenter/broadcaster, who has a part-Maori daughter I might add, despite her oft times disreputable behavior, is called a racist?
    Sadly racism is a word that is often thrown out there and despite your obvious intelligence it seems that no one is immune to this word.
    I’m not saying I disagree with your opinion on the audacity of Mr Holmes’ rather risque article. I, as you believe he should be reigned in somewhat. However, I do not believe that he is a “Maori Basher”
    Do we really believe that deplorable actions like spitting on ministers, tearing flags and generally making public spectacles of ourselves is going to empower our fellow Maori to stand up with pride and Mana? I think not. I do believe that Waitangi Day has degenerated into a mud slinging contest of he said she said and is now not celebrated as it should have been (partly because English underestimated the fierce intelligence of latter day Maori), a day when two totally different ethnic groups came together to work as one.

  12. dont forget we (maori) are all drugies and P heads…just like his daughter who as i understand is “part maori” through her mother.

  13. I begin to wonder if these types of spurious statements are just made in order to gain more media attention. I see the Herald has also written an article on the response to Holmes’ repugnant column. In terms of John Roughan, he is more literate but he totally mispresented the spirit of what both Tame Iti and Metiria Turei said in the Open Forum tent at Waitangi. I was there and those quotes were totally out of context.

    The Herald and its ilk just want to instigate controversy because controversy sells. I don’t know what is worse, the irresponsible journalism based on making money or the multitudes of ignorant people commenting in support of Paul Holmes’ hate speech.

  14. Kia ora, it makes you wonder whether we actually need to make a law that makes it illegal to denie Maori have a legitimate right for grievance and reparation just as it is illegal to denie the holocaust (not comparing the two!!). Or do we suffer the rants of racist bigots spreading hatred year after year.

  15. well said, i could not believe it when i read Paul Holmes piece in the Herald. How disgusting, he needs to be sacked and the officials that let this piece run, also need to be answerable for this as well. I also will be boycotting the Herald until we have an public apology. I am sharing this as well

    kia ora

  16. Kia ora mo tera! Great to read an opinion that challenges the racism in NZ, and more pressing is the fact that this is accepted. Thanks for sharing, I have shared this article to others. Mauri ora

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