Popular Auckland-based radio station, Flava has been forced to remove a social media post describing 'the male names most likely to live a life of crime' – all of which have been translated to their Māori equivalents.
Race Relations Commissioner, Dame Susan Devoy has slammed the station’s actions saying they 'target Māori.'
The article in question, which was removed from the station’s social media channels late last night, gave 'the most common names of murderers' which may appear 'on Santa’s naughty list.'
The article itself is derived from a study taken by Newberry, an overseas site dedicated to names of children – namely for expectant parents.
Te Kāea can confirm that social media staff at Flava, and NZME had taken it upon themselves to translate the findings from the overseas research of 'names to avoid' – and come up with a list of 10 Māori names of 'murderers', and those 'most likely to live a life of crime.'
The names on the list are: Arana, Raniera, Hone, Ropata, Wiremu, Piri, Hereme, Raureti and two female names being Mere and Terehia.
"Why try and put a racial spin on a ‘study’ that was carried out overseas and that has little relevance to New Zealanders?" questions the Race Relations Commissioner, Dame Susan Devoy in a statement released to Te Kāea today.
Te Kāea understands that Flava manager, Hayden Hare is currently away in Vanuatu on undisclosed business, and the station today was unwilling to provide a replacement spokesperson to address the social media post.
A spokesperson for NZME, the entity that owns Flava said today that they “haven’t received any formal complaints” over the matter, and that it was “intended to be light-hearted.”
One social media platform which displayed the post had numerous comments disgusted with the alleged racial nature of the content.
The spokesperson from NZME continued, “when it became apparent that some people did not find the story funny, it was removed from the website and social media.”
However, Labour MP for Tāmaki Makaurau, Peeni Henare says it’s too little, too late.
Henare, of Ngāti Hine descent, has many ancestors who held some of the names outlined in the Flava article, and says he is 'disgusted.'
“It is undoubtedly racist behaviour. The problem is the number of our people that listen to that station” says Henare.
“I am calling on our people to boycott that radio station” he adds.
NZME, the owner of Flava, was given numerous opportunities to appear on camera to address the issue.
However, they declined and referred to the statement provided.