65,000 people have signed a petition calling for Sir Bob Jones to have his Knighthood revoked. That petition will be taken to Parliament next week and came about after Sir Bob suggested last month in his regular National Business Review column that a new public holiday should be introduced to replace Waitangi Day- called Māori Gratitude Day.
Film director Renae Maihi who started the petition told Kawekōrero that the moment she read that column she was insulted and felt angry.
"It was takahi mana, and this type of mentality is a colonial legacy that is still happening in this country, our people still interact within every different system here, the justice system, the education system with this mentality and for me when you disrespect our mana like that there's going to be consequence," says Maihi.
The NBR column titled 'Time for a Troll' attracted a lot of negative reactions and was eventually pulled by NBR for its "inappropriate content".
Kawekōrero asked Sir Bob Jones to come on to the show to appear with Maihi, he replied in an email saying;
"Thanks for your letter and invitation. It would be inappropriate for me to appear given we will shortly be issuing proceedings for defamation. Court cases are not about hyperbole, hysteria and such-like but instead, facts. This madwoman’s best defence will be to claim insanity. Thanks for writing anyway."
Maihi went on to say she was pleased there was a sizeable voice to put this matter forward.
"I believe there are people within our country and also around the world who agreed that somebody who sits on this type of pae cannot continue to sit on this kind of pae while making racist comments towards tangata whenua."
The petition will be received by Labour list MP Kiritapu Allan.