Column calling for Māori servitude for a day pulled after outrage

A column calling for a day in which Māori serve the British has been deleted from the National Business Review's (NBR) website.

The Sir Bob Jones column argues that instead of a day in which Māoritanga comes to the centre, we should have a day in "appreciation" of the Brits.

Why? Because Sir Bob believes there are "no full-blooded Māoris in existence", ergo, he argues, Māori should thank the British for their existence on Waitangi Day.

Sir Bob Jones is a property investor, avid opinion piece writer and former politician.

When contacted by Newshub about the removal of the column, NBR had "no comment", but a statement on Twitter said the column was pulled due to "inappropriate content".

That "inappropriate content" was signalled by Sir Bob himself, with the subheading "Time for a Troll".

"As there are no full-blooded Māoris in existence it indisputably follows that had it not been for migrants, mainly Brits, not a single Māori alive today, including Professor Temaru, would have existed," he wrote.

A screenshot of Sir Bob Jones' column.
A screenshot of Sir Bob Jones' column. Photo credit: Reddit

"I have in mind a public holiday where Māori bring us breakfast in bed or weed our gardens, wash and polish our cars and so on, out of gratitude for existing."

On Twitter, the column was called "incredibly racist" and "hate speech".

Sir Bob was called a "fossil" and a "blatant white supremacist".

Others dug up NBR's sponsors, calling on them to stop advertising with the publication.

In response, NBR pulled the article, saying "Sir Bob Jones' latest column has been removed from NBR's website, due to inappropriate content."

The Press Council says it has not received any complaints about the article, "but since our complaints procedure requires that complaints are taken to the editor in the first instance it may be that complaints are simply at that stage", a spokesperson said.

It's the second article NBR has pulled from its site recently.

An article about the voluntary liquidation of Wellington diner Five Boroughs was pulled on January 30, after people online accused it of being "positive spin".

A statement from the editor explained the piece as a "first take on a liquidation", and said it was pulled after there had been problems moderating comments on the article.

The content of the Five Boroughs article was supplied by wire agency Business Desk, which provides business articles to numerous news publications for a subscription fee.

Comments on the article alleged employees and IRD were owed thousands of dollars.

Follow-up articles - including from Business Desk - detailed money owed to staff, IRD, ANZ and suppliers.

Newshub.