Puhoi Pub renames its 'racist' bullock horns, calls backlash 'desperately stupid'

Puhoi Pub renames its 'racist' bullock horns, calls backlash 'desperately stupid'
Photo credit: The Puhoi Pub / Facebook

A New Zealand pub has relabelled the set of bullock horns hanging on its walls after the racial slur drew backlash from the public.

Instead of having the bullock's name 'N*****' written on them, they've been renamed 'Snigger'.

The north Auckland Puhoi Pub, established in 1879, had been displaying the horns for as long as staff could remember.

The pub's owner Bernie McCallion told TVNZ the bullock had been one of the many beasts used to haul kauri logs in the area.

"It's part of the history of the pub. It belongs in the pub. It was donated by the owner who owned N*****, that's why we've left it up on the wall," she said.

But the name drew fury from visitors, with Auckland woman Mildred Armah telling TVNZ it was "heartbreaking".

"Thank God I was with a bunch of white people and it wasn't a poor Black family that saw that. It's so hurtful. It shouldn't be up there," she said.

Even Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon weighed in, asking for the pub to take the horns down.

"The n-word is related to slavery. It's degrading, it's derogatory and it's racist. I urge the owner to reconsider."

The Puhoi Pub has now posted a photo to Facebook showing the name rewritten to say 'Snigger'.

But it also posted saying it will "continue to respect, safeguard and display all the history donated to this establishment".

"If you don't like anything that we are doing then stay away and please refrain from leaving bad negative vibes, it makes you look narrow-minded and desperately stupid," it wrote.

However the decision to change the name has caused controversy of its own.

"So you deface what you claim as history rather than take it down due to its clearly racist undertones?" one person questioned on the pub's Facebook post.

"It makes you guys look like you support racism and slavery," another said.

Others thought the pub shouldn't have backed down.

"You should not have put an S on the bullock horns... it's part of the history of the area, part of NZ history... and no-one can change history or try to force people to change history!" one wrote.

"There is so many memories in the pub along with many of my ancestors hanging on the walls. Please protect our ancestors' heritage," a fourth wrote.