Organiser of petition to strip Sir Bob Jones of knighthood seeks legal advice

Organiser of petition to strip Sir Bob Jones of knighthood seeks legal advice
Photo credit: Facebook/ Photosport

The woman behind the petition to revoke Sir Bob Jones of his knighthood has sought legal advice and says she's "in safe hands".

Renae Maihi started the petition, which has almost 50,000 signatures, after Mr Jones wrote a column for the National Business Review on Waitangi Day that called for Māori servitude and gratitude.

"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," he wrote.

NBR pulled the widely condemned column which its editors described as "inappropriate content", but Mr Jones told media it was intended to be facetious.

"We're going to serve notice on her - obviously I'd be seen as a bully if I sue her for a million dollars, so I'll sue her for, say, $20,000 - and she can have her day in court," he told RadioLive.

Ms Maihi, one of eight Māori female directors of Waru, is determined that the "hate speech" column should result in him losing his title.

"I will not have him speaking of my son as if he should be his slave. I will not have him get away with vile racism and still be called 'Sir'," she said on Facebook. 

"The man responsible for this hate speech shouldn't be in the same category as the likes of Sir Apirana Ngata, Sir John Kirwan, Dame Whina Cooper, Dame Malvina Major and the Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy."

Mr Jones has since threatened to take legal action against Ms Maihi, who has sought legal advice and maintains that she has the right to express her opinion.

"Support welcome, I'll need it - clearly he's one of the wealthiest men in this country and I am not. I will always stand up for the mana of our children," she said.

Ms Maihi has been contacted by lawyers who have offered their support and says she is "in safe hands" should the legal action eventuate.