Sir Bob Jones files defamation action after petition for knighthood to be revoked - report

Sir Bob Jones files defamation action after petition for knighthood to be revoked - report
Photo credit: Photosport/file

Sir Bob Jones has filed defamation proceedings against the woman who started a petition calling for his knighthood to be revoked after he penned a controversial column earlier this year.

He filed defamation papers against Renae Maihi in Wellington on Wednesday, according to NZME.

Ms Maihi started a petition in February after Sir Bob wrote an NBR column which included a call for a Māori Gratitude Day to replace Waitangi Day as a national holiday.

"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," Sir Bob wrote.

The column was pulled from the website shortly after it was published, and Sir Bob later said he did not intend for it to be taken seriously.

Ms Maihi, one of eight Māori female directors behind the feature film Waru, said Sir Bob should held be accountable - and set up a petition which called for his knighthood to be revoked.

Sir Bob threatened legal action shortly after the petition surfaced online.

The petition was presented to Parliament in March, and was accepted by Labour MP Kiritapu Allan.

Sir Bob received his knighthood for contributions to the business community.

Newshub has approached Sir Bob's lawyers for comment.

Newshub.