Newstalk ZB host Andrew Dickens labels Christchurch crash victims 'ferals', 'trash'

Newstalk ZB presenter Andrew Dickens is facing backlash after calling two young victims of a fatal Christchurch crash and their grieving family "ferals" and "trash".

In an opinion piece published on Newstalk ZB's website on Thursday afternoon, Dickens also lampooned the victims' former skinhead father and schizophrenic uncle.

The original Newstalk ZB article was later changed to have a different headline. It intially said "Dickens: Chch triple fatal another example of ferals raising ferals", but was changed to "Dickens: NZ's cycle of violence exposed by Chch triple fatal".

The New Zealand Herald republished the opinion piece but removed any mention of the word "feral" or "trash".

The piece comes after three teenagers, including brothers Glen and Craig Mcallister, 16 and 13 respectively, died on Sunday when the stolen vehicle they were in hit road spikes laid by police and crashed into a tree during a police pursuit in Christchurch.

On Thursday NZME, which also owns Newstalk ZB, published a piece where the brothers' father, Craig Mcallister, reportedly said the brothers were the nephews of a "skinhead who went on a murder-suicide rampage in Cathedral Square in 1989".

Mr Mcallister, who says he was a "skinhead" at the time but has since changed his ways, claimed he didn't want his family's past to be brought up in the aftermath of his sons' deaths or for them to be judged based on their father and uncle's actions.

He reportedly said the "police killed my kids" and while he admitted his sons had stolen cars in the past, they were "just boys doing what boys do" and they shouldn't be judged by his actions.

But Dickens wasn't having it.

"Mate, it's all about you. You didn't learn from the past. You didn't warn your kids. You didn't teach your kids.

"You claim you've cleaned up but you haven't found a moral compass. I doubt you know what morals really are. Or what a compass is."

Dickens' comments have received backlash online, with one Twitter user saying "the real monster here is Andrew Dickens. What a horrible, ignorant person".

On Facebook, one woman said the news was "tragic" and people needed to show respect to the grieving family or "don't say anything".

"Well, that was brutal," said another user.

But the piece also was welcomed by others, calling Dickens a "big hero" who put it "so well".

"Agree totally. It's the circle of child abuse and neglect on replay," said one commenter.

Discussing his brother's killing, Mr Mcallister, who was never charged in relation to the death of his brother's victim, said he had to choose between dropping his schizophrenic brother off at the square or a "residential area full of people", before explaining he had been trying to change his life since the event.

But Dickens said the father had been "weak" and should have driven his brother to a mental care facility instead.

Dickens went on to say the father lived in a fantasy world and was responsible for the deaths of his sons, the third crash victim and his brother.

"The cycle of violence and antisocial behaviour rolls on. Ferals bringing up ferals. Trash begets trash."

Dickens, who is advertised on the Newstalk ZB website as having a "bold, sharp and energetic approach [that] is always informative and entertaining", said he was shocked that some people lived in a "selfish fantasy world divorced from reality".

Police have stood by their pursuit policy, and say they quickly abandoned the pursuit of the stolen vehicle due to the dangerous way it was being driven.

Dickens and NZME have been approached for comment.


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