Maori Council leader Matthew Tukaki bombarded with hateful messages

The executive director of the Maori Council says he's received over 70 messages of abuse over the past 48 hours.

Matthew Tukaki  revealed the hateful emails have come on the back of an announcement that the Maori Council will ask the Human Rights Commission to investigate lobby group Hobson's Pledge.

Tukaki claims the group - which works to promote policy that removes perceived bias and favouritism towards Maori - incites hate amongst New Zealanders.

He told Stuff on Wednesday the group are "nothing more than a gang of misfits".

Speaking to Magic Talk on Friday, Tukaki said he's received 72 messages since the announcement that contain "some of the most vile, racist nonsense" he has ever heard.

"I'm a supporter of Hobson's Pledge and I just think you're a black dog," one email to Tukaki said.

Another questioned Tukaki's own bias towards Maori.

"You're a middle-aged overweight Maori who's on the take, what would you know?"

However, when asked if Tukaki could name any particular statement that backed up his calls that Hobson's Pledge was inciting violence, hate, racism and segregation of society, he said the group simply created an environment for them to thrive.

"[The issue is]the very notion that that person felt then comfortable in saying that… so it's about the operating environment that's created.

"All of the stuff on their website leads others to interpret messages a different way… it's these people out there in every day New Zealand land who have a look at these things and say 'Yeah, wow, those Maoris are getting too much, we've gotta do something about this'."

Casey Costello, a frequent spokesperson for Hobson's Pledge, called in to Magic Talk and told Tukaki that if her group was guilty of inciting hateful actions then so was the Maori Council.

"With your press release, you have now created an environment of hate," Costello said.

ACT leader David Seymour told Newshub that the claims against Hobson's Pledge are baseless.

"The idea that all New Zealanders should be treated equally before the law is a genuinely-held political view," said Seymour. "There is nothing inherently racist or violent about it.

"What the New Zealand Māori Council is proposing is that the Human Rights Commission be asked to endorse these kinds of attacks by applying state power to the respondent. Hate speech legislation is now being used as a political weapon."