Sir Bob Jones arrives at defamation hearing, calls reporter's question 'bloody stupid'

Wellington property investor Sir Robert Jones started off his defamation hearing by snapping at reporters outside court.

On Monday he arrived at Wellington High Court and was clearly not interested in dealing with media.

"Look can you please just get out of the way?" he asked while walking through the gaggle of journalists.

One reporter can be heard asking him what he hopes to achieve with the claim.

"I'm learning a recipe about a new way to cut carrots is why we're at court. What a bloody stupid question," he snapped back.

Sir Bob claims Renae Maihi, a film maker and director, defamed him in 2018 after he wrote an article for National Business Review calling for Waitangi Day to be replaced with 'National Māori Appreciation Day' and calling Te Reo a "dying language, confined to hobbyists".

Maihi was furious and created a petition to strip Sir Jones of the knighthood he received in 1989. 

Sir Bob is not seeking damages but wants a judge to declare Maihi has defamed him and needs to pay his legal costs.

An online appeal for donations to help pay for Maihi's court costs has raised more than $21,000. 

The court proceedings are expected to last two weeks.