Shane Jones, fresh off rescuing a woman from an alleged brutal domestic assault, has called on Māori to stop blaming colonialism for their woes.
Jones and his wife Dot were driving in Wellington on Saturday when they noticed a "fracas" in the car behind them, the NZ First MP told The AM Show on Monday.
His "pretty staunch" wife demanded he do something about it.
"The girl was distraught, I took her out of the situation, told the young fella to go and park his car. Obviously, he was all huffy. I just couldn't walk away from it," Jones explained.
"I think he realised who I was a bit later. I said to the girl, 'Do you want me to take you to the cops? Do you want to come home? You want me to take you home?' ... But she was insistent at this stage she didn't want me take her to the cop station. But the cops have followed up."
One of their first calls was to Jones himself.
"Originally they thought I might have had something to do with it," he explained.
Last year a report by the chief science adviser for the justice sector Ian Lambie said colonialism had an "inter-generational effect on Māori and Māori are disproportionately affected by family violence combined with other negative social effects of racism, discrimination and dislocation".
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The attacker, Jones said, was a young Māori man.
"I say to our Maori people - this sort of carry-on, don't go blaming colonialism; don't join the chorus of idiocy I'm seeing on the East Coast where the artists don't want Captain Cook celebrated because they're responsible for family violence on the East Coast. That's pathetic. I hate that soup of excuses."
The incident came the same weekend the Government announced a $320 million package aimed at fixing New Zealand's shocking family violence problem. Jones called his efforts a "small gesture", but understands that not every situation can - or should - be resolved by public intervention.
"You've got to be very careful when you intervene in these issues. They can suddenly turn violent... I've done this before and I've been smacked on the side of the head, so you do tend to tai ho."
And if the alleged abuser had turned on Jones, it probably wouldn't have ended well.
"It was near the SIS building, so that's even more perverse," Jones said. "But it can happen anywhere, and the last time I did it it didn't end all that well, but that's life. But this time I've got no regrets."
The "incredibly grateful" woman has been in touch to say thanks, Jones said.
Where to find help and support:
- Shine (domestic violence) - 0508 744 633
- Women's Refuge - 0800 733 843 (0800 REFUGE)
- Need to Talk? - Call or text 1737
- Lifeline - 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland
- Youthline - 0800 376 633, text 234, email email@example.com or online chat
- Samaritans - 0800 726 666
- Depression Helpline - 0800 111 757
- Suicide Crisis Helpline - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)