I cringed when Paul Henry asked the PM this morning whether in appointing a Governor-General would “choose a New Zealander who looks and sounds like a New Zealander this time?”.
I have a lot of time for Paul’s humour, even his offensive humour, because humour is often offensive.
But this was not a joke, this was not even comparable to Paul Homes with his “cheeky darkie” comment, which was meant to be a parody.
This was a blatant statement that NZ born Sir Anand does not look and sound like a New Zealander because his parents are Fijian Indians.
What Paul really meant is that he does not sound like a white or British New Zealander.
If TVNZ don’t take firm action on this one, they will find themselves in a very umcomfortable position. They should also arrange for an apology to the Governor-General. He was born in New Zealander, and is every but as much a New Zealander as Paul Henry.
UPDATE: Paul Henry has apologised:
I sincerely apologise to the Governor General, Sir Anand Satyanand for any offence I may have caused.
I am aware that Sir Anand has made an outstanding contribution to New Zealand.
Anyone who knows anything about me will know I am a royalist, a constant defender of the monarchy and the role the Governor General plays in our society.
If my comments have personally offended Sir Anand, I regret it deeply.
I am sure it will still be the lead item on the news tonight, and in newspapers tomorrow.Tags: Anand Satyanand, Governor-General, Paul Henry, racism, TVNZ