Oh dear – calling a Maori MP perma-tanned

March 8th, 2012 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

In the House yesterday:

: You’d be complaining.

Hon : The perma-tanned member opposite argues that this is a legitimate power of Government, but he flies in the face of the fact that 90 percent of New Zealanders would say that when only one in five burglaries is being closed by our boys and girls in blue—

Hon Judith Collins: I raise a point of order, Mr Chairperson. I do not think it is appropriate for a member of this Committee to refer to a member who happens to be Māori as “perma-tanned”, and frankly I think it is offensive.

The CHAIRPERSON (Eric Roy): I nearly pulled the member up. It is out of order, and I would ask him to desist from using that kind of referencing to another member.

Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE: I withdraw and apologise, and it was absolutely nothing to do with the member’s ethnicity, of which I was henceforth unaware. 

Simon may live in Tauranga, but no that is not a tan – it is his skin colour.

IMG_0590

Imagine if a National MP had said that of a Labour MP? I’m sure it would be with the Human Rights Commission by now.

Incidentially for those wondering Simon’s father was Ngati Maniapoto, and Simon is related to former Labour Minister Koro Wetere.

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53 Responses to “Oh dear – calling a Maori MP perma-tanned”

  1. gump (1,676 comments) says:

    Does Simon Bridges actually care?

    Or are the people around him taking ‘offense’ on his behalf?

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  2. Tom B (55 comments) says:

    You know I’m really glad that we had our last FEC hearing yesterday before I saw that photo. I do not not need to be thinking about Mr Chairperson in the spa when appearing before the select committee.

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  3. RRM (10,096 comments) says:

    Oh dear – Calling John Key “Jew Boy”…

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  4. Griff (8,419 comments) says:

    Non issue Just another New Zealander who cares the shade.

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  5. Auberon (779 comments) says:

    Why Lord, why did they choose David Shearer?!

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  6. wally (68 comments) says:

    henceforth? I think he means hitherto.

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  7. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    > a member who happens to be Māori

    I understand Christian Cullen was also Maori, that’s the rugby player, not the horse…though the horse was dark skinned and the rugby player wasn’t.

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  8. krazykiwi (8,040 comments) says:

    Collins played this just like a Labour/Greens MP would have, which is a pity.

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  9. cows4me (248 comments) says:

    Surely having a perma tan would have to be better then been perma retarded like Mr silent T.

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  10. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    > Simon’s father was Ngati Maniapoto

    Ah, so Simon’s father was a whole tribe?

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  11. All_on_Red (1,734 comments) says:

    You should see the number of white aborigines in Oz. Mind you most of them are academics troughing off govt grants…….

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  12. Raymond Luxury Yacht (7 comments) says:

    Judging by the jizz on his chest, Simon was having a good time when this was taken.

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  13. Minnie (89 comments) says:

    Cunliffe has a history, having been pulled up for loudly mimicking Pansy Wong’s accent in the past.

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  14. Joel Rowan (99 comments) says:

    Cunliffe… “last woman on earth” comments about Judith Collins, “greasy little fulla” about John Key, now “permatanned member” about Simon Bridges. This is a man who thought he’d be a good leader for a party that plans to lead a government? I bet he and Mallard are good mates.

    I don’t have anything really against a bit of a sledge, but if you’re a front-bench MP of a major party you should really know better. These people have been in parliament so long that they think they are bullet proof, and can do as they please. And they can, the party list system will protect them.

    No wonder they chose Shearer as leader, this guy is flat out offensive.

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  15. PaulL (5,446 comments) says:

    Kind of interesting. If his skin colour was just because he’s in the sun a lot, would it be OK to call him perma-tanned? If so, then why would it be wrong to do the same because he’s Maori? What if he’s light brown because he’s Maori, and darker brown from being in the sun a lot?

    In other words, how stupid is all this. It was a reasonable, and mildly amusing, description of him. Like saying “the large MP from” or “the gorgeous MP from” or “the lying cheating MP from” (that last referring to Winston of course). Sure, there’s no need for it, but if you only use the words you need then everyday conversation gets pretty boring. I don’t begrudge Judith for raising it – we’re all sensitised to it. But it raises the question of why we let our society become this way.

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  16. insider (845 comments) says:

    I wondered if he was really referring to Bridges’ fondness for personal grooming

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  17. La Grand Fromage (145 comments) says:

    The fact that Cunliffe got humiliated in the leadership battle then given the arse on the shadow finance role yet hasn’t quit proves what a lot of people suspected. He can’t get a job outside parliament and/or is a spineless c**t with no self respect.

    On reflection maybe he does have the right traits to lead the Labour party.

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  18. George Patton (352 comments) says:

    That Bridges is a sexual chocolate…

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  19. Bevan (3,232 comments) says:

    Collins played this just like a Labour/Greens MP would have, which is a pity.

    So what? Why do Labour get to cry racism at the highest decibel at the slightest hint of an insult, but the Nats just have to suck it up? Fuck that, highlight silent T’s hypocrisy and demand his colleagues not sit silent – if this was a Nat, then Labour would be screaming blue murder and demanding the Nat resign or be fired.

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  20. Ryan Sproull (7,359 comments) says:

    It wasn’t racist. It was ignorance (of Bridges’ ethnic make-up) and rudeness (immature name-calling).

    There are some politicians who don’t act like children constantly, right? Somewhere?

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  21. eszett (2,450 comments) says:

    What does National have to suck up, Bevan? Where is the hypocrisy here?
    He was called up on it and he apologised immeadiately.

    So what are you so outraged about?

    It clearly wasn’t intended as racist remark, but a silly remark. Hands up who knew that Simon was Moari. I didn’t.

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  22. DrDr (113 comments) says:

    Cunliffe’s last comment about his lack of knowledge of Simon’s ethnic background, just shows how ignorant he is. Or it was another calculated put down.

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  23. Bevan (3,232 comments) says:

    What does National have to suck up, Bevan? Where is the hypocrisy here?
    He was called up on it and he apologised immeadiately.

    I’m not saying they have to suck it up – read the question again.

    So what are you so outraged about?

    Who says I’m outraged?

    It clearly wasn’t intended as racist remark, but a silly remark. Hands up who knew that Simon was Moari. I didn’t.

    So what? My point is if the shoe was on the other foot, Labour would be screaming about this as loud as possible until the offending MP was fired or resigned regardless of whether it was an innocent mistake. MP’s should be held to the same standard regardless of which party they belong to.

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  24. barry (1,191 comments) says:

    Mmmm – a maori who is able to get voted in on a general house….

    We have that doppy Green MP denise Roche pushing a dedicated maori seat on what used to be called Environmet Waikato because apparently she thinks maori cant get voted onto anything.

    Maybe Bridges isnt a normal maori – I think he is Ngati Mystery

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  25. DrDr (113 comments) says:

    “Maybe Bridges isnt a normal maori” — What does a normal Māori look like?

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  26. dime (10,204 comments) says:

    i guess Cunliffe just thought he was some young fella loving life and spending time at the beach.

    really, its not that bad. benefit of the doubt.

    as DPF says though – if a National MP did it.. all shit would break loose and that is the issue.

    everyone already cunliffe is a douche bag

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  27. Ryan Sproull (7,359 comments) says:

    “Maybe Bridges isnt a normal maori” — What does a normal Māori look like?

    Sounds like SOMEONE hasn’t seen Utu.

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  28. tvb (4,553 comments) says:

    I think it was his Grandfather who was Maori. It is all set out in his maiden speech. Anyhow Simon is due to be a father quite soon if it has not already happened.

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  29. Joel Rowan (99 comments) says:

    As I think has been pointed out, here on Kiwiblog, Simon Bridges is not a Maori MP. He is an MP who happens to share some Maori heritage and ancestry. The difference being, he doesn’t make a point of waving his Maori-ness about the place. He does the job as would anyone, and looks out for constituents and citizens of any ethnicity. I believe it was phrased as being “incidental” rather than “definitive” in his political career.

    That doesn’t make it ok to make jokes and slurs about his ethnicity or appearance.

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  30. davidp (3,585 comments) says:

    So Labour have used homophobic references for Finlayson. And racist references for Bridges. Have they resorted to religious based abuse for the hat trick?

    Mathers should be glad she’s on Labour’s side, otherwise they’d be calling her a “retard” or a “mong” or similar.

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  31. Scott Chris (6,178 comments) says:

    Sensible thread for an insensible post. May as well get into the spirit:

    What is that on Bridges’ chest? Is it his or someone else’s?

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  32. Chuck Bird (4,890 comments) says:

    “It clearly wasn’t intended as racist remark, but a silly remark. Hands up who knew that Simon was Moari. I didn’t.”

    That is a good question. I certainly was aware of this but I follow politics a bit. I find it hard to beleive that Cunliffe was not aware that Bridges was Maori. Maybe Cunliffe thinks real Maori say bro every tenth word.

    How many others were aware of Bridges heritage?

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  33. Mobile Michael (472 comments) says:

    Oh well, the Greens are calling proposed welfare reform racist and anti-woman, so no surprise that someone else on the left thinks a maori who supports national can’t be a real maori.

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  34. David Garrett (7,695 comments) says:

    If Cunliffe didn’t know Simon has Maori ancestry then I’m a banana…and as others have said, he is not the kind of guy to be making use of his heritage…damn fine bloke actually…

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  35. Brian Harmer (687 comments) says:

    “I was henceforth unaware” …> from now on, I know nothing? Is he chanelling Sgt Schultz? Hitherto is the word he was looking for

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  36. Psycho Milt (2,423 comments) says:

    Calling Simon Bridges perma-tanned is fair enough, the guy looks like Whitey so it’s an easy mistake to make. “Of which I was henceforth unaware,” though? That’s unforgivable – the Speaker should have climbed over the seats and smacked him in the chops.

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  37. GConnell (20 comments) says:

    This lack of professionalism in parliament is one of the main things wrong with politics. In this case, it seems like Cunliffe didn’t intend to be racist, but the point is, he shouldn’t have been referring to another member using an intentionally belittling term in the first place. Even if he WAS just referring to the guy having a tan. It just brings down the tone of the entire institition, and distracts attention away from the job that they are all paid to do. Bad form Cunliffe, and every other MP that wishes to trade in pomp, insults and posturing rather than serve the electorate.

    However, complaining that it would have been played upon worse if the insult had been used against a Labour party MP? That seems a little unwaveringly partisan of you David.

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  38. Bevan (3,232 comments) says:

    What is that on Bridges’ chest? Is it his or someone else’s?

    Residual foam from the spa – look at the water behind him.

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  39. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    petty ,childish racist stuff from Cinliffe..Is he still smarting from missing the top job? If he has to sink this low it is time he walked. With that sort of raging talent , he will be in demand somewhere.

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  40. davidp (3,585 comments) says:

    Bevan>Residual foam from the spa – look at the water behind him.

    Why is there foam in the spa? Has he been shampooing his hair in a jacuzzi?

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  41. Chuck Bird (4,890 comments) says:

    “That seems a little unwaveringly partisan of you David.”

    No way. If that remark was made by an National MP the Race Relations Commissioner would have plenty to say.

    If such a remark had of been made lase term by an ACT MP there would be editorials and opinion pieces for a week in the Herald.

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  42. David Garrett (7,695 comments) says:

    Spot on there Chuck….

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  43. Peter Freedman (127 comments) says:

    My wife took one look at Bridges’ pic and immediately identified him as Maori, Something about the lips and nose, she said.

    Very intelligent woman, I mean look at who she married?

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  44. barry (1,191 comments) says:

    DrDr – a normal maori – according to lots of people especially those who want dedicated maori seats on town and regional council- is one who cant vote or get voted onto anything.

    Brdiges cant be normal – hes got voted in to Parliament………….

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  45. Chuck Bird (4,890 comments) says:

    Plenty Maori do not want special privilege. Sir Ralph Norris appears to have done okay for himself without play a Maori card.

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  46. Bevan (3,232 comments) says:

    Why is there foam in the spa? Has he been shampooing his hair in a jacuzzi?

    Never cleaned your spa pool have you?

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  47. WineOh (636 comments) says:

    Cunliffe has always been smarmy.

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  48. big bruv (14,211 comments) says:

    The issue is not that silent T called Bridges “perma tanned”. The issue is that Silent T lied.

    Cunliffe would have been well aware that Bridges is part Moari, to now deny thathe knew is a blatant lie and something that might yet blow up in his face.

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  49. Dick Gozinya (19 comments) says:

    Was Silent T standing behind him?

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/nznationalparty/3574474843/in/photostream/

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  50. Chuck Bird (4,890 comments) says:

    BB, I find it hard to beleive that Cunliffe was not aware that Bridges is part Maori. How could that be proved?

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  51. politico (3 comments) says:

    Hmm, there is an interesting post on this website about the goings on of Mr Bridges and a certain Labour MP

    http://www.facebook.com/?sk=welcome#!/pages/New-Zealand-Pakeha-Party/125734190814084

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  52. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    Was he in parliament for Bridges maiden speech? or out name calling somewhere else?? As someone else said he has history in mimicking Pansy Wong’s speech.

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  53. Paulus (2,707 comments) says:

    No wonder Cunliffe has a silent “t” to his name.

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