Oh dear – calling a Maori MP perma-tanned

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.

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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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