Sir Bob Jones could be stripped of his knighthood thanks to petition

News 15/03/2018

A petition to strip Sir Bob Jones of his knighthood will be presented to Parliament this month. 

The petition has more than 65,000 signatures, and was started by filmmaker Renae Maihi after Sir Bob wrote a controversial column for the National Business Review.

In the column, which was entitled 'Time for a Troll', Sir Bob suggested Waitangi Day be replaced with 'Māori Gratitude Day'.  

After considerable backlash, the column was pulled by NBR for its "inappropriate content".

Ms Maihi, one of eight Māori female directors behind the feature film Waru, accused Sir Bob of "hate speech" and said he should be held accountable.

She started an online petition on calling for Sir Bob's knighthood to be stripped, which attracted more than 50,000 signatures within a week of being published.

Now the petition is set to be presented at Parliament later in March. It will be received by Labour list MP Kiritapu Allan.

"If 65,000 people are pretty incensed by that type of commentary on Māori in our community, I support the fact that [Maihi] has made her views known and has garnered widespread national support," Ms Allan told Stuff.

In retaliation to the petition, Sir Bob threatened legal action against Ms Maihi.

He claims his column was never intended to be taken seriously, and that he intends to sue the director for defamation.

"I will be issuing proceedings against this woman for defamation, because I take particular exception when she uses the word 'hate'," he told RadioLIVE's Ryan Bridge. 

I don't hate anyone.