Victory

NBR Column - Waitangi Day 2018

This petition made change with 90,162 supporters!


As many of you may know, defamation proceedings were launched in 2018 by Sir Robert Jones against the petitioner Renae Maihi.

After 2 long years and a legal battle we have an outcome that we, the Human Rights Defenders, regard as a victory.

After 1 week in the Wellington High Court of New Zealand the plaintiff, Sir Robert Jones' has abandoned his defamation lawsuit.

This is the media statement from Renae Maihi.

"I welcome Sir Robert Jones' decision to abandon his defamation proceedings against me today.

This has always been about highlighting the harm and impact that racist language has, both now and historically. It is important for us all to remember that language and articles of this nature, whether intentional or not, can and do cause hurt.

It is important too that those on the receiving end of racism have an opportunity to express their feelings.

While I and many others disagree strongly with the language Sir Robert has used about Māori, we can disagree with him without being rude about him as a person. I ask people to keep this in mind when posting on social media.

I would like to thank the 90,000 people who signed the petition, the many people who donated to the Givealittle campaigns, the hundreds of Kiwis who turned up in person this week and the countless messages of support.

I would also like to acknowledge the hard work of my legal team Davey Salmon and Jack Cundy. Ngā mihi ki a kōrua.

This brings an end to a stressful period of my life but that said, I hope the conversation about racism in this country will continue, in the most dignified manner possible.

I have always believed and continue to believe in what was written in the petition. Given the outcome today, I intend to close the petition.

I send a message of strength and aroha to everyone who has taken an interest in this kaupapa. Kia kaha tātou katoa."

Yours faithfully,
Human Rights Defenders.



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