The sporting community has gone to bat for the Mad Butcher defending him against allegations of racism after he reportedly told a young woman Waiheke Island was a "white man's".

The Warriors and a couple of professional boxers are amongst those stepping up in defence of Sir Peter Leitch, calling him a genuine guy who's done a lot of good in the community.

In a statement from Vodafone Warriors managing director, Jim Doyle, the Mad Butcher was described as an "ardent supporter" since the team's inception in 1995.

Sir Peter Leitch and Lara Bridger.
Sir Peter Leitch and Lara Bridger.

"I've known him for many years and in that time he's been a tremendous ambassador for our club, for rugby league and for the country in general.


"Sir Peter does a tremendous amount in our community, regularly doing things behind closed doors for people who have fallen on hard times.

"We have the greatest admiration for him."

On Tuesday Auckland woman Lara Bridger posted a video on social media claiming the New Zealand businessman, known for the chain of butcheries he opened, reportedly told her Waiheke Island was a "white man's island".

In a statement issued last night the Mad Butcher expressed his disappointment that some "light-hearted banter" had been taken to heart.

"I was joking with her group about not drinking too much because there were lots of police on the island. She said that she was tangata whenua and could do what she liked, and I responded with a joke about it being a white man's island, also."

Bridger has since taken down the video, although this morning, she stood by her comments and denied she'd said being tangata whenua made her entitled.

However, she did state her remorse at the backlash Sir Peter had received, saying it wasn't her intent.

"I don't like attention. That's not me, but the video went viral and backlash happened."


Sir Peter's spokeswoman this morning said the businessman didn't want to comment any further.

Rugby league and boxing star Monty Betham also described Sir Peter as a "#Great man" in an Instagram post.

"He is not a racist. I've seen/experienced his sensitive side towards Island and Maori culture amongst others in the melting pot of ethnicity involved in rugby league on and off the field.

"In this situation Sir Peter once again was trying to do what he does, bring a smile to one's face, add some humour to one's day and, most importantly, try to interact with as many people as possible because he cares so much.

"Give the man some support and go into bat for him."

Former Warriors captain Ruben Wiki also showed his support for his long-time friend.

Wiki shared a photo of the pair, with the words: "Right behind Sir Mad Butcher.''

Wiki went on to say: "When I woke up this morning and saw what was said about our good friend ... I was pretty angry.

"I can tell you right now this man is not a racist. He has always put people first no matter what ethnicity you are.

"This seems like it was misinterpreted. Make sure your story is legit before you put it on social media because you can't take it back.''