Sir Bob Jones says he "shall not bother" to write for the NBR after a Waitangi Day column that included offensive comments was removed by the publisher.

Jones' piece, which he wrote for the NBR magazine, went to print but has since been pulled down to the widespread offence caused.

In the column, Jones suggested a public holiday "where Maori bring us breakfast in bed or weed our gardens, wash and polish our cars and so on".

"We should introduce a new public holiday, Maori Gratitude Day, in place of the much disdained Waitangi Day."


He also write that "had it not been for migrants, mainly Brits, not a single Māori alive today" would exist.

The column has since been deemed "inappropriate" by NBR and was slammed by social media users.

Jones told the Herald today he had been "inundated with letters complaining about this media beat-up".

He said the column was made up of "a factual situation" and "a satirical suggestion".

"I wrote for NBR to help the proprietor but shall not bother anymore, having heaps of better things to do with my time," he said.

"NBR gladly accepted it, then, after idiotic complaints which would have Billy T James spinning in his grave, decided it was inappropriate. That's a relative term inviting the obvious question, inappropriate to what?"

Historian and Auckland University Professor Paul Moon said he wasn't offended and understood it to be satire.

Historian and AUT Professor Paul Moon says if Sir Bob Jones' objective was to get people talking about Waitangi Day, he's achieved it. Photo / File
Historian and AUT Professor Paul Moon says if Sir Bob Jones' objective was to get people talking about Waitangi Day, he's achieved it. Photo / File

"I might be wrong but I absolutely interpreted it as a form of satire, I don't think he was at all serious. It's just satire, he's done it before.


"It goes back to Roman times you make a point about something or highlight aspects of it by coming up with something so ridiculous that people revisit everything and I don't think that he was at all serious. But I'm guessing that, I'm not sure, but that's my sense of it anyway."

He believed Jones had succeeded in his objective, if that was his goal, in getting people talking about Waitangi Day.

"In this case rather than instruct people and say 'we should examine the day' and 'why do we have these rituals' ... instead of being a bit boring like that you come up with something so provocative that people react and in that reaction they identify with what they really think about something."

Moon said it appeared some people had taken the column at face value, which he believed was wrong.

"I'm absolutely sure it's not intended to be that at all because it's written in a style that deliberately crosses so many borders it's not serious and I think people who take it seriously might need to take some medication, perhaps."

He said the more disturbing part was the fact NBR published it.

"They obviously thought it was okay to publish and it went through whatever checks and balances they have and then they withdraw it because some people were offended by it.

"I don't know how they make decisions but I'm absolutely sure someone would have read it before it went to print. Unless he's got a free pass, 'oh Bob Jones article, just print it'.
The newspaper's reaction was really surprising."

Asked if it was appropriate to write a column like that, Moon said if his objective was to get people talking then "absolutely, because even the critics are doing exactly that".

NBR has not responded to requests for comment.

The Human Rights Commission was unimpressed by Jones' column and was pleased to see the column deleted.

"We welcome the NBR's decision to remove the article," a commission spokeswoman said. "Sir Bob Jones and those outlets who choose to publish this kind of rhetoric need to be prepared for the public backlash and condemnation they provoke and deserve."