Broadcaster Paul Holmes' job is not in danger for yesterday describing UN Secretary General Kofi Annan a "cheeky darkie" on his radio show, the station's boss said today.

On his NewstalkZB show today Holmes apologised for his offensive comments in which he said the world was not going to be told how to live by a Ghanaian, several times referring to Mr Annan as a "cheeky darkie."

Today NewstalkZB general manager Bill Francis, said no further action would be taken and the station was now following up the numerous complaints it had received.

Mr Francis said Holmes had "self-flagellated" himself over his comments.

"He has apologised and so on. We will take no further action other than to follow up the complaints."

Mr Francis could not say how many complaints the station had received but said there was a "considerable number."

He would not discuss what Holmes had said to him after the show yesterday.

"It is one of those things. A lot of his comments are heavily laced with satire and on this occasion he pushed it too far -- far too far," Mr Francis said.

Last night Holmes issued a public apology, saying he was sick to his stomach about what he had said.

Today on his breakfast show Holmes said he was not a racist and he was very upset his comments had offended people.

Holmes said today he had strong feelings about the United Nations and there was too much "slavish faith" in the organisation without sufficient examination of its record.

"Never mind that but I remind you, I ask you to remember my record on race.

"In all my years in broadcasting I have defended Maori against the bigots. I have never joined the Maori bashing brigade, I have never been part of that, I have never worked that end of the market."

However, Holmes had a crack at other, unnamed broadcasters for what he called "coded racism."

"So much racism is coded. You hear it in other broadcasters. I know the codes. I have never gone there either. I have never been part of that. I have never judged people on how or where they were born.

"I celebrate difference and I look for similarities in people."

Holmes said he loved the variety of people coming to New Zealand to find new lives which he called "the great ethnic mix" who brought colour and vibrancy.

He said he defended the Tampa boat people when the public thought they should be sent away.

He said he defended the Middle Eastern people and the African people who came to New Zealand.

"I am no racist. I am no Maori basher. I hate racism, well in fact more than hate it. I laugh at it. I think it is absurd but by God it is out there.

"But anyway I am not going to fight you on those comments yesterday. They offended some people deeply I know and I am very upset about that.

"Whatever I was trying in the full flight of a radio programme didn't work and I know it didn't and I am sorry," Holmes said.