The Mai Morning Crew address the comments made by John Banks

Headlines 28/01/2021

On Tuesday morning, former MP John Banks was hosting a radio show on Magic Talk. During the show, Banks had a caller on the phone that shared some of the most disgustingly racist views you'll ever hear on modern radio waves.

The comments were: 

"This notion that Māori are victims... they're victims of their own genetic background. They're genetically predisposed to crime, alcohol and underperformance," the caller can be heard saying. 

"Educationally, they just do not have the - they're Stone Age people from a Stone Age culture and I'm not interested one bit, and neither have my children been interested in, their Stone Age culture." 

Banks then chimed in: "Just a minute, just a minute. Your children need to get used to their Stone Age culture because if their Stone Age culture doesn't change, these people will come through your bathroom window... exactly, Richard. And thanks for the call." 

Hearing these comments in any circumstance is heart-breaking, but perhaps what makes this particularly heartbreaking for us as a whānau, and as a radio station, is that these comments were made in the very same building we work in.

Like Magic Talk, we work under the banner of Mediaworks, which means that we work one floor down from where those comments were broadcast.

However we were first established by Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, who we still have a very close relationship and partnership with. Many of our announcers and staff, including the person writing this article, are Māori.

So for us to hear our people being referred to as a 'Stone Age' culture in our own building is profoundly hurtful, and something some of us have had difficulty processing. To know that this kind of rhetoric can still be broadcast to the masses shows how far we still have to go as a country, but you can find comfort in the knowledge that this kind of ideology is dying out.

It's ironic to think that the absolute dinosaur of a caller says Māori are gentically inferior yet his ideology suggests his genetics have only allowed him the brain capacity of a Neanderthal.  

Nothing gives us more pride than our whakapapa, we are Māori, and we will not be silenced. 

Our awesome Morning Crew addressed these comments this morning, check the video out up top.