Sir Bob Jones threatens legal action against anti-racist petition

Your Sunday 11/02/2018

Sir Bob Jones has threatened legal action against filmmaker Renae Maihi, after she started a petition to have him stripped of his knighthood.

Some 40,000 signatories have reportedly endorsed the petition, which follows Sir Bob's controversial National Business Review Column calling for a Maori Gratitude Day to replace Waitangi Day as a national holiday.

Sir Bob Jones joined RadioLIVE's Ryan Bridge on Your Sunday and said that his column was clearly satirical and he would sue Ms Maihi for defamation.

NBR pulled the column, entitled 'Time for a Troll', shortly after it was posted online, but it had already created a public stir.

Sir Bob Jones' NBR column. Photo credit: Newshub.

Ms Maihi, one of eight Maori female directors behind the feature film Waru, insisted Sir Bob should held accountable for his "hate speech".

But the former businessman and politician has come out swinging.

For God's sake, if anyone can take that literally, they've got serious problems.

"It's basically a mickey-take on issues of the day," he said.

"I will be issuing proceedings against this woman for defamation, because I take particular exception when she uses the word 'hate'. I don't hate anyone."

It's childish to say this is hate speech.

"It's obviously facetious," insists Sir Bob. "Breakfast in bed? Come on, grow up.

"We're going to serve notice on her - obviously I'd be seen as a bully if I sue her for a million dollars, so I'll sue her for, say, $20,000 - and she can have her day in court."

When asked if he feared for his knighthood, Sir Bob dismissed the possibility of losing it.

"I can tell you right now, it's not going to happen. You may as well ask me if I would be upset if my head fell off."

Listen to the full interview with Sir Bob Jones above.

Your Sunday with Ryan Bridge, 10am-2pm Sunday on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.