It is beyond funny watching the woke spitting the dummy and causing the cancellation of a Maori artist’s work after a Labour Maori MP howled in outrage over the alleged racism of the art:

A health pamphlet that put a moko on a cartoon Covid-19 virus – shown getting “the boot” – was designed by a Maori artist and consulted on.

The now withdrawn booklet from the Bay of Plenty District Health Board urged people to “give Covid-19 the boot” and attracted huge numbers of complaints.

Cartoon images depicted the virus with a moko [traditional Maori tattoo]; one showed the moko-wearing virus was being kicked by a Pakeha man in gumboots alongside the words: Let’s give Covid-19 the boot! Another featured a person in full Covid-style protective equipment standing on top of the virus, with a tewhatewha [a traditional Maori weapon] in hand.

The brochure was pulled after negative reaction, and the DHB chief executive said he was “absolutely appalled by the imagery”.

DHB board chair Sharon Shea saw the brochure on Thursday night and found it offensive and wrong, she said in a statement.

“Since last night, I have been informed it was designed by a Maori artist, and had input from Maori marketing specialists and it had gone through an approval process, including consultation with some local iwi,” she said on Friday.

“However, it is clear that the process was not as robust as needed, and this design has caused offence. On this occasion, we have failed our Maori community, and we apologise. It’s not good enough.”

The DHB apologised for use of the “inappropriate design”, saying it will destroy the material and not use the design again.

It’s an unwanted distraction from getting as many Maori vaccinated as possible, given increased risks from Covid-19, Te Runanga Hauora Maori o Te Moana a Toi chair Linda Steel said.

The group, a Te Tiriti governance partner which takes in 17 iwi, “fully tautoko” the health board’s decision to get rid of the “totally offensive material” and urgently review the process.

[We] are beyond offended that the most sacred part of our tinana [body] has been depicted in this manner and unreservedly apologise to all our whanau, hapu, iwi and hapori communities.”

Labour list MP Tamati Coffey raised concerns with DHB board chair Sharon Shea on Thursday night.

He told Stuff he was worried widespread offence could hamper vaccine efforts, given there’s some vaccine hesitancy among Maori.

“Anything that gives Maori people a reason to screw their noses up does put in jeopardy the good work the Ministry of Health has been doing,” he said.

On Facebook he called the publicity material wrong on so many levels.

Putting mataora [full face tattoos] on a Covid virus “sends weird signals. And could be seen as racist”, he wrote.

And because mataora is a tapu [sacred] practice which demands respect, nothing with a mataora should be stood on or kicked.

As soon as he saw the imagery on Thursday evening “the red light went off”, he told Stuff.

It seemed wrong and had “shades of the bad old days” when Maori heads were treated as curiosity exhibit items.


Look at all the cringing tokenism on display, and all expressed before they realised that not only was the artwork created by a Maori artist, but there was also consultation on the brochure conducted with local iwi.

Presumably, both the iwi and the Maori artist were suitably compensated for their work.

If my memory of history serves me correctly; Didn’t the ancient Maori navigators test positive for Covid on their waka when exploring Antarctica? They were then ordered to dock in either Te Ika a Maui or Te Wai Pounamu (being the two regional MIQ facilities at the time) for hundreds of years. The unvaccinated Moriori security contingent all tested positive as a result much to the concern of Chief Hardenerli, and that really was the end of them. Nothing at all like the colonialist lies to do with cannibalism and slavery of said guards.

Wait, I get it now, it’s all part of He Puapua. As well as control of water and language and government and history, Maori also want ownership of the virus that Jacinda is using to control us.

This whole saga is a great metaphor for the infestation of He Puapua, even though it isn’t Government policy…not really.

Photoshopped image credit Wibble. The BFD.

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Woke Outrage Led by Maori MP Cancels Maori Artist’s Work
Cam Slater

Cam Slater

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news,...