A young middle class Maori woman bumps into an old white working class millionaire at a snobby winery on the Republic of Waiheke – shit I’m not caring about today

By   /   January 4, 2017  /   23 Comments

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Christ on a bicycle, the Prime Minister of Israel threatened us with war last week and the media couldn’t even bring themselves to investigate that, Peter Leitch brainfarts something thoughtless after an afternoon on the sauce and that’s front page fucking news?

Cue eye rolling now…

Mad Butcher: Comments ‘misinterpreted’

Sir Peter Leitch says a woman “misinterpreted some light-hearted banter” after she claimed he made racist remarks yesterday.

Auckland woman Lara Bridger posted a video on social media this afternoon claiming Sir Peter – the Mad Butcher – told her Waiheke Island was a “white man’s island”.

She last night took down the video, saying “people were going a bit overboard with threats and racist comments” at Sir Peter in response to her post.

The 23-year-old Maori woman said she was wine tasting with her mother and sister at Stonyridge Vineyard when they spotted Sir Peter eating lunch with his family.

The group waved to him before heading outside, she said.

She says Sir Peter came out and approached them and began making conversation.

Bridger said Sir Peter had warned the group not to drink and drive before going on to say they must not be local.

“I go ‘Yeah, I’m actually born here’. That’s when he said ‘Well this is a white man’s island and you should acknowledge that’,” she said.

Sir Peter, in a press statement, said he was “extremely disappointed that a young woman on Waiheke Island had misinterpreted some light-hearted banter he had with her”.

“I was joking with her group about not drinking too much because there were lots of police on the island. She said that she was Tangata Whenua and could do what she liked, and I responded with a joke about it being a white man’s island also.

“This was not a serious comment and was only ever intended to be light-hearted banter.

“When she later informed me she was offended by my comment I apologised unreservedly. There is no way I can ever be accused of being rascist.

“The irony is that I was with my own granddaughter, who is herself of Ngapuhi heritage.”

Leitch’s Facebook page was flooded with angry posts from members of the public after Bridger posted the video.

Bridger’s mother, Sarndra Wharepapa, earlier told the Herald she had got up and went inside to speak to him after “a good five minutes” of mulling over what he’d said.

“I just said to him ‘I really think what you’ve just said to my daughter is unacceptable. I’m quite offended that you could talk to my daughters like that’.”

Bridger was upset and tearful over the incident, saying it was the first time she had experienced anything like it.

She said he did not offer an apology or try to explain why he made the comment.

The group said the manager approached them after the incident and offered them a free wine tasting tour as compensation.

…bloody Leitch, he was probably pissed after an afternoon on the booze at a posh winery and he’s made some stupid ill thought out brainfart and now he’s the target of a social media pile on because Christ we love a feeding frenzy on Twitter.

So a young middle class Maori woman bumps into an old white working class millionaire at a snobby winery on the Republic of Waiheke and all of a sudden Leitch is a cross burning member of the National Front.

His comment is stupid but hardly racist, the social media pile on would have you believe this butcher is so racist, this is how his sheep are dressed…

…now as a cis white male who is a member of the heteropatriarchy, I’m not allowed to have an opinion on the feels of a 23 year old woman, but if I was allowed an opinion, it would seem to me that being told by everyone’s favourite working class butcher that the rich play estate of Waiheke Island with its numerous expensive wineries was a ‘white mans Island’ was more a statement of fact than evidence of a card carrying member of the KKK.

The young woman herself claims that she was ‘upset and tearful over the incident’.

Upset and tearful?

Over that?

Upset and tearful?

I’d imagine the children of Aleppo were upset and tearful.

I’d imagine the refugees drowning in the Mediterranean were upset and tearful.

I’d even imagine the Native American’s being hit by water cannons, teargas and dogs at Standing Rock would be upset and tearful.

But being upset and tearful by Leitch’s comments while sipping wines at an elitist venue like the bloody Stonyridge Vineyard is bordering on middle class precious.

But again, as a cis white male who is a member of the heteropatriarchy, I’m not allowed to have an opinion on the feels of a 23 year old woman.

The 41 000 homeless, the 2 generations locked out of home ownership, the 300 000 kids living in poverty and the 10 000 inmates – many of whom are Maori however will look at Peter’s comments and struggle to understand why this is even a bloody news story.

Christ on a bicycle, the Prime Minister of Israel threatened us with war last week and the media couldn’t even bring themselves to investigate that, Peter Leitch brainfarts something thoughtless after an afternoon on the sauce and that’s front page fucking news?

But let’s take her at her word and she was in fact upset and tearful by Peter’s pretty innocuous comment. If she was really upset and tearful let’s start an immediate crowd funding project to wrap her in bubble wrap so that she never has to encounter anything remotely offensive to her obvious sensitivity to interacting with anyone like Peter ever again.

Forgot the boy in the bubble, we gots us a girl in bubble wrap folks.

The only takeaway from this sad little event is that social media pile-ons over any perceived outrage tend to be intellectual sophistry at best or just an opportunity to threaten and belittle at worst.

I’m far less concerned about the feels of the preciously middle class inside a snobby winery and far more focused on those who can’t afford to even get into the winery in the first place.

 

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23 Comments

  1. Ben says:

    Then why are you writing a bleeding article about it Martyn?

    • In Vino says:

      Because it is a good, fair criticism of the drivel that you seem happy to accept as big-time news, Ben.

  2. Heather says:

    Agree that it would be good to have more analysis of real issues.

  3. james says:

    “I’m not allowed to have an opinion on the feels of a 23 year old woman”

    For good reason apparently.

  4. Geoff Lye says:

    Because mainstream media is so damn pathetic and not doing their jobs thats why.

  5. doc says:

    Because Martin thinks Maoris should just take racist jokes at their expence on the chin, be good little Maori boys and girls and just laugh it off. A joke maybe but it still hurts.

  6. I’m disgusted. He’s lost me as a fan

  7. Ure Kismet says:

    Bradbury misses the point big time. It doesn’t matter what the woman’s feelings were and not just because something as subjective as that can never be judged fairly not by Bradbury or anyone else.. none of us will ever know what the sum total of Ms Bridger’s life experiences are, much less whether she ‘should’ be feeling the way she expressed she was.

    What matters is that in 2017 a self proclaimed media figure felt so empowered aby his fame over the rest of us, that he determined making a racial slight to a complete stranger whose own unwhiteness was clearly apparent for all to see, was OK, that it was a ‘joke’.
    Leitch has been around the traps long enough to know that some so-called
    Using jokes in a conversation between two people who don’t know each other is a really bad idea unless the ‘joker knows enough of the straightman/woman to be certain the subject is neutral in the sense that it will not be likely to stir up any emotion other than laughter. Trying to force an unknown member of Tangata Whenua to enjoy the humour of colonialism can never be neutral – ever.

    In fact, about 100 years ago when I was attending a training course on cross-cultural communication prior to getting ‘out there’ into a particularly remote part of the world, one thing the old hands drummed in was “don’t be trying to lighten things up by tryin humour – every culture has a different idea of humour – sometimes it is only subtlely different sometimes the gap is huge but trying to joke is just too open to misinterpretation – don’t do it unless you and the other party know & trust each other.”

    Why should Ms Bridger ‘have’ to accept that the notion that the island she was born on now being whitefella territory is amusing?
    I don’t find it the least bit funny myself. I find it very sad that a part of Aotearoa that was once the ideal spot for ordinary kiwis of whatever ethnicity to relax seemingly hours away from the madness of Auckland, but in fact only a short ferry journey, has become so entrenched as the exclusive playground for wealthy exploiters, that we should all just quietly accept it – even laugh about it.

  8. mary_a says:

    Leitch’s comment can be taken two ways.

    First, he might have meant that Waiheke has been taken over by (rich) whites, which is true.

    Secondly, with a skinful of booze and flapping his mouth off as he’s inclined to do at times, Leitch might have intended for his comment to be racial, referring to seeing the Maori woman in an upmarket vineyard, a domain solely inhabited by rich white men and women.

    Whichever means it was intended, I can see how the comments could be interpreted either way.

    However, I don’t believe this topic deserves to commandeer headlines, particularly when there are far more important issues going on both here in NZ and around the world.

  9. Richard Christie says:

    If the vineyard should had provided trigger free safe spaces this would never have happened.

  10. […] the means time, the Twitter Elites have convinced me I was wrong to be critical for asking if this was just another example of lazy journalism based on … and they’re right – Peter is a filthy racist – let’s boycott his shops, […]

  11. Martin Takarangi says:

    Hardly news worthy, Leitch is simply stating fact we Maori are a little too precious with this type of quip. Better to arm oneself with a handful of one liners that make others think. My response would have been “well for a thousand years this was our domain and playground so after only 150yrs im here to show you your time will soob be up lol”

  12. DennyPaoa Takere says:

    Are you fucking serious with this article? Or are you you as fucked in the head as the “Mad Butcher?” Really?

  13. Janine says:

    This young and very upset woman said that up until this incident she had not experienced racial bullying. A country where young people can grow to adulthood without being exposed to racism is a country to be proud of…. we need to make sure that NZ can be that country.

  14. Thadius says:

    Why is her being a “middle class Maori” taking on a rich white working class bore make her any less credible? And just because she is on a vineyard and not at a brewery you are saying that she is now middle class?

    Leitch has already commented that he is not drinking at the moment so there is no excuse of alcohol. Maybe he is just a dick.

  15. Romanes Line says:

    The problem is narcissism, not racism.

    Narcissism is why social media will never lead to world peace or any great movement of global understanding.

    Narcissist’s primarily crave attention at the expense of almost everything else. Narcissists think about themselves more than any other person or concept. Narcissists are motivated by mirrors: a narcissist only wants to see a flattering reflection and finds it difficult to cope with much more.

    Social media is less about true sociable intent, and more about hypnotising narcissists. Thus social media tools render narcissists utterly incapable of rejoining or influencing society in a meaningfull or well-balanced and reasonable way.

    Narcissism, as demonstrated in the Leitch-Bridger wine-tasting incident, prevails in online media regardless of race or age.

  16. millsy says:

    Miss Middle Class should have just told him to fuck off. Quick, easy and he would have slunk back to his table, well put in his place.

  17. Vlad the Impaler says:

    was Leitch’s comment racially / culturally irresponsible and insensitive? Yes. Was Wharepapa-Bridger’s reaction emotional? Yes. She should of punched him in the fucking face but instead she chose to blub on social media, which has completely undermined her credibility in this affair. People say dumb shit all the time and should be held accountable if the person they are saying it too gets offended by it. But trying to shame him out on farcebook makes you look unsophisticated. It’s not too far removed from parading him through the streets in a scolds bridle and having people spit at him. Why don’t you burn the witch as well?

  18. saveNZ says:

    Good post. This type of incident is front page news so that real injustice (including to Maori) never see the light of day. Similar with feminism, someone will make some comment and it’s everywhere, but articles about solving real feminist issues like pay gaps and valuing careers where women are more likely to be involved in like child care never see the front page. Personally tired of outraged people over some trivial incident while more important events are not dealt with and the resulting click bait frenzy from media.

  19. […] I joked that NZ could get a 72 hour news cycle out of the ‘Sir-Peter-Leitch-is-a-racist- butcher-and-we-should-hunt-down-his-family-because-a-23-year-o… I was being […]

  20. Mike the Lefty says:

    I don’t know what to make of the whole thing really. I personally don’t know the Mad Butcher well, but I have friends and relatives who do and they are scratching their heads about this one.
    They all say that racist comments would be completely out of character for Peter, but obviously something was said that upset Bridger.
    I feel that the only way this can be resolved would be for the two to tell the MSM to piss off and have a PRIVATE meeting.

    • Anne says:

      … but obviously something was said that upset Bridger.

      I’m picking it was the way it was said that upset her.

  21. Mike in Auckland says:

    Facebook = Fakebook, Twitter = Twit err

    Idiocy rules these days, as every Tom, Dick and Harry, or the equal types of the female gender, can these days grandstand by claiming whatever they like on those forums, and pretend they are sooo important.

    That is why I criticise the also failing MSM, we need a return to good, solid, independent and quality media, that reports on what matters, that researches and investigates, and that dares report the damned truth on politicians and others, not for sensationalism and ratings, but for keeping our damned society transparent and bloody honest.

    This story got much too much petrol poured into the fire.


 
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