New Zealand Prime Minister John Key was facing heavy criticism Thursday after making a cannibalistic comment about a Maori tribe for the second time in a week.
Key angered the Tuhoe, a tribe of Maori, on Monday after ruling out turning over part of a national park to the tribe as part of a treaty settlement, according to a Radio New Zealand report.
On Tuesday, during a dinner meeting with another Maori tribe, the Ngati Porou, Key said he was glad he was with them instead of with the Tuhoe, who would have made him the main course. He repeated the remark as a joke during a meeting with tourism officials in Auckland on Thursday.
"The good news is that I was having dinner with Ngati Porou as opposed to their neighbouring iwi, which is Tuhoe, in which case I would have been dinner, which wouldn't have been quite so attractive," Key was quoted as saying.
Asked later about the remark, Key said he was sure the Tuhoe would get the joke, Radio New Zealand reported. The prime minister’s office characterized the remark as flippant and light-hearted, according to a New Zealand Herald report.
Key later issued an apology. "Ah look, it was a light-hearted joke, a bit of self-deprecating humour - but if anyone is offended, then I deeply apologise," Radio New Zealand quoted him as saying.
But Tuhoe chief negotiator Tamati Kruger wasn’t laughing or very forgiving.
"I'm just astounded that the prime minister can make light of what we regard as a very, very serious situation regarding ... our future relationships with the Crown. I don't think it's becoming at all of a prime minister," Radio New Zealand quoted Kruger as saying.
Kruger went further in the New Zealand Herald report.
"It gives me the sense that whatever we say or do he will never, ever take it seriously,” Kruger said in the Herald report. "He is affirming a rigidness which is not really in the spirit of good faith negotiations. He is really going to force Tuhoe into a position that makes us look like the bad guys.”
Actually, I just cracked up and find the joke very funny.
Fuyuko – I agree with your statement.
People DO need to develop thicker skins. Cuz it will make em less tender.
Cannibals only like tender tidbits.
Important safety tip everyone: develop thicker skin... before traveling to Maori.
4 out of 5 Cannibals agree
vegetarians taste better
I work with a lady who is a Maori from New Zealand. She is always joking about having us over for dinner.
"Minority whiners" aside. Don't you think after you've just refused to honor part of treaty settlement (which is pretty @#%@%^ up in itself) you should not be such an @#%@%#!?! Not to mention if you know all the other history on the Maori. I do have to say, they seem to have been treated slightly better than American Indians were but –
I mean really – Mr. Keys and his ilk are illegal immigrants to the Maori. lol.
NoMercy: "Minority whiners are the same all over the world."
Do you feel the same way about the white farmers in South Africa?
Self-deprecating? Is this idiot saying that he makes fun of himself the cannibal? Someone needs to give him a clown costume and set him loose.
good god people – lighten up! they DID practice cannabalism, so they must take the jokes that come their way! why are we so sensitive to the feelings of a formerly cannabalistic race of people. btw, they also decapitated their dead relatives and placed the heads (tattooed to the bone) around the house to honor the spirits.
Are the Tuhoe cannibals?
@Steve – We (Maori) have in the past been cannibals. Don't assert that which you don't actually know.
Why did the cannibal live on his own? He was fed up with other people.
@Joanna That's funny, when I look it up, it says 80% do work. While their unemployment rate is slightly more than double the national population rate – it is still obvious that you pulled numbers out of your @!#.... maybe you should remedy that. Facts are your friend.
Back to the history class or we'll send you to New Zealand. Maori were cannibals and they loved meat named Steve. Since it's strongly believed they're descended from the Taiwanese, they probably liked meat named Boots, too!
Good sense of humor includes some tolerance.It would be a boring world to live in if we refrain from making jokes just because we are afraid to offend somebody. I am russian and I don't get offended every time somebody makes a joke about russians guzzling vodka and stumbling outside to sleep it off in a snow bank.
whats the difference between John Key and a container of yogurt
there is active culture in yogurt!