Henry’s resignation has closed “sad and regrettable” episode: Kiwi PM

Monday, October 11, 2010

WELLINGTON - New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has said that the resignation of TVNZ presenter Paul Henry for his ‘racist’ comments against Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has closed a “sad and regrettable” episode.

The racial comments made by Henry sparked a record number of complaints to TVNZ and drew criticism from the Race Relations Commissioner, politicians, ethnic and community organisations besides thousands of people.

The Video Extras section of TVNZ’s website promoted the Dikshit clip, which now appears to have been removed, under the heading “Paul Henry laughs about the name Dikshit”.

“The dip sh*t woman. God, what’s her name? Dick S**t. Is it Dick S**t … it looks like ‘Dick S**t’. It’s so appropriate, because she’s Indian, so she’d be dick-in-shit wouldn’t she, do you know what I mean? Walking along the street … it’s just so funny,” Henry said.

“Mr Henry’s resignation brings closure to the matter and we should now put it behind us,” Key said through a spokeswoman.

Stuff.co.nz quoted him as saying that the government had not made contact with TVNZ over the affair.

“Those decisions are made by the management and board of TVNZ. We didn’t step in,” Key told Breakfast this morning.

He said although TVNZ was state-owned, the Government wanted it to be commercial.

“Went want them to rate well and to do well and ultimately, pay us dividends. We have fiercely defended that principle, that TVNZ like Radio New Zealand - has statutory independence from the government,” Key said.

ey said Henry’s resignation would help repair any damage caused to international relations with India, but it needed to be remembered that the comments were from one person.

The relationship between the countries was good, and the developing of any future free trade agreements would be because of a wide range of reasons, he said. (ANI)

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