In recent years maoris have increasingly figured in television advertising. To the best of my knowledge, without exception, they’re always shown as obese Billy T James character types, specifically buffoons.

The latest from the Transport Department has a fat maori driver engaging in a Billy T type send-up speech, the giggling rising inflexion with every sentence ending in a soprano “eh.”

Billy T sent everyone up, not just maoris. Sometimes he played an ordinary supplementary role as part of his skits, as say a bishop or bank manager or whatever, and talked correctly, fitting the role.

But we all loved him for his humour regardless of what role he played.

Maoris should be hugely offended by this constant buffoon representation in television advertising.

We all have maori friends and acquaintances. Do any talk this way? Certainly I know none who do.


To be perfectly honest , it didn’t occur to me that the fast driver was Maori . I was more horrified by his obsession with muffins . Those things are full of sugar . He’ll more likely die a slow and nasty death from diabetes type 2 complications than from a quick death in his V8 .

I have Maori friends and family members who rarely display these traits, except in the case of two of the younger male members, who reduce themselves to this street talk with lots of “Churr Bro” comments that I don’t really understand. I’m never let in on the joke as I’m too old, too European, too conservative. Their interactions with me are normal and we have laughs together without buffoonery, except that I talk like voices from the Goon Show sometimes …

Also, if you counted the number of maori that feature in advertising in New Zealand you would think we have a population of maori in the majority rather than 15% ish they currently occupy.

A similar number of mixed race relationships, homosexual relationships and gender confused appearing on television shows in the US and around the world has led to a perception that such things are more common than they are.



As an aside, I find that the bulk of shows on television seem to show women as particularly stupid and the advertisements generally show men as the idiots.

    I’m constantly bemused by the number of ads shown here that feature people of African heritage. How many such people actually live in NZ? Next to bugger all.

What staggers me is the majority of advertisements on television have the token Maori and the family is now portraited as being of mixed race. Is this the truth or am I a conspiracy theorist/terrorist?

What …does teacher say we can ?
…ok… they’re all bananas !

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