TJ Perenara calls Hurricanes board member's comments about Māori 'insulting'

Source: 1News

All Blacks and Hurricanes halfback TJ Perenara has labelled comments by a part owner of the franchise about Māori "insulting".

Jason Holland believes Perenara still wants to be a Hurricane and All Black, not an NRL rookie.

Troy Bowker stands by accusing Sir Ian Taylor of “sucking up to the left Māori-loving agenda” after the animation entrepreneur posted a picture saying NZ’s Olympic success on the water was in their DNA.

Taylor wrote a post on LinkedIn a week ago commenting on National leader Judith Collins’ suggestion to have a referendum on the name of the country.

“This could be a wonderful message for Judith and her friends who want a referendum on the name Aotearoa,” Taylor wrote.

“Our Polynesian ancestors set out across the Pacific Ocean, Te Moana Nui a Kiwa, at the same time that the Egyptians were building the pyramids, and arrived here to a place they called the Land of the Long White Cloud (that's Aotearoa Judith) 600 years before a Dutchman sailed by, without bothering to stop, claiming this already inhabited land as his by simply adding the word "New" to the place he called home .. ‘Zeeland’.”If we are going to have a debate about naming rights let's do it fully informed about the amazing feat of the Pacific Voyagers who named the whenua where they settled.”

Taylor’s post was accompanied with an image of a Captain Cook-era ship and a Māori canoe with a caption asking: “How come NZ excels on the water in yachting rowing, kayaking etc?”

“Answer: Our ancestral DNA,” was written by the picture of the Māori canoe.

Bowker slammed the post in a reply.

“What a load of absolute nonsense! Another example of European NZers not being proud of their own ancestors and sucking up to the left Māori loving agenda. FFS. Wake up NZ,” he wrote.

Bowker and Taylor continued the exchange in the comments with the Hurricanes part-owner at one point asking the animation entrepreneur: “what percentage Maori are you?”

“Please show some pride and respect for the achievements of your own ancestors like the Maori do. Worshipping Maori like you are doing is disrespectful to your other ancestors,” he continued.

In a statement to 1 NEWS yesterday, Bowker said he stood by the comments, although the Hurricanes have distanced themselves, saying as he wasn't an employee there was nothing they could do.

Now, one of their leading players has slammed Bowker's comments

"Troy Bowker’s comments with their underlying racism are insulting," Perenara wrote on Twitter.

"I’ve begun conversations with other players and management, and expect these conversations to continue over the coming days.

"As with other franchises, Hurricanes players past and present have come from a range of different backgrounds. Our collective identities have long provided us with a source of strength and pride.

"The mental, emotional, and cultural safety of our players is crucial and needs to be assured. Our supporters deserve better and should be able to back us without feeling conflicted.

Right now I can’t see how these things can happen if the status quo is maintained, and am seeking answers as to what the next steps are. Tūngia te ururua kia tupu, whakaritorito te tupu o te harakeke. Mauri ora."