New Delhi: The New Zealand High Commissioner has apologized for the racist remarks made by a talk show host in New Zealand against Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.
Rupert Holborow said, "As New Zealand's High Commissioner to India, I would like to convey my deep regret for the hurt these comments have caused...these remarks were culturally insensitive, inappropriate and vulgar. They reflect the views of only one media commentator (who has already been censored for other racist and unacceptable comments), and certainly not the New Zealand Government or people." (Read full statement)
Holborow was summoned by India's Ministry of Foreign Affairs earlier this morning so India could formally complain about the remarks made by Paul Henry earlier this week. Henry made offensive remarks on air about how Dikshit's name should be pronounced. He also made derogatory remarks about Indians.
After the meeting with the New Zealand envoy, the Indian government has said it hopes New Zealand will take action against Henry. "It was conveyed to him that the Government strongly and unequivocally denounces the racist remarks of the journalist in question. It is shocking that such bigoted views have been aired by representative of a mainstream media organization of a multiethnic democracy like New Zealand," said a government statement. (Official Govt Statement)
Recently, Henry had also mocked on his show New Zealand Governor General Sir Anand Satyanand, who is of Indian origin. (Read: Racial slur against Indian-origin official in New Zealand)
Henry has reportedly been suspended by his TV station.
In a statement to NDTV, TVNZ said on Wednesday that "the video of Henry attacking Dikshit "has been removed from our website. The incident has been the subject of a small number of formal complaints, which means TVNZ's complaints committee must consider whether there has been a breach of the standards set out by the Broadcasting Standards Authority. This is a government body operating under the Broadcasting Act".