A Facebook tribute from Chris Luxon mostly in Māori and dedicated to the late Joe Hawke, has earned the National leader a backlash from disgruntled social media users, resulting in a tirade of anti-Maori, anti-Te Reo and full-blown conspiracy theorist racist remarks.
Luxon’s post started with a Māori tribute to Hawke and then an English part, which showed an appreciation for Hawke's life and his work.
Eventually, the post started gaining support for Luxon’s efforts in doing the right thing and showing respect to well known Māori advocate.
Hazel Dunn said: “Thanks for posting in te reo, Good to see politicians embracing te reo”.
Albert Numanga said: “Kudos to you Christopher for showing respect to a much respected Māori Leader like Joe Hawke – time to shine Mr Luxon.”
Charles Williams said: “Kia Kaha Chris, Don't worry about the racists in here, most are getting on in age .... Hoping the next generation will be a bit better.”
The post was met by a large number of commenters objecting to the use of te reo Māori to remember a Māori leader who fought for Māori rights.
Maurice Flecther said: “Really? Chris why are you also trying to placate the minority by talking Māori? Joe Hawke was not in any way great to a lot of New Zealanders."
Craig Stace said: “Stop talking and pandering to a minority, you just lost my vote.”
Arthur Eagle said: “Speak English ffs so sick of Māori stuff."
Cheryl McGinness said: “Please – English only – perhaps this once it is ok."
The post has been up for almost 20 hours and has nearly a thousand comments.
Luxon's office has been asked for comment on the post.