Renae Maihi takes the stand in defamation case

By Heta Gardiner
Renae Maihi testifies in court. Source - File.

Filmmaker Renae Maihi took the stand today in her own defence, in a case taken against her for defamation by writer Sir Bob Jones.

Maihi, who at times was on the verge of tears during her testimony, reaffirmed her belief that Sir Bob Jones’ article publish in 2018 calling for a “Māori Gratitude Day” was racist. She also refuted Sir Bob Jones’ statements earlier in the week that Maihi was attention seeking.

“I wholeheartedly refute the allegation that I spoke out because I was seeking attention. I have in no way enjoyed the attention, nor the publicity that came with starting the petition, and being involved with this proceeding.” Maihi says.

Some of Sir Bob Jones' friends took the stand in his defence today, one of which was former Human Rights Commissioner Dame Margaret Clark. 

“Some of his writings are not necessarily my flavour, in the sense that the humour can be a bit heavy handed especially in his novels, and I'm not much of a novel reader, but I do not believe for a minute that Sir Bob is racist in thought, mind or deed," Dame Margaret says.

Maihi will return to the stand tomorrow.