Prejudice against Pasifika players offside

The New Zealand Herald was right to call “offensive” Andy Haden’s suggestion that the Crusaders rugby team has done better by having fewer Polynesians in the team. After claiming the Crusaders had a quota of three Polynesian players Haden said “and it’s worked”.

This prejudicial attitude is not new, particularly in Haden’s Auckland where some rugby fans have blamed the high number of Pasifika players for the poor performance of the Blues. Richard Boock described this feeling in a Sunday Star-Times column back in 2008. He described it as “a desperate backlash from an element who are clearly losing touch with the modern world. Presumably they feel the same way about Pacific Islanders fulfilling other roles in the community as well. I’m pretty sure there’s a name for that.”

I have looked at the recruitment pattern of the Crusaders and the statistics don’t support Haden’s claim about Pacific Island players. There have been plenty in the side. You would expect a fairly high European composition given that Canterbury is much whiter than the northern provinces. To their credit, the Crusaders have relied more on local players than most other Super 14 franchises, which has enhanced the strong community backing for the team – one of the secrets of their success. Canterbury-bred players, whatever their ethnicity, might also be a bit tougher than their Auckland counterparts. I speak as someone who regularly played schoolboy rugby on Saturday mornings in Hagley Park. It was a bit rugged being tackled on fields that still had ice on them.

It was wrong in the first place to appoint Andy Haden as an ‘ambassador’ for the rugby World Cup. Green Party Sport and Recreation Spokesperson Kevin Hague pointed out that Haden organized the 1986 Cavaliers rugby tour to apartheid South Africa and called the NZRU’s apology to Maori players a “waste of time”. Now after claiming having fewer “darkies” helps a team, Haden has to be sacked.

46 Comments Posted

  1. I really don’t understand why you boys get so exercised about a bunch of overgrown schoolkids chasing a bag of wind round a paddock. Rugby, in all its codes, is nothing more than regulated thuggery and Hayden’s redneck comments were both appropriate to, and entirely in the spirit of the game.

  2. I’ve a wry-necked goose I’ve named ‘Rankin’, a flint-eyed turkey called ‘Tolley’ and a donkey that I just can’t think of a name for.
    It’s a sad menagerie indeed.
    Oh, and a great brown lump of dough that smells oddly of coal that I’ve dubbed ‘Gerry’. It’s a blot on my landscape but is too massive to lift. It’s gradually wearing away though and I expect it won’t be a problem for much longer.

  3. Occasionally the odd pearl appears among the turds over at the sewer. Like this one:

    For starters, the Crusaders coach is Todd Blackadder – a clear reference to his role in counting the number of “darkies” in the team.

  4. Scratch off a few milimitres of skin.. were are all the same colour.. bro’s & sis’s…. racism isn’t on the skin, its between the ears.


  5. …he apparently has many important international contacts and influence…

    You mean the former members of the Afrikaner Broederbond, sprout?

  6. Haden wil not be dropped because he apparently has many important international contacts and influence. I thought we had well and truely moved on from the racist, white elitist and colonialist behaviours of past decades…obviously not, people like Haden must still be in controlling positions. This debacle reveals much about our current sport administration.

  7. The rugby management must be pretty thin on SNAGS- sensitive new age guys, if they think they have to keep this racist in his position.
    Even worse, is that they are exposing the World Cup management of rugby to further shame if he comes out with another comment. McCaulley is in league obviously and Haden is a cretin.

  8. Even more on topic…
    Just got three new chickens, one white, one black and one brown.
    Kate ,with a nod to Blackadder( the Edmond version, not the Todd one)
    You like?

  9. I fear I may have inadvertently dragged this off-thread. I certainly didn’t intend a debate about the merits of (and demerits at) Kiwiblog.

    Back on topic, I see Haden has offered an apology (of sorts – “If it’s offended anyone, I’m sorry.” isn’t a real apology – it’s the same sort of bogus apology Key gave over his “I would have been the dinner” Tuhoe quip).

    And McCully says all is now good, and Haden can keep his rugby ambassador job.

    If Haden’s darkies comment had been a one-off, and his apology had been a proper one (like “What I said was deeply offensive, and I’m sorry”) I would have more sympathy for McCully’s decision.

    But Haden has a long histoty of snuggling up to racism, including actively promoting sporting contacts with South Africa during the apartheid era. His “darkies” comment demonstrated he hasn’t changed. He is simply not the man for the job, and McCully should have sacked him.

  10. stephensmikm impersonating Mr Farrar?
    All it took was a latex body suit (size: Generous)
    Wore it as I typed.
    I care not one wit for my turfing-off, but Toad is right.
    My sins, for which I was ejected, were using polite humour.
    Not something that sits well with the humourless impolite.
    Most telling for you, presuming that you are an observant mikm, are bj chip’s comments, given that he’s an intelligent gentleman, not prone to losing his rag. I do have a copy of the correspondence in question, but it’s face up on the bottom of my budgie cage.

  11. I generally do not visit simply on principle. Casting pearls before swine is rather less useful than most activities, and my time is limited. If one of them comes here, they can get answers.

    Going there is like wading into sh!t to wrestle with pigs.


  12. jeez – i wouldn’t go to kiwibog on principle
    the right are so tiresome
    cos dey wrong
    many of our poets have said it
    fed up,
    f**k’d and
    far from home
    too bad your govt- see’s fit to divide you; in case
    you might all agree

  13. @toad

    ahhhh come on… have a look at his demerit page, they’ve been banned quite often it’s just that he doesn’t regularly do big bans, only suspensions…whatever greenfly said must have been pretty nasty to be banned for life…There’s also the small fact that Mr Farrar now I think has just accepted they’ll just sue different isps or usernames to get their hate across

    @Greenfly , do you have a screen shot of your permanent’ban’ by any chance? that’s the best way to see whether there is genuine bias on Mr Farrar’s behalf? what it says there was that you were impersonating Mr Farrar…In my opinion that’s grounds for banning someone…if you try to slander or state incorrect views of theirs…trolling is another matter but impersonating people in my view is a nono!

  14. @stephensmikm 7:22 PM

    Kiwiblog is not a sewer. Farrar, although sometimes encouraging the wingnuts, I think, writes rational posts.

    Kiwiblog’s comments thread, however, is a sewer, because Farrar lets almost anything from the extreme right go there. He would say it is the name of “free speech”. Although, to his credit, he is starting to crack down on the homophobes.

    But there is a political bias. Commenters like our very own greenfly and someone called Roger Nome get banned for life there for minor indiscretions, while the likes of d4j, Hurf Durf, Redbaiter, and Murray there, who spout the vilest vitriol, often in foul language, occasionally get a wee slap on the wrist.

  15. I don’t know about NK; I expect not for the SU, nor China in 2008 for that matter. Do you not see anything about these events that is different than the Springbok tour in 1981 leading to the withdrawal of the ABs touting in 1986?

  16. Mr Locke criticised Mr Haden for organising a tour of private individuals goingto play the rugby team of an oppressive regime. I was wondering why he wasnt so critical against sporting contact with the Soviet Union (did he protest against the 1980 olympics in 1978 ande 1979) or North Korean sporting teams coming here.

  17. Honey Pot.
    Fly – stick with the trees, the bigger the better.
    Sam; you sly old fisherman
    I too, had a good life.

  18. “it’s not right to call Kiwiblog a sewer”
    Septic tank?
    Stephen’s got a point!

  19. Spent the day on the veranda (sunny)brewing a mighty fine dark ale from malted barley. We mashed the grist, lautered well to get the wort flowing through the grain bed, (as soon as it was bright we began sparging), collected the hot sweet wort in the fermenter and added hops, cooled the wort and pitched the yeast. All the while we sampled the previously bottled ales, lagers, whits and porters and planned for summer.
    Not a bad day by anyone’s reckoning.

  20. @toad

    I just gave you one downtick (not sure about the others) because I think it’s not right to call Kiwiblog a sewer, I would say you can call the comments section a sewer but …. when you regularly seem to be amongst the commentary? same toad? 😀

    I find the Ministers decision interesting though I haven’t watched this play out enough to consider whether the guy should be fired or into as a rugby ambassador…Paul Holmes is still a leading man in NZ for his little thing so you know…but as I said I haven’t followed this enough to be worth following it

  21. you tricky ol buggist sam!
    buckets free here toad – you poor nauseous buggist
    sounds ethical hey? fascist sop.
    Keith…… are u really a commo?
    intermarried with stalin and meouw?

    Toad; Learning to swallow, is perhaps the first step
    toward slavery
    Refuse all offers
    what killed
    Your Leader…rod donald eh?
    i was o’er seas
    pretend i don’t know

    rinse the bucket and bring it back….
    i should be wicketkeeping by then…
    straight thru to riverton ‘n all.
    (avoidance of all damnation obligatory)

  22. Strange that someone comes here and gives lots of down-ticks to previous commentors, but doesn’t have the guts to leave a comment as to why!

  23. rjs131, in what way is Andy Haden a regime? Or are Keith’s criticisms of Haden just an excuse to attack him for something unrelated.

  24. Mr Locke, why didnt you show the same degree of hostility to sporting contact with the Soviet Union during that time? I didnt see you get upset when a North Korean soccer side competed in a world cup here 2 years ago. Why are some regimes abhorrent, yet some are not?

  25. I agree with Keith regarding Haden’s unsuitability for the role and it does place a big question mark over the wisdom of any organisation that would appoint him in the first place.

  26. @ Toad “It’s a different story when supposedly representative, merit-selected teams are actually selected on a racially discriminatory basis.”
    It sure is! Any coach that doesn’t choose the best player on the basis of merit, but on the basis of race, isn’t just a racist but is a complete idiot and a total liability to a sporting team.

  27. If the poor performance of the Blues is because of the number of Pacific Island players, then why the hell do they keep selecting them for their team?

  28. Jon? Or his wine-slurping brother

    We have enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another”
    : Jonathan Swift: Irish author and foremost prose
    satirist, 1667-1745

  29. Key’s cannibal comment slots in here nicely.
    Christchurch – it’s a dark, dark place.

  30. I had a bit to do with Haden in the mid-1980s, when he was involved in organising the rebel “Cavaliers” tour of South Africa and later began to manage rugby players during the South African apartheid era.

    I found him arrogant, offensive and duplicitious then. It seems nothing has changed. Definitely not the sort of character who should be an “ambassador” for anything.

    I see nothing wrong with an ethnic group self-organising a team within a sporting code. I’d have no problem with a NZ Pakeha side, or an NZ Samoan side, or whatever. FFS, every Waitangi Day my RSA holds a Maori v Pakeha 8-ball tournament (those who identify as neither Maori or Pakeha pick the side they play for), and everyone thinks it is great fun.

    It’s a different story when supposedly representative, merit-selected teams are actually selected on a racially discriminatory basis.

  31. My God Sam – the ‘R’ word – we’re in for a long thread now….
    Don’t mind the idea of the ‘pakeha all blacks’ – my iwi friends would like a maori team in the world cup – might beat those froggies eh Gene?

  32. So it’s OK to have an overtly racist darkie rugby culture (the maori teams), but not OK to (maybe, possibly) have a covertly racist honkie rugby culture?
    I’d say neither is acceptable. Or should we have a Pakeha All Blacks? I hope not.
    Anyway it wasn’t his own policy that Haden was espousing, he was whistle-blowing on somebody else’s policy. His choice of words wasn’t exactly elegant, but it didn’t mince around either. Is ‘Darkie’ any more a derogatory term than ‘blondie’ or ‘homo’ or ‘ginga’? I guess it’s hard to tell, all depends on the attitude of the sender and the receiver.
    There was recently a guy that used the (undoubtedly derogatory) term ‘White muthafukkas’ Where were you then? Did I hear you calling for him to loose his job as a representative of our country?
    Oh, that’s right he’s a ‘darkie’, that’s OK then.
    Racism only works one way in this country.

  33. I took it as more of a comment on Mr Haden – no offense here – the man is pri-mordial and just a tiny bit swampy.
    You Kiwi’s are pretty afraid of the ‘R’ word eh?

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