Legal definition of hate speech may depend on who utters it.

by The REJIGIT Blog

Update 10 April, 2023

Update 09 March, 2023

The 2023 Auckland Arts Festival is under way and “The Savage Coloniser Show” premiers tonight at the Rangatira, Q Theatre.

On the Auckland Arts Festival online brochure “The Savage Coloniser Show” is described as “Creative learning for schools”.

A link to a video clip of Tusiata Avia reading her poem “250th anniversary of James Cook’s arrival in New Zealand” (sorry about the annoying initial advt).

Caution: The video clip may be construed by some to be obscene, repulsive, hateful and racially provocative.

Tusiata Avia’s book “The Savage Coloniser” and the adapted theatre production “The Savage Coloniser Show” received $107, 280 from Creative NZ which is a taxpayer funded organisation (a Crown entity governed by the Arts Council).

Casey Costello at Hobson’s Pledge is presently conducting a campaign to raise money to pay for nation-wide advertisements describing her letter to Meng Foon (Race Relations Conciliator) and Carmel Sepuloni (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage) demanding that they take action and investigate the decision making processes at Creative NZ.

A link for anyone who sees fit to contribute;


23 February 2023


Tusiata Avia has been described as a revolutionary New Zealand writer.

In the 2020 Queen's Birthday Honours, she was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to poetry and the arts. She was also made an Arts Foundation Laureate which includes a NZ$25,000 award in recognition of her as one of New Zealand's most outstanding artists.

Her 2020 book “The Savage Coloniser Book” was awarded the 2021 Ockham Award for poetry.

A collection of poems contained in that book has been dramatised by way of a production called “The Savage Coloniser Show” and which is scheduled to be performed at the 2023 Auckland Arts Festival, 9 – 26 March, 2023.

A principal sponsor of Auckland Arts Festival is Foundation North which is an accumulated $1.4 billion trust fund maintained for the benefit of Auckland and Northland communities which originated from the sale of community shares in what was previously the Auckland Savings Bank. The endowment allows for millions of dollars in grants each year to not-for-profit groups in Auckland and Northland. The patron of Foundation North is the Governor-General Dame Cindy Kiro, the Foundation is administered by the Department of Internal Affairs (Kieran McAnulty) and trustees are appointed by the Minister of Finance (Grant Robertson).

One of the poems contained in her book is entitled “250th anniversary of James Cook’s arrival in New Zealand” and it most certainly appears to be hateful provocation and an incitement to racial tension and violence. She may be inclined to use art as a smokescreen to indulge in behaviour which by any measure should be deemed to be hate speech.

At a time when hate speech is a very contentious issue around the world, this must surely be one of the more egregious examples of the peddling of social disharmony.


250th anniversary of James Cook’s arrival in New Zealand

Hey James,

yeah, you

in the white wig

in that big Endeavour

sailing the blue, blue water

like a big arsehole



I heard someone

shoved a knife

right up

into the gap between

your white ribs

at Kealakekua Bay.

I’m gonna go there

make a big Makahiki luau

cook a white pig

feed it to the dogs


Hey James,

it’s us.

These days

we’re driving round

in SUVs

looking for ya

or white men like you

who might be thieves

or rapists

or kidnappers

or murderers

yeah, or any of your descendants

or any of your incarnations

cos, you know

ay, bitch?

We’re gonna FUCK YOU UP.

Tonight, James,

it’s me

Lani, Danielle

and a car full of brown girls

we find you

on the corner

of the Justice Precinct.

You’ve got another woman

in a headlock

and I’ve got my father’s

pig-hunting knife

in my fist

and we’re coming to get you

sailing round

in your Resolution

your Friendship

your Discovery

and your fucking Freelove.

Watch your ribs, James

cos, I’m coming with






who is a god

and Nua‘a

who is king with a knife.

And then



we’re gonna








Tusiata Avia