Open Letter to John and Willie

Willie Jackson and John Tamihere
Willie Jackson and John Tamihere

Tena korua John and Willie

Yesterday we were sent the link to your radio programme of your discussion with ‘Amy’. Listening to your programme is a rare event in both of our whare. Why? Because the views you espouse are on the whole conservative, often ignorant and nearly always sexist. So we are not surprised with the misogynistic undertones of how you spoke to ‘Amy’.

What is saddening is the fact that you seem to have absolutely no awareness or experience of the impact of rape on the lives of it’s victims and survivors.

What is disturbing is that you show no empathy for the pain and ongoing distress caused by sexual violence on entire whanau.

What is alarming is that with all the involvement you have in providing programmes within urban Maori communities that you remain ignorant of the destruction caused by rape culture.

What is disconcerting is that you have no sense of understanding for how difficult it is to talk to others about being raped, about sexual violence, about family violence let alone what it means to be 14, 15 or 16 years old.

What is disgusting is that you seem to revel in the deep-seated ignorance on these issues.

Rape, whether it be of a woman abducted, or of a mother catching a bus home after work, or of a young woman out for drinks with her friends, or of any woman in her own home by someone she knows – is rape.

Rape, John and Willie, is rape.

Rape, John, is not about “how free and easy are you kids out there these days”.

Rape, Willie, is not about how you are too young to have a drink out with friends.

Rape has nothing to do with if they are good looking. ‘Good looking’ men rape too Willie.

Rape – John and Willie – is rape.

Your continual use of media to promote sexist, anti-Maori women sentiments, and rape culture can only be a reflection of your own beliefs about women. There is no other reason for the flow of misogynistic diatribe that falls so easily from your mouths.

This is not the first time that you have both supported rapists or deeply offensive sexist behaviour. It is a consistent activity on your part. Dismissal of women, marginalisation of Maori women and the promotion of male supremacy is commonplace on your shows and in your commentary. This is not the first time we have called you out on that.

These girls and young women are peoples’ friends, daughters, sisters, cousins, grandaughters. Women raped by those men you support and promote are daughters, sisters, cousins, grandaughters. That is what you are promoting Willy and John. You are supporting and promoting a rape culture that lays blame at the feet of those women who should in society be free to have a drink, wear whatever they wish, go out with friends and feel safe to do so.

You need to think of all the women in your whanau and in your circles, John and Willie. You need to see the act of rape as an act of abuse, an act of power and an act that instills fear, and act that impacts on all women, on all wahine Maori including all those wahine within your own whanau. Perhaps then you would be less dismissive of their pain and less promoting of the violent acts being perpetuated everyday on our wahine.

There were some pertinent questions you could have asked yesterday to instead call our rape culture, our systemic enforcement of it and our everyday sexism to account. We never expected this of you both because that takes real journalism.

Both of you alongside Radio Live AT THE LEAST owe a formal full and unconditional apology to all who have experienced sexual abuse and rape. You owe an apology to their families. You owe an apology to any human who has been disgusted by your remarks yesterday and your attitude towards ‘Amy’ and all like her.

Yesterday we put out a public call to Radio Live for Marama Davidson to talk on your show but not to debate the validity of your attitude. There is no argument there. You are simply wrong and likely to have caused further harm to any person triggered by your ignorance. We would have appreciated the chance to be a voice to unpick that harm and call you to account and most importanly, to stand in support of ‘Amy’ and all like her. We are still waiting for your invite……..

We hope you have the sense to reflect on your actions. We hope you and Radio Live at the least offer a formal apology.

Na matou
Te Wharepora Hou Maori Women’s Group
Dr Leonie Pihama and Marama Davidson

Marama Davidson
021 025 88302

UPDATE 08 Nov. Support for survivors and whanau:
Te Wharepora Hou are grateful for the many stories shared by people here in response to this Open Letter. Your generosity allows us to remain informed of the challenges that people face in dealing with rape and sexual abuse of any kind. Many of your experiences and questions require professional services to provide the appropriate support. We would encourage people to approach any of the agencies as a starting point that are listed on this Wellington Rape Crisis website.

Media follow on:

Radio NZ Morning Report panel discussion from Friday 08 Nov with Marama Davidson, Dr Kim McGregor and Russell Smith.

Te Kaea news interview from Tuesday 05 Nov with Marama Davidson.

Author: Te Wharepora Hou

Te Wharepora Hou is a collective of wāhine who are mainly Tāmaki Makaurau based, but we have strong participation from wāhine based elsewhere in Aotearoa and the world. We have come together to ensure a stronger voice for wāhine and are concerned primarily with the wellbeing of whānau, hapū, iwi and all that pertains to Papatūānuku and the sustenance of our people.

118 thoughts on “Open Letter to John and Willie”

  1. I like JT and Willie. I know them only as good men. I respect what they’ve done for Maori. But I agree – yesterday’s show was “disturbing”.

    I don’t want to live in a society that conditions boys to think it’s an achievement to sexually assault girls. Yesterday JT and Willie enabled and perpetuated rape culture. I lost a lot of respect for two men I liked and even looked up to.

    It’s wrong for Maori men who know what oppression is, who have experience of oppression, to turn their backs on that and then perpetuate another oppression on another marginalised group.

    Rape is a scourge on Maori society too. It’s not right to have two Maori leaders minimise the hurt rape causes and shift the blame to its victims. I hope Willie and JT apologise and take up my suggestion that they donate to Wellington Rape Crisis and Rape Prevention Education in Auckland (both of whose funding is in crisis).

    1. No. Just no. They should not have ever opened their mouths to blame people for being raped. They should not have done everything wrong that they did. We should not have had to respond to them. They should be using their huge privilege and platform to support a transformation from sexist rape culture to a culture of respect for the dignity of all. Marama.

    2. I respect them and their way’s of getting people talking, discussing and innovating ways to help with finding solutions. Is that not what they did through your response?


      Short answer: No. Here’s what their foul treatment of ‘Amy’ did to me when I rather unwisely followed a link to the audio on Twitter.

      Over twenty years ago, while I was a still closeted gay teenager at a single-sex boarding school, I was anally raped with an object by a pack of thugs who thought it would be cool to humiliate the queer. I cleaned myself up, hid (and later burned) my blood-stained pants and kept my damn mouth shut for over two decades. Because I knew I wouldn’t be believed. Because I knew the verbal and physical bullying would just get worse; and that there would be people absolutely convinced that if I wasn’t a mentally unstable and malicious liar that I must have done something to deserve it. I was terrified of effectively being outed in a place where I was convinced it would get me killed.

      As others have pointed out, Jackson and Tamihere are people of status, not only in Maori circles but the mainstream media where they have a national platform very few, Maori or Pakeha, could even imagine. And how did they use that mana — to ask a woman who disclosed that she had been raped when she lost her virginity! The only “discussion” that’s promoting is how victims of violence and abuse really brought it all on themselves. And there’s nothing “innovative” or “finding solutions” about that. It’s just the same old same old, used to justify male abuse of anyone – and everyone – who doesn’t play by their rules.

      1. Thank you for your comments. We have also put added this comment into our letter now.
        UPDATE 08 Nov. Support for survivors and whanau:
        Te Wharepora Hou are grateful for the many stories shared by people here in response to this Open Letter. Your generosity allows us to remain informed of the challenges that people face in dealing with rape and sexual abuse of any kind. Many of your experiences and questions require professional services to provide the appropriate support. We would encourage people to approach any of the agencies as a starting point that are listed on this Wellington Rape Crisis website.

      2. UPDATE 08 Nov. Support for survivors and whanau:
        Te Wharepora Hou are grateful for the many stories shared by people here in response to this Open Letter. Your generosity allows us to remain informed of the challenges that people face in dealing with rape and sexual abuse of any kind. Many of your experiences and questions require professional services to provide the appropriate support. We would encourage people to approach any of the agencies as a starting point that are listed on this Wellington Rape Crisis website.

    3. Hello Joss

      With all due respect I hope you can come round to Marama’s point of view.

      I just wanted to re-iterate by saying that if Willie and John were saying what’s on people’s minds, then they’re wasting their breath, right? After all people already agree with them. Instead, they should raise the issue, and use their position to challenge the dominant and harmful view. The fact that they didn’t shows that they don’t think the views they espouse are harmful, or that they are happy to have people like the authors on this site do their job for them.


    1. Full of respect for you ladies standing up and speaking the truth like this. Willie and John messed up big time and you called them out on it. Good for you and hopefully all men can hear your words and grasp what it means to be a real human being and not a cave man counting on animal instinct as their moral compass.

  2. What a disgusting example of ‘maori men with shockingly misogynistic attitudes’. Until it happens to their whanau then they have no idea, let alone no right to sit in judgement of ‘Amy’, would love to hear your broadcast in Australia Marama & Leonie. Keep the good work going..Arohanui

  3. Fantastic response ladies. I am concerned about their lack of respect for wahine in general and their attitude speaks volumes. Sending the aroha and support from Sydney Aust… Nga mihi nui x

  4. I tautoko you Marama and Leonie. I felt ashamed when I listened to them re-victimize that woman. It seems a woman can be raped in many ways. We heard a woman being raped psychologically on that radio show.

  5. Awesome. So frustrated because I am surrounded by smart women desperate to respond to them but without media platforms to do it.

  6. I have had huge respect for both of these men and their somewhat contravesial ideas that often stimulate a conversation the nation needs to have, in saying that I am so glad I did not hear that discussion. Re traumatising the survivor of rape by the sound of things. Such a shame! I tautoko Marama and Leonie’s words yesterday.

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  8. Well said ladies have never listened to the show but came across Willie on Maori television many times and find him arrogant, self serving and only his opinion matters.. You are so right ladies rape is rape and I hope they do apologise. Can’t understand how anyone can support what they said so very sad obviously disillusioned just like they are… A couple of dreamers who have never done any good for our country or our people..

  9. This is so much more then a letter. This piece of writing provides our young Maori women, who have been sexually assaulted, with a voice. It provides a promise that when they stand strong, they do not stand alone. It allows shame to be replaced with graciousness. This letter provides hope for those who cannot find the way or the words to express our dissapointment in men who abuse their positions in the media to continuously ridicule or make a mockery of our experiences.
    I’m a young Maori women living with the effects of being raped. I have never referred to myself as a victim, but after hearing the comments made by Willie Jackson and John Tamahere I, along with all the other women who have been sexually assaulted listening to their show, felt victimised. I can only hope that they read your letter and realise the extent of their failings, not only as men but as Maori.
    Thank you for speaking out on my behalf. Your words were empowering.

    1. No thank you Kim. This feedback, and knowing that there are people and women who will need someone to stand by them at some stage, is why it is important for us to speak out when we can. That is our responsibility. We all need each other. I hope you and all others like you get the support and strength that you need. Much love, Marama.

    2. We have added the following text into the letter.
      UPDATE 08 Nov. Support for survivors and whanau:
      Te Wharepora Hou are grateful for the many stories shared by people here in response to this Open Letter. Your generosity allows us to remain informed of the challenges that people face in dealing with rape and sexual abuse of any kind. Many of your experiences and questions require professional services to provide the appropriate support. We would encourage people to approach any of the agencies as a starting point that are listed on this Wellington Rape Crisis website.

  10. I listened to the interview. It was patronising at best, demeaning at worst. It was a very brave move for Amy to take part and she was given treatment no better than that has been given out to the other victims of these mongrels. Really disappointed in these so-called commentators.

    1. This recording is a classic record of colonised Maori male dissing of females. Almost sounds like they are grooming the victim or victims supporter in this case. I’ll just say it – it makes me spew!

  11. Bravo, well said. I will be putting this on my wall to remind myself that rationality and opposition to rape/misogyny still exists

  12. I am sitting here in tears. You do not speak only for young moari women, or for moari women; you speak for all women. I am a rape survivor. I refuse to be a victim. But I still struggle with it almost 30 years later. As a woman, as awoman who us no longer as young as she was when she was raped, as a first generation New Zealand, I deeply appreciate your words. Namaste. The holy place in me respects the holy place I see in you.

    1. Thank you Fiona, we surely do support all women and all families to be strong in the face of our rape culture. Your feedback is generous and incredibly appreciated. Much love to you and your whanau, from the dignity of our holy place to yours.

  13. It’s all for ratings people. Sadly, both John and Willie have prostituted themselves to their taskmasters (Radio Live). This reaction was well anticipated if not carefully orchestrated. It is no longer about meaningful insightful discussion. It is about what will generate the most furor. Furor = ratings.

    1. James … true. But that is not a valid excuse. I know that if I was required by my workplace to make damning, general judgements on rape victims and maori women such as they did, I would choose to leave that job. They should grow some balls if that’s truly what happened. It was their moral call and they chose to represent the opinion of Radio Live.

      Nobody chooses to be in the position of these girls, we need to support our youth and give them strength and pride, not blame and shame. Willy and John, the shame is on you.

  14. willy and john are an oldversion of gang members they care very little about most things and infact they would care more for the gang member than you or i .they would blame a woman for rape because thats who they are .they wold just say was she radio stations hire such people only show that thhere is no care by them either,these two are very racist even in the eyes of moari.

  15. OMG I’m disgusted with their interview. What Lioni and Marama have written here is so true. Rape is rape, no matter what you think the indicators where to bring rape on. Whatever women are doing it does not give me the right to rape her or any other women. Kia ora for this blog and seeking a public apology for their horrible interview. Just recently on the NZ Herald Tamihere and Jackson apologized but I don’t honestly think they were sincere enough and are very typical of their male ego ways. I’ll be following this story along as it grows. Kia ora.

  16. I acknowledge all the comments from those above and agree wholeheartedly with Jamie. Its ratings “bro’z” thats all that counts. Chaching! chaching! chaching!

  17. Respect to all the ladies standing up and speaking the truth. Willie and J.T. blew it big time and put even more girls at risk.
    Hopefully men can read and understand your words and understand what it means to be a human being as opposed to a caveman using animal instinct as their moral compass.
    Your words were perfect.

  18. Kia ora wahine ma mo tenei korero. The only positive thing to come out of this shameful series of incidents is that Aotearoa is finally talking loudly about Sexual Violence and the desperate need to address this huge issue for our people. Some demonstrate good knowledge and understanding but clearly there is so much public education still needed. I believe broadcasters have a moral duty to inform/educate the public and JT and Willie have definitely fallen short on this topic. My aroha goes out to those affected by sexual violence and my hope is that you see and hear your community’s concern and care not the ignorance and cruelty of some. There are services who can support you in your journey of recovery. Kia kaha.

    1. We have added the following text to the end of our letter.

      UPDATE 08 Nov. Support for survivors and whanau:
      Te Wharepora Hou are grateful for the many stories shared by people here in response to this Open Letter. Your generosity allows us to remain informed of the challenges that people face in dealing with rape and sexual abuse of any kind. Many of your experiences and questions require professional services to provide the appropriate support. We would encourage people to approach any of the agencies that are listed here on the Wellington Rape Crisis website.

  19. Absolutely Emma, youth are out there getting into tricky situations, and yes navigating all that social, sexual, developmental stuff is a minefield and can skate pretty near disaster at times. The thing is that Willie and John could have acknowledged that without implying that drinking with or being attracted to a person gives that person the right to rape you. I suspect that what you describe as ‘straight out’ I would describe as ignorant, misogynistic, tiny-minded, incendiary bigotry….lets call the whole thing off

  20. Na mihi nui ki a Leonie raua ko Marama… kia ora mo o korero me reta
    There are many reasons why Maori Women, any women, fear saying anything about the abuse that occurs to them.. and this is one of them! Young girls have not come forward to lay charges against the abusers – from their own admission although they use other words to describe abusers – because comments, and worse from our own, will hurt just as much if not more than the action itself. John and Willie you will forget this “interview” within weeks – these young wahine will live with the memory forever.
    ***Ko te tiakitanga*** look after our people,
    In peace… Hei noa

  21. …and there are so many more men in positions of power and authority, but not in the public eye – or ear – who also perpetuate the attitudes of Willie and JT. I have worked with some of these men, , seen them colluded with by others – including women too fearful to challenge them – have been managed by them, victimised by them, and as much younger woman, sexually abused by them. There is a blind spot in our society that is maintained by many politicians that allows ongoing abuse and oppression of women, including rape, to continue , alongside the horrific child abuse that occurs in this country. Thank you so much for speaking on behalf of us all.

  22. I was appalled to hear those two men “interviewing” “Amy”. Shame on them. How could they give themselves permission to harm her and rape / sexual violence victims?
    They obviously have no understanding at all how it feels to be at the mercy of stronger, devious, skilled people intent on harm. I sincerely hope they cease to pass the permission on to men to continue their violent acts.
    The attitude of those two clearly demonstrates why rape of women, girls and boys continues in our society – and why the inexcusable is excused by too many.
    It really concerns me that attitudes like that are passed on to the next generation , and the next etc. If they have passed those attitudes on to their next generation, where does it all end?
    I hope W and J receive and accept some first-hand experience of the harm that is caused to victims and their families ( for many years) to enable them to prevent doing more harm.

  23. I am a young Maori female who was raped when I was 15. I didn’t report it or tell anyone about it because in my mind “it was my fault” and everyone that I loved, would no longer love me. It took me 4 years to trust another male to be around me and to learn how to re-love myself. However, I still struggle with people knowing about it, as its a memory best kept locked away.

    I have mixed feelings of anger, hurt, shame, frustration all running through my mind right now. This really breaks my heart..

    My heart goes out to all victims of sexual violence, and I hope they know that there are people out there who will help.

    1. And we have added the following comment into our letter now.
      UPDATE 08 Nov. Support for survivors and whanau:
      Te Wharepora Hou are grateful for the many stories shared by people here in response to this Open Letter. Your generosity allows us to remain informed of the challenges that people face in dealing with rape and sexual abuse of any kind. Many of your experiences and questions require professional services to provide the appropriate support. We would encourage people to approach any of the agencies as a starting point that are listed on this Wellington Rape Crisis website.

  24. Just another cheap stunt from these two to try to get more listeners. Their ratings are so pathetic that they’ll both be out of a job soon anyway. How low can they go?

  25. Thank you for speaking out. I did not hear the interview, just the fall out. No woman ever asks to be raped no matter what they wear or drink. It saddens me that these men perpetuate these myths. Radio Live’s part in this is abhorrent too.

  26. Thank you for writing this. As an English teacher until last year, I saw both the simultaneous growth of the word ‘rape’ as a catch-all for any type of domination (from sports to computer games – “man, he got so raped”), and the dissipation of any sensitivity towards those who had been – or were being – sexually abused. It became a battle to put a stop to it in the classroom. That it was a battle was heartbreaking; but it was entirely demoralising that my choice to address the language of – and thus the social attitudes around – rape and sexual abuse became heavily criticised and was the source of complaints from parents who claimed that it was not my job to teach sex ed. It might not seem a clear link, but I do believe that things will get worse if we do not take this whole dire situation as a signal to educate and educate better.

    I don’t know whether those two bigots have daughters, but I can imagine their reaction if this case had hit closer to home, if it was their own daughters or sisters or mothers who were first manipulated, then violated, blackmailed and blamed. We should not need for people to consider issues from selfish eyes but it is the best place to start. This culture must be fixed and we men must be at the fore for every step.

    Thanks once again for your article.

  27. Te Wharepora Hou I love what you have said in your open letter to Willie & John as a male Maori I have to agree we need to be setting the standard not the exception, we need to be guiding our youth toward a positive horizon not steering the waka onto the rocks of destruction. It is never ever OK to treat girls/women with that level of contempt let alone to condone it in such a public forum. Shame on you Willie and John. As a former broadcaster I hope this was not just for the sake of the neilsen ratings? because that takes you down to a level below that of the roast busters I am currently a counsellor that works with youth and if this is your professionaly “Aired” opinion then I can understand where the behaviour of the boys have come from they (the roast busters) may have been the perpetrators but you gentlemen are the catalyst that creates and continues to perpetuate this behaviour. If you really want to be respected, if you want Maori to be respected you need to set our Horizons a little higher than at groin level.

    1. Totally agree! these so called hot shots are full of empty brain cells and high opinions of themselves – means nil. Saw an article in ‘elocal ‘ magazine of Willy a couple of months ago and knew then that you are nothing. I feel for the young women but do not forget the young men also that have suffered and are still suffering the same.

  28. So, it’s the fault of any victim, man, woman or child that sexual abuse or assault occurred? By that reasoning every crime is the victim’s fault, no criminal has any responsibility for their actions and there’s no need for a legal system including police. What’s next, Sharia Law where we start lashing rape victims because it’s their fault? If all this was done to effect ratings then I believe the radio station should be petitioned to change their business practices and/or be closed down. And I highly doubt that if either JT or Willie were raped they’d be saying it was their own fault.

    1. Theres an awful lot of total rubbish being talk in regards to this. As far as I’m concerned, regardless of whatever so-called motives or rationales they may have had, or not, their radio show should be shut down.


      Sent from my iPad

      1. Absolutely agree. Other men acting badly on television or radio have been sacked. They part mot only their own mana but the collective mana of their whanau , hapu and Iwi.
        Teenaged boys were the perpetrators of the rape and bragging about themselves and a number of males interviewed have tried to fob off the enormity of these animals have suggested boys brag. And the two Maori males who victimised a brave young women are no better than the trash who were the perpetrators. Apologies in my inion do not cut as they were as suggested by others public opinion was what forced that. Tamahere and Jackson turned themselves into trash in how they acted and will remain as such

  29. tautoko tona korero korua.
    how distressing that in this day and age the perceived leadership of our people includes these two men displaying this behaviour. thank you Marama and Leonie for saying so well what we women and whanau needed to say to both of them.

  30. Beautifully written, well done. Willie and JT you should be ashamed. And if it’s merely a stunt for ratings, that’s even worse, you’ve harmed these women all over again… And to what end, your own selfish egos and careers?

  31. This is an excellent letter. What a pity there was a need for it to be written. I find it appalling that two men I respected (this is a deliberate use of past tense) hold such attitudes. I feel saddened and it makes me afraid for our young men and women.

  32. What is awful is that they (willy and JT) have made a piss poor apology on radio live website and also have removed the audio of their comments to her. So no one can hear what scumbags they really are. wow way to protect yourself and screw over a girl who was courageous enough to come forward. they make me sick. and Radio live should ask them to take unpaid leave. terrible.

    1. How week and pathetic to wipe their woes & that is condoned. We’re that not so, they would have been fired immediately the interview ended

  33. JT and Willie are morons anyway. I can’t believe anyone would actually expect them to take this seriously. They’re like the maori Statler and Waldorf of the Muppets.

  34. Sadly, as a Maori woman, I have found this very attitude fairly common amongst “professional” Maori men; I realise this might be considered a gross generalisation, however many (not all I realise) of these men seem to have an over inflated/narcissistic opinion of themselves. They typically consider non-professional/less educated maori women (perhaps all women?) lower than themselves and seem to relish in denigrating and diminishing the value these women have. These two are nothing but opinionated, ignorant, arrogant and shameful excuses for men who have shown their true colours, yet again. We need strong Maori men; men who can protect the weak and disadvantaged; men who can act with integrity and honesty; men who know the most important place is in the home with their families; men who can show true leadership and be humble doing it. We don’t need men who run their mouths, deliberately inflame a situation for ratings or lay blame on the victim.

  35. Aotearoa has a long, ugly history of babies, little girls, teenage girls, and women being sexually misused. Worse still, is the long list of females who also lost their lives at the hands of those who started by sexually abusing them – Delcelia Witaka is perhaps the most chilling of these. Is she to blame for the dreadful things done to her as well? By being female, by being Maori, for having a vagina and an anus and no means of protection? Is her death, after dreadful torture, also her own fault? I am not discounting the violence done to boys and men here, just focusing on the place that rape has on the continuum of misogyny and violence against females in Aotearoa. The hardest thing for me to face in this instance is that both of these men come from a line of proud, powerful warriors, men with supposed ‘mana’ and who are spokespersons for the different iwi they are representative of. I believe they have shamed their tupuna, their kaumatua, their kuia and all the tamariki by speaking this way. They have placed themselves with other Maori who spit on our proud heritage by failing to protect the weakest amongst us. Think of the silence of whanau such as the Kahui clan for an example. They have ALL shamed the land on which they stand, even while claiming to be part of the huge group of kaitiaki left to guard it. Who is going to protect our girls, our women, if you guys don’t? Apologise, publicly, and spend some time on your damn radio shows exposing rape for all its ugliness, and make it clear to everyone that you know that rape is the sin of the rapist, not the victim. Ever. And get some pride back. Learn about your tupuna and start acting like a warrior, not cowardly, self-serving bullies looking for popularity.

      1. I am well, thank you, and I could write about this stuff forever. My heart is divided between the world of Maori and the world of non-Maori, because I belong in both, through birth, marriage, and the babies I had, and the little mokopuna I hope to see grow into a strong, non-abusive man. Time everyone stood up and said enough. Look an India, where rape and murder of their beautiful girls and women used to be commonplace – not any more – the people are rising up AS ONE and saying ENOUGH. I think Aotearoa is ready to do the same, to clean this land up and get back to living as one people – tangata whenua, manuhiri, and all the children and grandchildren and great grandchildren that belong to both of those groups. Time for us to become ONE people, and to use our combined strength to change the face of what it is to be a man in Aotearoa. As long as there is any division, and clowns like these two to keep the division in place, we are weak. When we say that as HUMANS we will not take this, that is the moment that it will start to change.

      1. I am also of pakeha heritage, but my blood became entwined with that of Maori though marriage and bearing children who carry on the line of a proud people who arrived here on the waka named Tainui. I have been raped also, and blamed. And I have been blamed for the violent actions of men against me, men who were supposed to love and protect me. I have been shamed by elders, who again, blamed me for the punches and kicks and bruises and black eyes and foul words I copped. Not one of those men said to me, or to my abusers, that THEY were to blame for their own behaviour. Those who blame the victim bring shame on humanity, for we are ALL supposed to protect the weak and fragile, and those who cannot fight back. I saw my children, descendants of the second Maori king, sleeping in a woman’s refuge because no one would speak up against their abusive father, except me. Judi – you are not alone – we all as women who want to change this stand shoulder to shoulder with you. Our tears are yours, and our bruises are yours, and our backs bend under the load that you have carried. You are NOT to blame. You are free because of that truth. Believe it in your heart and reject anything or anyone who says different.

        You are free, and blameless, and your rapist will carry a brand upon his soul until he makes reparation for his acts against you. Stand in light and purity and innocence my sister.

        Let all of us stand in that same light. We are women. We are the bringers to life. we carry the future in our belies and suckle it upon our breasts. An act against one of us is an act
        against the future. let ENOUGH be our war cry from this day forward.

      2. UPDATE 08 Nov. Support for survivors and whanau:
        Te Wharepora Hou are grateful for the many stories shared by people here in response to this Open Letter. Your generosity allows us to remain informed of the challenges that people face in dealing with rape and sexual abuse of any kind. Many of your experiences and questions require professional services to provide the appropriate support. We would encourage people to approach any of the agencies as a starting point that are listed on this Wellington Rape Crisis website.

      1. it is the true story of an african american slave who killed her master when he tried to rape her. just supporting the thought that these attitudes have been around for way too long now.

  36. One of the best open letters I have ever read. Thank you for writing this and please keep doing so. Will look forward to reading more from you.

  37. I didn’t hear the programme but have put together a good picture from here. I’m so disappointed in Willie & JT. I’ve always liked them, and I don’t think they’re idiots, but they definitely are jackasses. They had a chance to do something good, like showing their audience a couple of decent men standing up for women, against men who would perpetuate violence against them. They blew it. There’s an awful acceptance, across the board (just look at the new sports presenter appointment this week!), of violence against women. Change has to from the top or there will be no change.

  38. Case and point right there Kenny. This was not a ‘sexist’ issue’. This was an issue surrounding rape and the way two men dealt with a victim in a public forum. Your comment makes this an argument between women and men, which it is not. It is my view that you are perhaps the one who has a ‘sexist’ view and might need to address your own issues.

  39. I haven’t heard what they said, but tena korua mo to aroha. Your words are so powerful but there are also so many words of love and support on this blog for all who have been exploited by men….not only our young women but also our boys and young men who are the victims of rape or sexual assault. Thank you! you restore my faith in humanity. Te rangimarie o te Atua ki a korua.

  40. Kia Ora to Te Wharepora Hou,for upholding the Mana of all the victims of RAPE,and for making People aware of the Arrogance of such Males such as JT and Willie who hold positions that can make a difference but chose to perpetuate such assaults on the victims by blaming or belittling the victim. A True Man would never lower his standard of being a Man,to commit such acts of criminal violence against another person,be it Man or Woman,through the act of RAPE.Tinonui te Aroha ki a Amy.
    Noho Ora mai.
    Patricia Katene.

  41. Nice letter. Kia Ora for that.

    Those two have shown that they are not men – they’re ignorant (arrogant?) fools who’ve shirked their responsibilities. They’re dinosaurs.

    I can not believe their attitude still exists, let alone by “clever” people in the public eye. They didn’t show their ability to get to the truth; they showed their attitude. They didn’t need to mollycoddle the caller, but they could’ve shown respect for her given the nature of the topic. So what if for example a women (or in this case a girl) wears a sort skirt: she wore it because it made her feel good, or wants to be looked at, or likes the colour, was clean, or any number of other reasons. It doesn’t mean you’re free to touch without her permission. To do otherwise is molestation or rape. I saw a mock questionnaire today: What Causes Rape? Plenty of options given, Short Skirt, Slutty Attitude, etc. And at the end was the only possible answer to what causes rape?: Rapists.

    Finally, as a male I am also angry at how men may well now be portrayed because of this. And also waiting for the Maori-bashing to start in the media too (I’m Ngati Pakeha but can see what happens each time it’s a Maori involved in the story). Those two have shown that they aren’t men – they’re not worthy of the title, at this moment they’re douchebags. It may get people talking about the issue, but they could’ve done that in a positive way. They’re idiots who’ve let down Maori, Men and what it means to have Humanity.

    Stay strong and don’t unknowingly fall for the emotional distractions and arguments that will no doubt be generated by the media (not saying don’t be passionate or have emotion).

  42. I am 42 years old. Yesterday, I spent much of the day in sorrow, re-living memories, fighting off feelings of shame, guilt, and un-worthiness. Not only these two men, but the WHOLE media covering the story, are to blame. Today, I wake up tired and uneasy, after a long night of uninvited dreams and memories. On a normal day to day life, I have healed…..but when my whole day is monopolised by the comments of these two men and their supporters, I am once again a broken, abused little girl. To know that I am merely one of probably thousands who feel this way, only makes this situation a whole lot sadder. I hold no hope for those in charge of media coverage such as this to change the way these stories are told……it is the sad truth that their ratings are far more important than their listeners mental health and well-being. That being said, I do realise that the publicity of this case, is what will probably ‘get things done’ for these victims. But does this mean, that for those like me, who have had no closure or police charges laid against their abusers, that we NEED to go public to be listened to? Last year, I too laid a complaint involving the rape and sexual abuse I suffered at a family members hands for the majority of my young life. I was told by the police, that because my abuser admitted to ONE incident when he was spoken to back in 1984,(despite medical proof to the contrary) and because the police man interviewing him ‘thought that he was a decent enough young man’, he was given a police warning for his behaviour, which means that NOW, all these years later, the police will not re-open the investigation, because he has already been ‘dealt’ with. I then contacted the Police Complaints Authority, to try and have this decision overturned. But, because it is just little ole me, with no public story to threaten them with, I was told no. Is it worth me rethinking how I go about this now??

    1. Tena koe Cushla. Thank you for sharing your story, our aroha to you and your strength. You clearly outline some of the very flaws with the processes that create barriers to healing for our whanau and people who have experienced sexual violence and rape. We all have so much work to do and the generosity with which people share these stories is hugely appreciated and vital to the work of fixing broken things. Thank you again. Marama.

    2. Cushla we have no added the following text into our letter.
      UPDATE 08 Nov. Support for survivors and whanau:
      Te Wharepora Hou are grateful for the many stories shared by people here in response to this Open Letter. Your generosity allows us to remain informed of the challenges that people face in dealing with rape and sexual abuse of any kind. Many of your experiences and questions require professional services to provide the appropriate support. We would encourage people to approach any of the agencies as a starting point that are listed on this Wellington Rape Crisis website.

  43. Good on you for speaking out in this way – there’s not enough being done to challenge this notion of a predatory male sexuality being normal and natural. We have a society in which it is commonplace for girls and women to suffer unwanted sexual contact – and a dreadful record on family violence. It breaks my heart to see young men emulating an American street culture which has become a repository for viciously misogynistic attitudes. To hear any young Maori or Pasifica man, who is himself the victim of negative stereotyping, referring to women as ‘bitches’ and ‘hoes’ and viewing girls and women as things to be used and abused, is simply a tragedy. It’s also tragic to see girls and women behaving in ways that play to that instead of feeling strong and proud enough to challenge this destructive mindset. For influential commentators to fail to understand the dynamics at work is appalling – but hardly surprising. Anyone who refers to women as ‘front-bums’ is not likely to bring an informed progressive voice to the discussion.

  44. Hi all,
    As a part Maori male I would just like to say that there is NO excuse for rape under any circumstances. Anybody (but particularly females), no matter their age, state of mind, level of consciousness/sobriety, state of dress or any other factor, should feel safe in the knowledge that NOTHING will happen to them except that which is needed to ensure their physical safety. As has been said before, this is a blight on our culture and our society. That young men?? (in this case) believe that this is even an option is unbelievable. As the father of a beautiful daughter of this age group I would be absolutely devastated if this happened to her and would go to the ends of the earth to see justice done.

    1. Thank you John – we need more men like you to lead the way. It is so reassuring to hear a father speak this way about his daughter, she is fortunate to have you.

  45. I also want to say that there are two sets of victims in these scenarios – that boys and men are also profoundly damaged by this mindset and behaviour. Kids have plastic brains – it’s an evolutionary adaptation that enables the older and more experienced to educate and influence the inexperienced young. It’s obvious that this can have negative as well as positive consequences. In a healthy community there is an understanding of the essential complementarity and equality of the sexes; there is respect for elders and care of the vulnerable – and young people are influenced and controlled by a collective of their elders and extended family, not just their parents. We have a society in which, for young people, the influence of their peers and of the asocial world of the internet is out of balance with other moderating and educating influences. When they behave badly we blame them, or their parents instead of a society which promotes and markets asocial and anti-social values.

  46. This issue makes me keep remembering a tragic case of how a father’s attitude became ingrained into his young son – that lead to murder. I hope Willie and John read this:
    The father was a work colleague, and when I came to know him I found that he was the worst racist I ever had the misfortune to know. I liked his wife.
    Eventually their son grew up and became a skinhead. The son then murdered a young Maori boy. The father got cancer and died while the son was in prison – instead of at his fathers’ s side.
    I always thought that the father incited that boy to be a racist and kill. I think he should have been in prison along with his son.
    I have been involved in the Rape and also the sexual offender field. We desperately need men to speak up against the attitudes of such men, instead of women so often having to be the ones to take action to protect women and children.
    I fear that those men who needed males to help them continue their abusive ways will close their ears to women and children, and listed keenly to W and J’s attitude of victim – blaming.

  47. I think that john and willie should be kicked of the radio thy are both arrogant and ignorant and how can Radio live justify there comments I am moving back to newstalk zb

  48. No matter what your age is, or the gender you are, or where you live, or what income bracket you fit into, or what your status is, sexual violence can happen to anyone. This is why everyone needs to do all that they can to change the attitudes which are connected to sexual violence.

  49. Kia ora: After reading most of these comments I am glad I didn’t hear the said interview. I do switch to JT and WJ now and again.I don’t know either person except as media persons on Radio Live and WJ on TV now and again. I do know of their contribution to promoting the over all Maori kaupapa and dispite the justified outburst against their “Amy” interview this mustn’t be forgotten. Other radio commentors have implied as much (ie what was she wearing?) and the late Paul Holmes even called a former Secretary-General of the UN a “cheeky darkie.” No adverts were pulled from his show to my knowledge.

    1. I have made a judgement call to allow this comment through bearing in mind that we have committed to moderating any feedback to ensure survivors feel safe coming to this article and any of the comments.

      Te Wharepora Hou maintains that regardless of any positive deeds done in the past by anyone, there is no excuse for upholding rape culture or rape apologists. We must take the behaviour of John Tamihere and Willy Jackson in this case for what it is. Unacceptable.

      And yes we have always been vocal against other similar abuses of media platforms.

      Thank you.
      Marama Davidson on behalf of Te Wharepora Hou.

      1. I look forward then to seeing someone else being drummed out of a studio after being strangled on Facebook and a crusade against them the like of which I have never seen before. We do have to be careful not to be over zealous and selective in case our self righteousness leads to oppression of free expression. I’m not God but I forgive JT and WJ for a crime I only learned about thanks to this controversy and I ask that every critic of them gets over it.

      2. Respectfully I disagree with you Atihana that anyone should ‘get over it’ when it comes to the harmful attitudes displayed by men, any men, towards sexual violence.
        And yes we should be removing all those misogynist voices absolutely. Te Wharepora Hou has been vocal against many such misogynists and those who uphold the shameful patriarchy that we live in. As for freedom of expression – it is the voices of women, sexual violence survivors and children who are the ones who have been silenced. We have not been zealous enough in our righteousness to uphold the mana of women and whanau so no we won’t be quieting down we will be getting louder and louder.

        Nga mihi

  50. Abuse is an action we men can address daily, if we have courage. It is simple to assault anyone, verbally or physically. The challenge for us men is restraint. To refrain from abusive actions and re-assess ourselves. We Maori descend from a warrior race. Rape and plunder was ours. Today we are civilised, rape and plunder belong to yesterday. We have put aside the Patu and picked up the Pen. It is what we do with that pen today that sets a benchmark for our sons and grandsons. Today when you are young, handsome with a CV to hold high, the community is at your feet, You might honour your community or you might tread it underfoot. Here is a piece of advice.
    Love your family, love and support your children especially those that struggle with everyday desires. Support the children of extended families and friends. And watch what you say to them. One of the simplest actions we can exercise is prayer and it is free.. Karakia. ‘Kia tou ki a tatou katoa, te atawhai a to tatou Ariki o Ihu Karaiti, me te aroha ote Atua mete whiwhinga tahitanga ki te Wairua Tapu, ake, ake ake, Amine.’

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