'Dumb-ass coconut' just 'Pacific humour', says Ah Hoi
Mon, 15 Nov 2010 6:11p.m.
By Patrick Gower
Labour's pursuit of the Pacific Islander vote in the Mana by-election has been dealt a blow, with a member of candidate Kris Faafoi's campaign team forced to apologise for calling a National Party rival a "dumb-ass coconut".
Litea Ah Hoi is a hardcore Labour supporter out fighting for votes in the by-election - so hardcore her Facebook page carried a message calling a rival a "dumb-ass coconut".
"It's Pacific humour," she says. "Whether you put it together with dumb-ass, and then the coconut... if she took offence to it, then like..." Ms Ah Hoi pulls a surprised face.
But the target didn't laugh - she found it abusive.
Liz Tanielu says Labour doesn't like losing the Pacific vote to Hekia Parata - and bullies anyone who gets out of line.
"If this was a non-Pacific person who said that, they would have been sacked," she says. "There would have been severe consequences.
"Well the same thing should apply to Litea and her flunkies."
But 3 News found Ms Ah Hoi working in Mr Faafoi's campaign headquarters today. She will be staying on, even though Mr Faafoi himself doesn't like the term.
"In some senses it can be funny," says Mr Faafoi, "in a context when it's comedy. But in this context, it's wrong."
Ms Ah Hoi is a Porirua city councillor and former deputy mayor. She said there has been abuse from the National side too, but still apologised - sort of.
"I, Litea Ah Hoi, on behalf of Porirua Proud, apologise for the term 'dumb-ass coconut' being used. And if people are offended by it, can I suggest you put it in a bubble and blow it away."
Labour's got a 6000-vote majority here in Mana, but is clearly feeling the pressure ahead of Saturday's by-election, with leader Phil Goff today urging supporters to get out and vote. But it's easily arguable that controversial comments from its campaign team won't help that at all.
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19/11/2010 9:52:29 a.m.
I wonder what would it be like, if Paul Henry called Ah Hoi a "dumb-ass coconut" on breakfast.
17/11/2010 9:22:33 a.m.
I hope the Porirua and Pacific community does call for some sort of disciplinary action. Litea is just an embarrassment not only to the Labour party, Porirua council but to Pacific people.This is a huge wake up call for all her supporters in the Porirua east, I can't believe she has been in council for 4 terms. I also wonder what her "buddy" Wayne Poutoa (also another councillor) thinks of this? Is he going to be another Litea? Does he regret running with her, being associated with her? After all "Porirua Proud" is a joint public page for them 2?!
16/11/2010 10:48:48 p.m.
This comment was made on a 'Porirua Proud' FB now closed. It wasnt a comment on a personal page but a very public one. I agree, Mayor Leggett needs to take action. Don't let this be another bully tactic from Litea that she gets away with.
16/11/2010 5:59:36 p.m.
awwww i htink she is too :( im just as disgusted.
16/11/2010 2:54:55 p.m.
Like calling people White MF's is maori humour, yeah right!
16/11/2010 2:03:53 p.m.
The council needs to do something about this. What will Mayor Nick Leggett do? The community is calling for action!!
16/11/2010 1:26:55 p.m.
its real shame that we have this sort of behaviour from someone who was elected to the coucil. as an islander from porirua im ashamed of her comments because we dont all talk like that to be funny. it was obvious that she didnt say dumb ass coconut as a joke. she was attacking 2 people on her porirua proud facebook page which isnt there anymore. she needs to go... shes worse than paul henry cause at least he was ignorant whereas liteas just a ghetto bully!
16/11/2010 12:01:45 p.m.
whats the big deal wrote:
you can take a as a joke if a P.I said it to a P.I but if a white said it to a P.I then it's bring it on time lol....
16/11/2010 10:29:00 a.m.
OMG! This is the Paul Henry thing spreading. Pretty soon we are going to get locked up if we offend someone. I think i'm going to open a very successful insurance business surgically removing peoples vocal chords.
16/11/2010 10:06:46 a.m.
Is there anyway you can ask porirua city councillors to stand down permanently? I would be interested to know what the mayor nick leggett has to say about his councillors.Come on Litea, every "pacific islander" will disagree with your justifications. I don't see any humor in that what so ever. You being a "politician" is a joke! Now that's humor!!
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