New Zealand TV anchor Paul Henry quits over Sheila Dikshit row

New Zealand TV show host Paul Henry, whose offensive remarks about Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit prompted India to lodge a diplomatic protest, resigned on Sunday.
Paul Henry

Rick Ellis, chief executive of TVNZ television company, accepted the resignation, the broadcaster said on its website. 

Henry had also made on-air racial slur against Indian-origin Governor-General Sir Anand Satyanand, who was one of the VIPs who attended the New Delhi Commonwealth Games opening ceremony Oct 3.

Earlier, Henry was suspended without pay after asking Prime Minister John Key if Governor-General Sir Anand Satyanand was “even a New Zealander”. 

Later, he deliberately mispronounced Dikshit’s name, saying “Dick Shit” was “so appropriate” because she is an Indian.

Ellis said he commented Henry’s decision to resign because his comments impacted New Zealand’s reputation.

Henry has apologized for his comments and said it was no longer practical for him to do the job he has “so loved doing”.

“I am astonished and dismayed that my comments have created a diplomatic incident,” Henry said. “I walk the finest of lines and accept that I have inadvertently crossed it from time to time.”

Henry, who has drawn support from thousands of New Zealanders, said he was saddened that TVNZ had to suffer the consequences of his actions. 

“I do not want to be the lightning rod for racial disharmony in this country,” he said.

Ellis has apologized to the Indian community in New Zealand and India, and said he will apologize to the Governor General in person.

“The reality is that his (Henry’s) comments have split the community and damaged New Zealand’s international relationships,” Ellis said. “Any suggestion of racism, whether intended or not, is unacceptable.”
Read more information at The Times of India on 10 October 2010

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About the author

Sasiphattra Siriwato

Sasiphattra Siriwato (JuL)


- ปัจจุบันเป็นอาจารย์พิเศษประจำภาควิชาความสัมพันธ์ระหว่างประเทศที่ International Pacific College, New Zealand
- กำลังศึกษาปริญญาเอก คณะสตรีศึกษาที่ Massey University, New Zealand
- ประกาศนียบัตรปริญญาโทรัฐศาสตร์ในด้านการทำงานวิจัย Monash University, Australia
- ปริญญาโทรัฐศาสตร์และนโยบายสาธารณะ Macquarie University, Australia
- ปริญญาตรีรัฐศาสตร์และศิลปศาสตร์ เอกภาษาฝรั่งเศส Canterbury University, New Zealand


- Part time lecturer for Department of International Relations at International Pacific College, New Zealand
- PhD candidate on Women’s Studies at Massey University, New Zealand
- Graduated with a Postgraduate Diploma of Arts (Research) in Politics from Monash University, Australia
- Master Degree in Politics and Public Policy from Macquarie University, Australia
- Bachelor Degree in French and Political Science from Canterbury University, New Zealand

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