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Racist remarks embarrassed us: New Zealand PM

October 09, 2010 13:07 IST

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has said that the 'racist' comments made by one of the country's TV presenters about New Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has embarrassed his country. 

According to, Key said that TV host Paul Henry's "poorly designed humour has ended up embarrassing New Zealand. For that I am regretful."

The TVNZ breakfast host mocked the name of Sheila Dikshit by repeatedly calling her "Dick-sh*t" and claimed that her name was 'so appropriate' because she was an Indian.

"It's so appropriate, because she is Indian, so she'd be dick-in-sh*t wouldn't she, do you know what I mean? Walking along the street, it's just so funny," Henry had said earlier.

The Indian government had earlier expressed its displeasure and summoned the New Zealand high commissioner over the issue.

On Friday, New Zealand's high commissioner in India Rupert Holborow had apologised to the country's external affairs ministry over comments made by Kiwi presenter Paul Henry. He further conveyed 'deep regret' for the 'culturally insensitive, inappropriate and vulgar' remarks and said he would personally apologise to Dikshit.

Kiwi Foreign Minister Murray McCully also apologised on Friday, saying that although he was powerless to act against Henry who had made 'gratuitous and insulting' race remarks about Dikshit, he accepted that it was a 'regrettable abuse of freedom of speech'.

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