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Anger over dictionary slurs against Maori

15:31 Sat May 19 2012
AAP
Maori have been described as liars, thieves and bludgers on an online dictionary and a petition has been started to take the comments down
Maori have been described as liars, thieves and bludgers on an online dictionary and a petition has been started to take the comments down

A petition is calling for an online dictionary to take down comments which portray Maori as liars, thieves and bludgers.

Hundreds of people have given the thumbs up to the derogatory comments on Urbandictionary.com - a site which allows anyone to log on and write a definition for a word or saying.

One post reads: "Maori are New Zealanders who have found a new way to exploit anyone with money."

Another says: "Maori seem to have no morals whatsoever. Some Maoris prefer to beat up and steal from the elderly. No Maori wears his own shoes".

Many of the posts claim Maori are not the indigenous people of New Zealand and are entitled to extra financial benefits from the government because of their race.

There are 32 posts under the word Maori with some showing the race in a positive light in response to the negative comments.

"Maoris are hella cool people who are the pride and joy of New Zealand. Through years of evolution they have gained super human powers," says one post.

Another reads: "A proud race of warriors from Aotearoa".

A petition to have the comments taken down had been signed by 100 people on Change.org by Saturday afternoon.

The petition says Urbandictionary.com is a good reference for colloquial slang but is also a "melting pot of ignorance".

"They are not definitions, they are racist views and should be labelled correctly."

There are six definitions under the word "Pakeha" on Urbandictionary.com, some of which claim Pakeha are thieves who stole land from Maori and brought guns to New Zealand.