There was much dropping of jaws on Saturday morning at the views of Mr Louis Crimp – the man with a name that might have leapt from a children’s book.
The top donor to the ACT party, a party for which the epithet “beleaguered” no longer will cover it, tenderly opined on New Zealand race relations in an interview with David Fisher for the Weekend Herald.
“The money I gave was to get Don Brash in to go with his things about the Maori,” said Crimp.
And: “All the white New Zealanders I’ve spoken to don’t like the Maoris, the way they are full of crime and welfare.”
Readers in Southland, however, might not have been so surprised.
In what now looks like a case of lede-burying, the Southland Times ran a story a fortnight ago that highlighted the Invercargill businessman’s expression of support for poor old John Banks. (“He’s a really nice man and he’s got two children, looks after animals and I wonder if the rest of New Zealand feels sorry for him,” he said. Last year, mind you, he reckoned Banks was a “twerp”.)
But in the penultimate paragraph:
“I gave them $100,000 to do something about the Maoris,” he said.
Crimp has also been a reasonably regular correspondent to the Southland Times’s letters page, where he’s reportedly aired his view that the Treaty of Waitangi should be torn up. And Waitangi Day abolished, too.
In response to a 2009 complaint from Crimp that his correspondence had been censored, the paper’s editor wrote: “We have printed a bunch of ‘culturally incorrect’ letters from Mr Crimp over the years, and are happy to keep doing so.”
Not all of the Southland Times’s letters archive is online, alas. But here’s one from Crimp, from April 2010, which I suspect gives a fair picture of the man:
I think the Government in its recent quest to save taxpayers’ money by cutting down on welfare could also save millions by making the Maori pay for their useless language out of the money they have through treaty settlements.
I only get your paper to do the crosswords and in this morning’s edition there is a clue for a Maori word. This is what precipitated this note to you.
I refuse to get a Maori dictionary to solve the crossword, so cancel my newspaper.
Louis Crimp, Invercargill.