Victim blaming and excusing thuggery

On the same day the Listener posted an article about a study that says that alcohol isn’t an excuse for bad and violent behaviour -see Drunken thuggery not alcohol’s fault  –  Whale Oil attacks the victim of an assault with alcohol involved.

NZ Herald (and other media outlets, I saw it on 3 News) ran a story about a woman who claims she was assaulted.

Mother loses teeth after man punches her in the head for speaking Te Reo

A single mother says she lost five teeth after she was punched repeatedly in the head by a man who angrily asked why she was speaking Te Reo.

Shona Maiden was heading home after celebrating New Year’s Eve with friends at her local bar – 123 Casino Karaoke Bar, in Howick – when she was assaulted, she says.

At the bar’s closing time, Ms Maiden, who is of European and Maori descent, said she said “ka kite ano” (see you later) to people who had been standing outside. The mother-of-four, who lives in Howick, said a man then swore and yelled at her, questioning why a “palagi” would use such words.

Ms Maiden admits she responded, telling the man to “f*** off.” He then punched her several times.

While she was a little “tiddly” she said she wasn’t drunk when she was leaving the bar.

A police spokeswoman confirmed they are investigating the assault of a woman, aged 46, outside the establishment in the early hours of New Year’s Day.

This is just one side of the story, and there’s no indication the alleged attacker had been drinking but it’s a reasonable assumption to make. Assaults outside bars are not uncommon.

Cry baby of the Week: Shona Maiden

She was pissed, he was pissed, and she told him to F off.

It doesn’t take a Rocket Surgeon to figure out what happens next.

And now her dad wants “something to be done” about the security “around the bar”.

Then they run to the paper for a good old bitch’n’whine.

It should have read:   Drunk woman loses teeth after being punched for telling a drunk man to F off.

Slater (if it was he who wrote the post) attacks the victim of the assault.  He does also say:

Listen, it’s never OK.   You don’t punch a woman in the mouth for being a bit lippy.

But he directs most of his criticism and blame at the victim.And I presume he has no more knowledge of what actually happened than what he read in the Herald coverage.

A number of commenters played along with Slater’s framed blame game, expressing doubts (about the victim’s story), diverting and criticising many things – except the attacker.

Keanne Lawrence:

Simple action and reaction by a couple of drunks. Most people are unlikely to say “see you later” to bystanders outside a bar in any language. This is not newsworthy as it is a common occurrence throughout the country frequently.
If it is her way to be so lippy best she learns to duck, bob and weave in a ladylike manner. Lol


“F**k off” isn’t Te Reo – the headline is not only misleading but incorrect.

Lesley NZ:

““I’ve lost five teeth, my top plate is cracked … my lip is out there, I can’t eat yet,” she said.” Was it 5 false teeth that were lost?


Looks like The Ferald is really getting the hang of clickbait headlines!!!


why dont they just say – ‘Brown looking person offended by White looking person speaking Te Reo – assault ensues’
This begs the question – is it ‘cool to korero’ if you dont look the part?


No one really deserves to be assaulted but it has happened so the best hope is that she learns from the experience. Maybe being in a bar tiddly in the early morning and answering back wasn’t the wises of moves.


My tried and tested method for avoiding fights with thugs is to not inflame the situation at all. So someone took exception to what she said, the better approach would be to try and placate things and apologise to the aggrieved individual, and exit stage left. Being indignant and telling the other person to “get lost” only inflames the situation.

Betty Swallocks:

“Her father, John Maiden, is upset at what happened to his daughter and says he wants something done about safety in the area around the bar.”

OK Dad, you can make a start by making sure your “tiddly” daughter doesn’t use abusive language to complete strangers on the street. That will go some way to raising her chances of getting home safely at least.

Wolfman Jack:

I call BS on the story. Read it this morning and did not believe a word of it. It’s all “She says” and the ridiclulous photo with it means I support the cry baby title.

No bullswool:

Strange that a PI would be offended that Te Reo was being spoken.Seems that there may be more to this story than appears on the surface of it. No woman deserves that treatment at the hand of any man for any reason.In saying that if better judgement had been used, could have avoided this situation.


This isn’t about whether the assault was bad, it’s about the media deliberately misleading the public. In this case looking to incite racial discord.


why would you antagonise a big mountain gorilla, did she not realise that these people will hit anyone irrelevant of age or gender.

Johnny Bravo:

She is all class. Especially the video clip on her facebook page involving the black power gang. I dont think her teeth were punched out i think they saw a tube of tooth paste coming and jumped out and ran away


Now that is the comment of the day. Thanks for giving me a huge laugh.

Johnny is not so brave, or classy.

Pete Belt:

This should be a man assaults woman for a police complaint. The fact this is not a police complaint and ended up in the paper with only one side of the story makes this very much a story that WO shines sunlight on.

It is a police complaint, that is clear from the article and from the post.

What WO is shining a light on is the blog’s habit of attacking victims. And perpetuating the culture of excusing or acceptance of thuggery as shown in Drunken thuggery not alcohol’s fault.

To the credit of Whale Oil moderation they allowed a number of critical comments to remain. They are detailed in the next post Responses to victim blaming.



  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  January 6, 2016

    And two NZers are in an Australian jail facing possible life sentences for killing a young Aussie in an unprovoked attack. As usual you can guess the culture though actually saying so would be racist.

    • Nelly Smickers

       /  January 6, 2016

      Gosh, I’m not sure that saying these two thugs are probably Maoris makes you a ‘racist’.

      When we just looked up the Dictionary, that says a racist is ‘someone who drives a race car for a living’. Me and my husband have an older model Cortina and never drive over the speed limit.

      • Nelly Smickers

         /  January 6, 2016

        whoopsy – my hubby just pointed out that should have read ‘…hardly never’!!!

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  January 6, 2016

          I used to own a 1600cc Cortina. It had the most useless door locks in history and held the record of being stolen four times while we owned it. Multiple times I unlocked someone else’s Cortina in a car park accidentally.

          • Nelly Smickers

             /  January 6, 2016

            Gosh, that’s a coincidence – ours is a 1600 as well!

            Sounds like you were quite lucky with yours. Wayne often leaves ours unlocked HOPING someone will steal it. He’s had it on trademe for ages 😦

    • kiwi guy

       /  January 6, 2016

      It’s no coincidence that Labour sent its “future Maori PM” to hug the Dindu Nuffins on Christmas Island.

  2. David

     /  January 6, 2016

    I find the media framing this as a woman being smacked for speaking Te Reo as disgusting, she got smacked for drunkenly telling someone to F off. Its wrong she got hit but the media trying to turn it into a race thing is just typical otherwise there is no story.
    I bet there is more to the ladies behaviour and what happened to come out.

    • Where does the man who assaulted her fit into your view on this? Do you think there could be more about his behaviour to come out?

      • David

         /  January 6, 2016

        In no way do I condone anyone hitting anyone else and especially not a woman. She was punched which was wrong and if it was because she was lippy and offensive then that should be the story not as she has spun it because she was speaking Maori.
        I think this unfortunately is typical of the media and there will be once again more to come out and the useless journalist hasn’t asked the obvious questions.

  3. Farmerpete

     /  January 6, 2016

    Are we really surprised about this? Another case of attacking someone who can’t strick back and stirring up all the hatred he can amongst his redneck followers. There is no excuse for this sort of attack and allowing the background ‘noise’ of ‘late night, tiddly, pub’ to enter the equation is unacceptable.
    You would think Slater would learn his lesson after his attack on ‘west coast ferals’. As they say form is temporary and class is permanent. Slater is persistently and terminally low class.

  4. Kevin

     /  January 6, 2016

    The WO post is fair enough. Alcohol removes inhibitions and impairs judgement. If the woman hadn’t been drinking it’s likely that she wouldn’t have told the person to “F off”. That I think was the point of the WO post.

    • FarmerPete

       /  January 6, 2016

      What a bunch of BS. The WO post was tasteless and inexcusable. The only people who will side with you on this are the haters, and WO apologists. Nothing excuses that sort of attack. Your argument is like saying if the pedestrian was on the crossing the car wouldn’t have struck him or her.

      • FarmerPete

         /  January 6, 2016

        that should read ‘wasn’t on the crossing’!!!!

        • Kevin

           /  January 6, 2016

          But in this case the woman wasn’t on the pedestrian crossing, she was jaywalking after having a few too many. And the car the struck her was being driven by a drunk.

    • If the woman hadn’t been drinking, is it likely that she would have said ‘see you later’ in English?

  5. Brown

     /  January 6, 2016

    It looks like a typical media item – half truths at best, half the facts, slanted toward racism and so on. It seems only Johnny Bravo did any homework. While I think its awful behaviour and the police should prosecute the offender this is how a significant proportion of the NZ citizenry behave as a matter of routine.

    • kittycatkin

       /  January 6, 2016

      A significant proporion behave as a matter of routine ? What proportion ? I know nobody who behaves like this as a matter of routine, or at all.

      If it was routine, it wouldn’t make headlines, surely.

  6. Timoti.

     /  January 6, 2016

    Of some concern is the victims father stating police only became more involved when the case became public.

    Does it really matter if the offender is caught? 18 months tops is my guess. And that will only happen if he has priors. That means he’s out in 9 months if he doesn’t do fight club inside.

    That lady did, however, show a lack of street smarts. Islanders are renowned for their violence, especially Samoans, and especially when they are on fire water. The minute she heard their accents she should have zipped it…pissed or not.

  7. Allow me to translate some of these posts into plain language –

    They’re just drunken Maoris and Islanders. That’s how “they” behave all the time.

    The foul mouthed Maori woman should never have provoked the guy.

    She should have known better regardless of how pissed she was.
    Even if she was awake but technically unconscious she should have bloody known better.

    It was wrong that he hit her but actually she got what she bloody deserved.

    Their bloody drinking is their own bloody fault.

    I don’t think the same about Australian Aborigines though.

    • Brown

       /  January 6, 2016

      Allow me to translate some of these posts into plain language – …

      Crap. You sound like my dream world living step daughter who thinks she can dress how and do what she likes without attracting unwanted attention but when it does its always the other person’s fault. She has no situational awareness and her mum despairs at her lack of smarts. Reality is not a match for the virtual world of no consequences – whether deserved or undeserved. The bloke was wrong and I’m not defending him at all but that’s not much comfort for the woman. Shit happens and there’s a time to hold your tongue to improve your survival prospects. Knowing when is wisdom.

      • Pythagoras

         /  January 6, 2016

        1. I leave a $100 bill on the dashboard of my car. The car is locked and parked on a street in downtown Auckland. Clearly the $100 is someone’s private property (mine), the car is locked, and it would be against the law to break into the car and steal the $100. The money is safe, and I have no worries about leaving it.

        2. I am at a pub late at night. I tell a drunk guy, twice my size, to fuck off and exchange other unpleasantries. It doesn’t matter how aggressive, strong or drunk the guy is, because it is against the law for him to assault me, so I am perfectly safe from physical harm. In fact, I can say whatever I like to him because I am entitled to free speech.

        3. I am a teenage girl who likes to wear clothing that reveals a lot of skin. I will not be harmed or harassed, because we live in a society in which everyone is respectful towards others. I most definitely will not be raped because that is against the law, and what is more, it is my right to dress as I please.

        Who are all three of these people kidding? Theft, assault and rape are all against the law and are completely unacceptable. Yet, only Person 1 will be called an idiot and be told “what did you expect”?

        • Excellent comment Pythagorus. Leastwise, I think so. It certainly sounds intelligent. Well, its a comment. A strange way of saying “let common sense prevail” perhaps?

          I always did find algebra kinda difficult, especially algorhythmic equations where the conclusion is entirely ellusive or escapable. Because D applies to A, it must therefore apply to B & C if B & C have some variables in common with A. Is that it?

          Let’s look with a critical and entirely unmathematical eye at this shall we? I won’t attempt to make anything more than passing sense.

          If someone consciously – by way of laying bait – or unconsciously – by way of forgetfulness – leaves a $100 dollar bill on the dash of their locked car, they are essentially the same as a person – sober or drunk – exchanging provocative insults with a (definitely) drunk person in a pub, or a teenage girl who wears clothing in public that exposes a lot of flesh; because, in the event of theft, assault or rape, if the derisive comment “what did you expect” is applicable to one it must be applicable to all three? Have I nubbed it? I suspect I have.

          Hmmmm? Okay? Well, one entirely illogical but perhaps useful way to look at this might be “in what ways do these three circumstances differ”?

          1) Freedom of speech certainly allows us to say, “What did you expect” to the assault and rape victim. However, common decency may prevent us doing so. Common decency seems so much less applicable to the $100 bill case that it might be more decent (useful) to say it rather than not to say it. Why? See 2) below –

          2) There are subtle differences between these 3 examples of crime. The $100 bill one is a crime against property, the assault and rape examples crimes against the person; and the rape example, additionally a sexual crime, arguably the more psychologically devastating of these? Hence, even given the limited information we have to apply our powers of deduction to – such as level of intoxication or “teenage environment” – it is evident that neither the categories A, B & C nor the variables for A, B & C are the same. Thus, logically, the announcement “What did you expect” and others like it, notably, “I told you so” are not universally applicable, appropriate or useful at all, except for Person 1 as noted before.

          3) As level of intoxication increases it progressively over-rules common sense? It might be argued that at some point common sense vacates the premises and is no longer applicable to the situation?

          4) As age, situation, parental guidance, home environment and dozens of other factors ‘decrease’ they cumulatively over-rule common sense in teenagers. Another way of saying this is, “teenagers do not wear revealing clothing in a vacuum”.

          “Who are all three of these people kidding?”

          Person 1 is clearly kidding themselves. Person 2 is kidding or tempting fate. Person 3 isn’t kidding anyone, I don’t think. Maybe they’re kidding their own modesty? Maybe they are kidding – or provoking – their own parents? They may be being kidded, eg that they have responsible parents? Or by their hormones? They are unlikely to be kidding themselves that the world is a safe place because they may not know or have sufficient tuition, evidence or experience to base such a judgement on.

          Theft, assault and rape are all against the law and are completely unacceptable.

          Agree most heartily.

          • Pythagoras

             /  January 6, 2016

            Hey PartisanZ, your rigor and analysis would serve you well if you decide to study mathematics, again!

            The implicit point being made is that there are consequences to our actions and we should take responsibility for that.

            It would be naive and foolish to leave cash on display in the car: expect to be robbed.

            With free speech comes the responsibility for the words uttered. Others may take offense at what is said, if the words are not chosen appropriately.

            Same goes for clothing. Others will react quite differently depending on the clothes a person is wearing. A smart business suit (male or female) gets a different response from jandals, old shorts and a tattered t-shirt, whether you like it or not. What you wear depends on the situation. Young women are naive to think that skimpy clothes have no effect on how others perceive them. I am not saying they are inviting rape, just that they should be aware of the risks they take when going out with certain types of attire. To say “I’m young and will wear what I like” is naive and oblivious to the consequences. I’m not advocating going as far as a burqa (which is repulsive for different reasons). Just, have some awareness as to how you come across.

            What is it about our culture that sometimes has women dress in a way that shows most of their legs, all of their arms, and a lot of other skin, even in somewhat formal settings, whereas the corresponding attire for a man would be a suit and tie?

            • @ Pythag – Of all the things you’ve said I’ll go along with this –

              “Young women are naive”

              I frequently confuse myself so don’t be alarmed if this is confused, but I don’t believe “that there are consequences to our actions and we should take responsibility for them” is the implicit point you are making at all. Far from it. It might be the explicit point?

              I think the implicit point is “what happens to victims is largely a consequence of their own actions and the victim’s should take responsibility for them”?

              Sure, not as far as inviting rape, but the implications of naivety are there. Nothing about young women needing and deserving advice from family, teachers or role-models or anything about modifying male, perpetrator behaviour.

              You seem to be especially applying this to young women and female fashion generally in almost a “dress code” sort of way? This seems a bit like applying “there shall be no race-based laws” directly to gender as well? There shall be no difference based on gender, we should or must all dress the same? (See how confused I am!? I’m really confused!)

              The answer to your last paragraph-long question beginning, “What is it about our culture?” is two-fold: 1) Sexuality, and 2) Freedom of Expression. Both come with risks attached but thank God we have them eh? The Burqa and its attached level of sociopathic indoctrination is the alternative I reckon and it is NOT HEALTHY (In my humble opinion)

              So, there’s work to be done yet and its mostly gotta be done with men and especially young men.

  8. Kevin

     /  January 6, 2016

    With regards to #3 I absolutely believe there is no connection between rape and what a person wears. However there is very definitely a connection between how a person behaves and their chances of being raped. For example there was study done of women who had claimed to have been date raped using a date rape drug. In only 5% of the cases had the woman actually been drugged. In all the other cases the women had simply had way too much to drink (when it comes down to it the number one date rape drug is actually alcohol). In other words 95% of these women could have significantly reduced their chances of being raped if they had simply kept a better track of how much they were drinking.

    • @ Kevin – anything to add to that mate, or perhaps retract, before the Priest arrives for last rights and they ask you if you want a blindfold or not?

      • kittycatkin

         /  January 6, 2016

        Saying that an offender shouldn’t offend will change nothing, nor will saying that unscrupulous people shouldn’t take advantage of drunken people. Getting blind drunk is risk without reward, like not wearing a seatbelt. I saw a drunk walk out into oncoming traffic on a dark, rainy night with the inevitable result. The driver who couldn’t avoid hitting him was in a worse state of shock than the drunk, who was not very badly hurt. The drunk could have been killed because of his own risky behaviour.

      • Kevin

         /  January 6, 2016

        Reality is reality.

        • Nope. Selective reality is selective reality. Slight difference.
          Orh, nah. There’s a huge difference.

          No question women can “reduce their chances of being raped”. The elephantine question in the room is, “Why should they”? I suggest its because of the prevalence of perpetrators among the male population?

          Miss Kitty is quite right, it may not make any difference blaming the perpetrators but what the f*ck, let’s just blame the perpetrators anyway shall we!?

          And thereafter Miss Kitty is quite wrong. Walking out onto the road in front a car in the rain – a car being a partially driver-controllable inanimate object with velocity and momentum – is patently not the same as (or even significantly similar to) a woman drinking too much and getting raped by a man who may seem to her quite attractive, friendly, safe and trustworthy.

          • Kevin

             /  January 7, 2016

            “No question women can “reduce their chances of being raped”. The elephantine question in the room is, “Why should they”? I suggest its because of the prevalence of perpetrators among the male population?”

            There is far more chance of a male being the victim of male on male violence than a woman being raped. And there are things I can do to reduce my chances of getting beaten up. But using your argument, why should I? Why shouldn’t I be allowed to put myself in situations that increase my changes of being a victim of an assault?

            In fact why shouldn’t be allowed to leave my house unlocked.?It’s a big hassle having to lock it every time I go out. And why shouldn’t I be allowed to leave my car unlocked?

            Reductio ad absurdum.

  9. Alan Wilkinson

     /  January 6, 2016

    I see the Herald is reporting the “victim” has been charged with assault and the police say CCTV recordings do not substantiate her story.

    • Te Reo speaker charged with assault alongside attacker

      A woman who says she had her teeth knocked out for speaking Te Reo outside an Auckland karaoke bar has been charged with assault alongside her alleged attacker.

      Shona Maiden spoke to the Herald and appeared on television news after the incident, which she said occurred when she spoke Te Reo outside the 123 Casino Karaoke Bar, in Howick after New Year’s Eve celebrations there.

      In a statement released today, police said a man and woman have both been charged with assault following their investigations, which involved reviewing CCTV footage from outside the venue.

      “As part of the investigation, police have viewed CCTV footage of the alleged incident.

      “The version of events given by the 46-year-old female is not substantiated by this footage.”

      Both will be summonsed to appear in court on assault charges on January 12.

      Interesting. Now there are two alleged assaults, two alleged perpetrators and possibly two victims.

      It doesn’t change the criticism of the victim blaming based on prior information. It just makes the way violence is handled more complex in this case.

      • kittycatkin

         /  January 6, 2016

        I was rather surprised that she was bashed up for saying a few words in Maori, and guessed that there must be more to it than that.

        Suggesting that commonsense be exercised is not victim blaming. If a car is obviously not going to stop at a crossing or a red light, one doesn’t go on across the street or through the lights expecting not to be hit because the car driver shouldn’t be doing what they obviously are doing or will do.

      • Timoti.

         /  January 6, 2016

        Sounds like this women may have got the” queerness”. I call it that. Alcohol seems to effect certain Maori women in a very strange way….they become absolutely psychotic. It seems to run in families, but can skip women in the same family. I can’t explain it more. It is something to be experienced

        • No. Stupid and violent people do stupid and violent things when they’ve been drinking. And when they haven’t been drinking.

          • Timoti.

             /  January 6, 2016

            That’s true. But I’m talking about something on a completely different level. I doubt you have experienced it because you would have concurred with me.
            The nearest I can get is they are possessed, although that is not what I mean. What you have stated pertains to everyone else, not the women I’m talking about.

            • Brown

               /  January 6, 2016

              Like when Muslim women do that trilling noise – it makes the men go nuts and do stupid stuff. A friend that ran a café in Marseille told me that when that noise starts you abandon any hope of reasoning with the peace loving Muslims.

            • Timoti.

               /  January 6, 2016

              You should have picked your nose instead of posting.

  10. Restaurant fan

     /  January 6, 2016

    I wish the 123 Karaoke Bar would close down. There have been at least two incidents of violence (including one death). I enjoy visiting Somerville Shopping Court for its many restaurants, but I feel uneasy when I walk past the 123 Bar, especially when uneducated Maoris/Polynesians are drinking outside and talking loudly. Fortunately there are restaurants I can go to that are further away from the bar.

    • Timoti.

       /  January 6, 2016

      You sound racist? Or are you an ” artist” ?

  11. wow….does WO write all the comments for his own blog these days? things must be worse there than anyone thought.

  12. Kevin

     /  January 7, 2016

    Not sure if this has already been posted but:

    So yeah. The reality is the “victim” was a violent drunk cow and you can’t blame the man for getting angry. And under self defence we’re allowed to use reasonable force in the situation as we see it ( e.g. we’re allowed to shoot someone dead if they’re pointing a gun at us and we think the gun is real even if it isn’t). The mistake the guy made was that instead of hitting the stupid drunk cow back he should have tried to just subdue her or preferably and if possible, walked away; an understandable mistake though given the raised emotions and alcohol.

    In short I believe both should be done for assault with the guy getting less of a punishment due to provocation.

    • It sounds like both are being done for assault, or at least done for something. If justified then good, bad behaviour should be held to account.

    • Alan

       /  January 7, 2016

      Drunk lying scum. If the Herald report is true the guy she hit should walk free on self defense basis.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  January 7, 2016

        Sorry, that one escaped while I was signing it.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  January 7, 2016

        If that’s the way she behaves, I also doubt she had all her teeth before he returned fire. Bet that’s not the first time she’s caused trouble.

  13. I very much expect to see them both on ‘Sunday’ – our ‘in depth’ current affairs show – for which they will no doubt be paid substantial “appearance money”. She could be good for ‘Woman’s Day’ or ‘Woman’s Weekly’ too, and Metro or North&South might pick it up on both of their behalves. After all, there are major cultural issues involved … Te Reo, alcohol, public behaviour, karaoke, gender and violence …?

    Good money in these TV and magazine appearances nowadays I’ve heard, especially if you’ve got a good manager.

    Hmmm, makes me think a really good manager could actually manufacture situations suitable for such coverage. An entreprenuerial opportunity perhaps?