Maori Council judges cartoons as institutional racism

Updated at 7:37 am on 31 May 2013

The Maori Council says two newspaper cartoons about hungry students make fun at the expense of children and are an example of institutional racism.

The sketches suggest the Government's boosted breakfast in schools scheme is great news for parents, who will spend their cash on cigarettes and gambling instead of food.

Maori Council co-chair Maanu Paul says he's speaking up because his organisation has a statutory role to protect all Maori.

He says institutions that wield power against defenceless children and the poor have no place in New Zealand society.

Mr Paul says being poor is not funny and having no food is not funny.

He says the cartoons clearly show a media institution exercising its power to force people to think like it does.

Mr Paul says he will be making complaints to the Press Council and the Race Relations Commissioner about the cartoons that appeared in The Press and the Marlborough Express.

The cartoonist, Al Nisbet, is defending his work, saying he rips into everyone.

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