Worker verbally abuses Māori woman on camera, claims he was 'set up'

News 12/03/2019

Footage has emerged of a Māori woman being verbally abused by a Pākehā alarm company worker on the side of a New Zealand road.

In the video, the woman alleges she was cut off on a motorway by the man, who then got out of his car and began hurling abuse.

"The first thing he said to me was you black piece of f***king shit."

She says she followed him and then turns the camera to show a black ute, with the man's company website on the back.

"And here he is whanau - racist," she says as the man grimaces and pulls the finger at her.

"Haven't you got a job?" he asks her, and then tells her to "f**k off".

The tirade of abuse continues, with him yelling at the woman, calling her a "dopey bitch", a "piece of shit", and "lowlife scum".

"Get a f**king job you lazy bitch," the man says.

"Oh buddy," says the woman calmly. "I'm an educated wahine. An educated Māori wahine.

"I actually facilitate a mental health programme! So maybe you should join!"

The comments on the post commend the woman for her calmness in the face of confrontation, as well as damning the man shouting at her, and suggesting the company he works for should be boycotted.

"This is awesome," writes one person. "A lot of times when things like this happen to us or others, when people whakaiti korero (belittle) we spin a 180 and explode. We should all be as calm and collected like this wahine."

Alarm company worker Jim Keenan has confirmed to Newshub he was the man in the video and says he was "set up".

"There was nothing racist. There were no racist comments in the video, and I've been set up."

He says the video was a "simple case of road rage, taken out of context".

Mr Keenan explained the pair had, had an earlier altercation in traffic that had not been filmed.

"I didn't see her, she pulled out in front of me, and I swerved to avoid an accident."

Mr Keenan said that the woman then stopped her car, got out, and started abusing him, calling him a "white shit".

"She continued on like this for some time, and I told her to go away. I drove around her and continued on my way to work, some 7km down the road to my worksite."

Once Mr Keenan had arrived at his worksite, he found the woman had parked behind his vehicle and was videoing him.

Mr Keenan said this is when he lost his temper.

"At that point, I did lose my temper. You can see that in the video. Nothing racist from me at all, nothing in that video at all is racist."

Mr Keenan says his business has been bombarded with hateful phone calls and messages since the incident, including calls from the woman and a male friend.

"The male friend said that they would ruin my business and defame me - it was a set up."

Mr Keenan has since laid an official complaint to police against the woman.

The woman in the video has not responded to Newshub's requests for comment.

The video has gone viral since the time of posting, and has been shared more than 1100 times.