You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

All Blacks star slams 'disgusting' backlash against a Maori Santa and calls the debate more damaging than the controversial Christmas float itself

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 5 days ago Sahar Mourad

The non-traditional Santa wore a red korowai and was smiling and waving at the crowd at Nelson © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The non-traditional Santa wore a red korowai and was smiling and waving at the crowd at Nelson An All Blacks star has slammed the backlash against a Maori Santa, and called the debate more damaging than the Christmas float itself.  

Nehe Milner-Skudder shared his views on the issue on social media, and called some of the comments made about the costume 'disrespectful and disgusting'.

Download the Microsoft News app for your Android or iPhone device and stay up-to date on the news you care about most.

The float sparked a fierce debate after a large crowd eagerly waiting to catch a glimpse of Santa during a Christmas parade on Sunday were left scratching their heads upon laying their eyes on the man sitting in the bright red sleigh. 

The pot-bellied figure with a large white beard had been replaced by a Maori man wearing a red korowai - a type of cloak. 

The non-traditional Santa was seen smiling and waving at the crowd at Nelson, on the South Island of New Zealand. 

a couple of people posing for the camera: Nehe Milner-Skudder shared his view on the 'controversial' issue involving a Maori Santa © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Nehe Milner-Skudder shared his view on the 'controversial' issue involving a Maori Santa 'Man this Māori Santa "issue" is pretty ridiculous and personally I find it stupid that it's created such a frenzy,' Milner-Skudder wrote on his Facebook page. 

'The main reason why I disagree with it is because I don't think Maori need to assimilate to Pākehā traditions. 

'Santa is a white tradition and we can celebrate it in our own way that suits our culture. 

'Conforming or assimilating to another culture is ultimately the reason why Maori culture is not as present in todays [sic] society.'

Revellers criticised event organisers for showing a non-traditional Santa, arguing the parade's Santa should have worn the more traditional clothing.

a man smiling for the camera: Milner-Skudder however had a problem with The AM Show host Duncan Garner who said 'Maori's don't own everything' © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Milner-Skudder however had a problem with The AM Show host Duncan Garner who said 'Maori's don't own everything' Community Arts Works Trust secretary Mark Soper told Stuff the idea behind the Māori Santa was 'bi-culturalism leading multi-culturalism'.

'That's the modern-day reality, we have a multicultural society. One third of Nelsonians are born outside of Nelson,' he said. 

'It's also created to entertain and make people feel good, and in Nelson, we're a bit more Wearable Art and adventurous.' 

Milner-Skudder however had a problem with The AM Show host Duncan Garner who said 'Maoris don't own everything'. 

'In saying that, people like Duncan Garner and others who have commented on this matter need to be MINDFUL of the things they say,' Milner-Skudder responded.

a group of people walking down the street: 'That's the modern-day reality, we have a multicultural society. One third of Nelsonians are born outside of Nelson,' Mr Soper said © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited 'That's the modern-day reality, we have a multicultural society. One third of Nelsonians are born outside of Nelson,' Mr Soper said 'You have a platform so you can have an opinion but you don't need to make certain comments. Saying things like "Māori don't own everything" is just disrespectful and disgusting really. 

'Of course we don't own everything, it was taken at colonisation and we've failed as a country to truly understand Maori culture and in turn that means we've failed to redress those wrongs. 

'Annnnnyway, The reason behind the Santa was multiculturalism, a positive thing, and maybe they got it wrong but you definitely got it wrong with your response. It's people like you that hinder the positive moment.

'I feel like the comments and remarks that have come out have been far more damaging then the Santa himself.

'Anyway the point of this post was just to remind people to be mindful of the things you say... Especially if you have a platform that can easily influence others.

'Ahh little rant for the week... Gonna go find me a Santa suit now.'

Fellow All Blacks Ardie Savea, Dane Coles and Victor Vito showed support for Milner-Skudder's post. 

More From Daily Mail

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon