Dunedin Mayor Peter Chin has apologised for the controversial
"it's all white here" cricket promotion, while lashing out at
media coverage of the story.
The Otago Cricket Association marketing campaign, unveiled
last week, aimed to promote next month's Black Caps-West
Indies cricket test at Dunedin's University Oval.
However, association chief executive Ross Dykes was forced to
apologise days later, after the wording of the slogan was
criticised by the West Indies Players Association and
Dunedin-based former Pakistani international cricketer and
commentator Billy Ibadulla.
Mr Chin took the unusual step of making a statement on the
promotion, and subsequent media storm, during yesterday's
Dunedin City Council infrastructure services committee,
expressing regret for any offence caused.
However, those involved had "completely underestimated the
media's power to misinterpret our message by branding it
'racist'," he said.
In particular, TV3's use of a Ku Klux Klan image while
introducing a news item on the story was "inflammatory", and
a complaint to the Broadcasting Standards Authority was being
considered by Otago Cricket, he said.
"They have taken a meaning out of it which certainly we did
not intend at all, they have highlighted it and they have
highlighted it in a hugely offensive way which I think
everyone takes offence at," he said.
A TV3 spokesman declined to comment when contacted yesterday
The slogan was an Otago Cricket promotion conceived with
input from the DCC, University of Otago, Tourism Dunedin and
Dunedin-based media outlets, and aimed to mirror the
successful "black-out" rugby promotion preceeding July's All
Blacks-Springboks rugby test in Dunedin.
"With the benefit of hindsight, it was naive," Mr Chin said