Mike Hosking apologises for calling teacher 'moron'

Mike Hosking has apologised for calling a 60-year-old preschool teacher a "moron" but denies he lost his temper after she dinged his Maserati.

The apology letter arrived in Gayle Newby's letterbox this week, with the TV and radio presenter apologising for the post on his NewstalkZB Twitter feed, which said: "First task of the holidays taking my car to be fixed after a Moron [sic] backed into it".

Hosking told the Herald on Sunday he had been misunderstood. "The tweet was about the irony of starting your holiday taking your car to the panel beaters, not looking to upset her. That's not the sort of person I am."

Several readers contacted the Herald on Sunday after last week's story, expressing their disgust at how Newby claimed she'd been treated at the scene.

And that continues to be Newby's main gripe, rather than the Twitter rant, which she can't access.

"He made me feel silly. He used a real tone, all 'Why did you do this, how stupid'. I guess that's the way he performs," Newby said.

The incident happened on Teed St in Newmarket, when the grandmother was parallel parking her Toyota Estima and reversed slightly to give the person in front more room. The damage was minor, but a new grille for Hosking's car was set to cost around $6000.

"He led me to believe it was going to be a lot more than that," Newby said. "He got a pen and took down all my details, he didn't want me to have his."

Nevertheless, Newby said she was "pleasantly surprised" that Hosking had taken the time to write to her. "It was a very nice letter, I appreciated the apology." She will continue listening to him on air.

Police confirmed it was an offence under the Land Transport Act for a person not to give their name and contact details if they were involved in a non-emergency car accident.

Hosking, who was off-air this week for school holidays, said that was not an issue: "No, no, no. It was a non-event. She admitted fault, I took her details, end of story ... Why would she need [my details]?"

A new Maserati Gran Turismo, similar to the one Hosking drives, retails in New Zealand for $275,000 to $350,000.

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