Paul Henry has quit his job at TVNZ after anger over his ‘Dikshit’ comments boiled over into protests outside parliament, but support from fans has poured in.

Henry’s ridiculing of Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, in which he deliberately mispronounced her name, led to the Indian government lodging a diplomatic complaint against him as well as a record number of complaints to TVNZ and criticism from the Race Relations Commissioner, politicians, ethnic and community organisations.

After the presenter quit his job, New Zealand prime minister John Key said “Mr Henry’s resignation brings closure to the matter and we should now put it behind us.”

Henry was watched in horror by thousands as he fell about laughing over Shila Dikshit’s name, spluttering to himself:

“The dip shit woman. God, what’s her name? Dick Shit. Is it Dick Shit … it looks like ‘Dick Shit’. It’s so appropriate, because she’s Indian, so she’d be dick-in-shit wouldn’t she, do you know what I mean? Walking along the street … it’s just so funny.”


After a week of protests, Henry quit his job at TVNZ, issuing a statement saying:

“I am astonished and dismayed that my comments have created a diplomatic incident.”

He added that it was “no longer practical” for him to continue at his job because he did not want to become a “lightning rod for racial disharmony”.

TVNZ chief executive Rick Ellis said: “The reality is that his comments have split the community and damaged New Zealand’s international relationships.”

However, Paul Henry fans have flooded message boards with their support for the host. ‘mantle1974’ said: “Absolutely Gutted! These people have to fill dead air for a
living and Paul did it so well. I got a laugh from the show every
morning and when he was on leave it was never the same. A comment
made in jest has caused all this and I cannot believe it.”

Where do you stand on the Paul Henry Dikshit fiasco?

Related: Paul Henry in ‘Dikshit’ race row