Created on December 29, 2023
25 Rust Avenue, Whangārei 0110, New Zealand

Untitled by ML (please let us know if you recognise the artist).

Spoiler alert: This is an unverified interpretation of this piece and may just be an interesting coincidence but maybe the artist was making a political comment....

'In November 2021 the footwear of choice by Te Paati Maori co-leader Rawiri Waititi led to some contentious comments in parliament.

When Rawiri Waititi delivered his maiden speech in the house in December 2020, he warned that he would act like a pebble in the shoe of Parliament – an unapologetically Maori voice in the halls of power.

Eleven months later, it was Waititi shoe choice (Nike Air Jordan 1 mids in gym red) that became the pebble in the shoes of some parliamentary colleagues. In particular, a comment by Trevor Mallard in response to David Seymour’s question: “But are Air Jordans an example of business attire?” In which Mallard quipped: “I’d tend to say it depends on the business you’re in”.

Waititi says subsequent conversations with Mallard outside the house confirmed the type of business he was alluding to; that of basketball players but also drug dealers and gang members.  

The comments, which were posted on social media, led to numerous comments condemning Mallard, The Speaker of the House, with many of those expressing concern about stereotyping and racism implied by his remarks.'

The full story written by Charlotte Muru-Lanning is available on www.thespinoff.co.nz

Hunted by Keren Harris.
Pictures by Keren Harris.

Marker details

Camera usedSamsung SM-G991B
Marker typeartwork
CountryNew Zealand