Former PM John Key has waded into the row over Mad Butcher Sir Tony Veitch, saying he is not a racist.
"I've know the butcher since I was 10. I regularly stole from his shop to provide for my family, who were very poor. As I absconded with half a pound of pork chops, he'd always shout out "come back here you little Jewish bastard", but not in a racist way.
Everyone who knows him will tell you he may be a few cents short of the full Ten dollars a Kilo, but he loves all his customers, wherever they come from.
Veitch is accused of asking a young Soloman Islands woman "how can your lot afford to come to somewhere posh like Stonyridge?", an exclusive winery on Waiheke Island.
According to his accuser, when she replied that she was Bungata Shuttemup, and had an ancestral claim over Stonyridge VIP membership, which entitled her to a 20% discount, Sir Tony then asked her how many pairs of shoes her 12 children had.
Many public figures have come out in support of "The Butch", as he is affectionately known, including sport jock Peter Leitch, who knows what it is like to be hounded and vilified on social media, after he claimed he had thrown his wife off the top of the Eiffel Tower "by accident".
Neither side appears repentant in this sorry affair. The young woman, who has name suppression, reportedly told Veatch "you Pakeha had better watch out, or you'll find yourselves going for $9.99 a kilo”, whilst Sir Tony has vowed to fully book Stonyridge every day for the year ahead to prevent her visiting again.
As the row continues to rumble, branches of the Mad Butcher all across the Soloman Islands remain closed today, although prominently displayed roadside billboards continue to reminder Islanders that Long Pig is only $9.99 a kilo "whilst stocks last"