TVNZ's Jenny-May Clarkson breaks down on Breakfast as she opens up about racism

Publish Date
Monday, 8 June 2020, 3:36PM

TVNZ Breakfast host Jenny-May Clarkson was visibly emotional live on air this morning as she spoke out about racism.

Clarkson, who joined the Breakfast team last year, shared her family's own experiences with viewers following an interview with US author Clint Smith, who recently wrote an article about the Black Lives Matter movement.

The former Silver Fern spoke of how her own father, Waka, had refused to give his six children Māori names.

"It took me back to my father, and him naming all of us - he refused to name any of us Māori because of how his name was said, was used, was made fun of as he was growing up," she said tearing up.

"We've all got Māori names, but as middle names, and for me as a mother, and seeing that pain, I refuse not to name my children Māori names," she continued, referring to her twin boys, Atawhai and Te Manahau.

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"That is their birthright and this is part of the revolution I guess.

"They have their names and they will feel strong about their names because they know where they come from and they can explain that to people.

"We're all part of the revolution - the conversations that we have here in New Zealand with our children - how we discuss things like race - we're all part of that conversation.

"It's not a brown thing, it's not a white thing - it's all of us, and we can all make a difference."

Such a powerful message!