Wellington, Oct 10 (ANI): The New Zealand TV presenter Paul Henry, who had been facing criticism for his 'racist' comments against Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, has resigned from his post, accepting that he had "crossed the line".
"I am astonished and dismayed that my comments have created a diplomatic incident. My style is conversational and of course unscripted. I walk the finest of lines and accept that I have inadvertently crossed it from time to time," Nz Herald quoted him, as saying in a statement.
"I am grateful to the many thousands of people who have offered their support to me. I hope they will understand and accept that an extraordinary convergence of circumstances has made this action necessary," he added.
Henry was suspended without pay this week after an interview on Breakfast with Prime Minister John Key, in which he questioned whether Governor-General Sir Anand Satyanand was really a New Zealander.
Earlier, the TVNZ breakfast host mocked the name of Sheila Dikshit by repeatedly calling her "Dick-sh*t" and claimed that her name was "so appropriate" because she was an Indian.
"It's so appropriate, because she's Indian, so she'd be dick-in-sh*t wouldn't she, do you know what I mean? Walking along the street ... it's just so funny," Henry said earlier.
Following Henry's comments, the Indian government had expressed its displeasure and summoned the New Zealand Commissioner over the issue.
Minister John Key had later said that the 'racist' comments made by Henry against Dikshit, has embarrassed his country.
New Zealand's Commissioner in India Rupert Holborow had apologized on Friday to the Indian External Affairs Ministry over comments made by Henry. He further conveyed "deep regret" for the "culturally insensitive, inappropriate and vulgar" remarks, and said he would personally apologize to Dikshit.
New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully also apologised on Friday saying that although he was powerless to act against Henry who had made "gratuitous and insulting" race remarks about Dikshit, he accepted that it was a " regrettable abuse of freedom of speech". (ANI)