Sale of golliwog dolls at Pak'n Save an 'error'

'ERROR': 'Happy Gollies' doll on sale at Pak'n Save in Hamilton.
Christel Yardley/Fairfax NZ

'ERROR': 'Happy Gollies' doll on sale at Pak'n Save in Hamilton.

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy has applauded Pak 'n Save for pulling golliwog dolls from the shelves of one of its stores.

Pak'n Save said one of its supermarkets made an "error of judgment" in selling the dolls, and has apologised to customers.

A photo of a black "Happy Gollies" children's toy, retailing for $21.99, attracted a storm of opprobrium on social networks Twitter and Reddit.

Devoy said it was good to see everyday New Zealanders letting the supermarket know what they thought.

"An important thing about growing up is that even though something we did as children may have been acceptable then, it doesn't make it acceptable forever," she said.

"Golliwogs aren't harmless toys, they were born out of racism and represent an era that is best left in the past." 

Antoinette Laird, spokeswoman for the chain's owner Foodstuffs, said she understood the sale was an isolated incident at the Clarence Street, Hamilton store.

That store had been immediately instructed to remove the product from its shelves, and others had been warned, she said.

"We believe in this instance the store has made an error of judgement purchasing such a product and putting it on sale," said Laird.

"We in no way support the sale of any item that does not fit with our brand values."

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Several other retailers have previously copped criticism for selling the toys, include Ballantynes, H&J Smith, and Kirks.


* H&J Smith criticised for selling Gollies

* Golliwog caricature dehumanising

 - Stuff


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