A high-flying Australian executive has lost his job after he called New Zealanders "retarded" and said women had "no place in business or politics".
Ben Polis, the 30-year-old former chief executive of EnergyWatch, made a series of comments on his Facebook page attacking Aborigines, Asians and Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who he described as a "peasant" - but New Zealanders didn't escape the lashing either.
"You only take them to places like Gallipoli and the world cup of cricket so you don't feel bad. Just like your retarded cousin goes to the movies," he wrote.
In another message he slammed the role women played in politics and in business. "Women have no place in business or politics. They shouldn't even be allowed to vote. And it's all New Zealand's fault, since 1893. Yea [sic] let's let the women cook and vote. Great idea."
Polis has resigned as chief executive while the company battles to retain key clients who are appalled with what he has said - among them major sports teams like Melbourne Demons, Melbourne Rebels and Melbourne Victory.
"These were jokes between friends," Polis said. "Have they been taken out of context? Yes. Did I say them? 100 per cent ... I'm not a racist person."
He said there wasn't any hatred behind them. "I'm not like a neo-Nazi is what I'm trying to say."
Elizabeth Bang, president of the New Zealand Council of Women, was disgusted by the remarks.
"I think we should be so proud that New Zealand was the first [to allow women to vote] because it wasn't easy. The poor suffragists just had to keep on going and going so they need to be admired."
She "absolutely" condemned the comments and welcomed the swift response by sports teams who dumped his company as a sponsor.