Devoted Christian fined for lopping penis off a Maori carving

Devoted Christian fined for lopping penis off a Maori carving September 13, 2019
Screenshots via Stuff NZ/Murray Wilson

NEW Zealander Milton Wainwright, 78, was hit with a $2,000 fine yesterday (Thursday) for taking a chainsaw to a Maori carving and reducing its penis to sawdust.

Wainwright, who insisted he was carrying out God’s work, said the carving “disgusted” him and promoted sex for pleasure, which he believes has led to the degeneration of society.

His act of vandalism occurred in April this year. The figure – Te Hononga Maunga – was part of a set of carvings standing guard over the Ballance-end entrance to the Manawatū Gorge, protecting the domain where the Ruahine and Tararua ranges meet.

The figure offered welcome and safe passage to hikers on the reserve’s walking tracks and its phallus was said to reflect the regeneration of the forest and its descendents.

Wainwright, who runs the Woodville Organ Museum, first attacked the carving with a handsaw. When the wood proved to hard for the tool, he returned the next day with a chainsaw.

The fool’s action resulted in a charge of wilful damage and at his trial at Palmerston North District Court he was he was ordered to pay $2,000.

Department of Conservation ranger Abby Whiteman said staff were shocked when they learned of Wainwright’s attack.

The part that was cut away gave life to others. I now express sadness when I visit the [reserve] entrance.

In court, Judge Lance Rowe said it was a deliberate and premeditated attack, which Wainwright knew would offend a large group of people. He had shown cultural and religious “ignorance” and imposed his moral view on Maori.

Your explanation was that you were making an indecent thing decent. You understood the harm this would cause.

The Wainwrights in the Organ Museum. Image Facebook.

But his wife, Rosalie Wainwright, said she was proud of her husband’s “courage” and “bravery”. Wainwright reportedly remains unrepentant.

Wainwright has been a caretaker of the reserve for six years and spotted the carving shortly after its opening ceremony. He then lodged complaints with the Tararua District Council, police and the Department of Conservation

I thought: ‘I’ve got to find the person who authorised this.’

Image via Facebook

When Tararua mayor Tracey Collis, above, was the only one to reply, warning him not touch the statue, Wainwright decided to take matters in his own hands.

He described the backlash of his vandalism as “gruelling” and “really tough.”

Wainwright’s case initially came to trial in July, when he was found guilty. In his defence he said that  if he had stood naked in the same place as the carving he would have been arrested.

I don’t see how it can be so wrong to make an indecent thing so decent. He who doesn’t stand for something will fall for anything. I stood for decency in public places.

Wainwright said had seen children playing with the carving and “fondling” its penis

Wainwright said he didn’t do it on a whim and he had support from God.

Police prosecutor Jonathan Radley said because Wainwright had no ownership of the carving and that his moral claim could be no defence.

Rangitāne iwi kaumatua Manahi Paewai said Wainwright had no authority to damage the pou,  which had cultural significance.

The damage done has caused a large amount of hurt, damage and anguish to our people and people in the community.

The damaged carving has been removed, and there are plans to replace it with a new one.

Hopefully with one with a much larger cock!

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • john levin

    Chainsaw? Penis? I think I could improve on that $2,000 fine.

  • Milo C

    It’s sad that so many Xians have a tiny worldview. Such a small, unimpressive worldview, unrelated to the phallus.

  • Die Anyway

    Isn’t there something in his holy book about an eye for an eye? Hmmm….

  • Wainwright, who runs the Woodville Organ Museum…

    You can’t make this stuff up!

  • Michael Neville

    A chainsaw for a chainsaw?

  • Die Anyway

    Yeah, sure. That’s exactly what I was thinking.

  • Michael Neville

    Wainwright thought something was indecent so he imposed his views on everyone else. Typical Christian arrogance and narcissism..

  • barriejohn

    If God didn’t intend us to enjoy sex, why did he make it so enjoyable in the first place?

  • barriejohn

    I fear that, should they visit Japan, their tiny brains might explode!

  • Ray Janes

    A brand new method of circumcision???

  • So that he had an excuse to inflict pain on people “guilty” of finding it enjoyable.

  • …I so want to attend this!

  • islandbrewer

    Well this is surprising. If it had happened in the US, I wouldn’t blink – we have legions of unhinged crazy religious nuts.

    But old En-Zed? Kiwis always seemed to be such “live and let live” easy going people, regardless of political or religious bent.

  • islandbrewer


    At our dinner table, the conversation would be:

    Son: I found a dead bug!

    Me: What kind? Hemipteran? Dipteran? Let’s look at the wings, first …

  • islandbrewer

    An uninspired and flaccid worldview. Their worldview may have stood erect at one point, but now it just seems a little impotent.

  • flexilis

    Perhaps he should take a nice relaxing vacation in Bhutan.

  • Carstonio

    The fact that the statue was created by a non-white culture probably had something to do with it.

  • persephone

    Then, maybe, we should pitch in to get them all vacations there during the festival.

  • persephone

    There are extremists everywhere. Look up Gloriavale Christian Community. The fundamentalists often settle early into remote areas and build insular communities, like the Mormons.

  • gemini bowie

    He wanted it for himself, or his wife wanted it – not sure which…

  • terremoto415
  • LastManOnEarth

    To be fair, as a worldview gets older it frequently becomes more difficult to rise to the occasion. Today it seems to barely limp along.

    They used to proclaim that “Jesus is coming!” but it seems like now he mostly just sits in his barcalounger and yells at the people on his T.V.

  • guerillasurgeon
  • eric collins

    Iconoclast bigots have long been a part of the more fundamentalist factions of Christianity.
    The Coptic Church in Egypt have been vandalizing the works of Pharaoh’s for hundreds of years

  • The Christians of earlier days beat him to it.

  • Wainwright, who runs the Woodville Organ Museum, first attacked the carving with a handsaw.

    Maybe he just wanted another organ for his museum.

    When the wood proved to hard for the tool, he returned the next day with a chainsaw.

    That’s because he was too early. Everyone knows that morning wood is the hardest.

    Wainwright said he didn’t do it on a whim and he had support from God.

    Then call him as a character witness, and charge the deity with aiding and abetting.

  • Robert McLean

    They just get sillier and sillier and sillier. Is there a limit to their silliness? Seems, No.

  • EllyR

    Gives a totally new dimension to the expression >sit on it<…

  • Andrew

    Amen and good on ya brother! In Christ, Andrew

  • Richard B


  • TheBookOfDavid

    Wainwright said he didn’t do it on a whim and he had support from God.

    Milton shouldn’t have anything to worry about, then. If God authorized his act of vandalism, I’m sure He will accept responsibility for His part in the crime, and help pay off the fine. Right?

  • mobathome

    Only a fine? He should be forced to replace the artifact with an equal one with visible genitalia.

    You write “Wainwright has been a caretaker of the reserve”. Did he lose his position?

  • CoastalMaineBird

    Do you really think that anyone is better off for having this happen?
    Do you really think that YOU have the right to go around mutilating statues?
    Do you really think that YOU would be OK if I decided to multilate YOUR favorite torture device (cross) with it’s most-famous victim?
    Do you really hate everybody else as much as it appears you do ?

  • Barry Duke

    Congratulations, Andrew. You’ve just revealed you’re denser than a Maori statue’s wooden dong.

  • Nica

    Like a crucifix? 😉

  • Tiny but fierce

    Because profaning another culture’s sacred artifacts is a good thing? If you think your beliefs should be respected, you need to start respecting the beliefs of others. I’m guessing if the headline had been, “Māori man puts crucifix in woodchipper”, you’d be outraged. I see them as equally offensive.

  • Michael Neville

    They don’t have an East Poodunk in Noo Zeelund. I looked at a gazetteer.

  • Tim Howley

    I hope some Maori with a chainsaw does the same to him. Although I doubt his wife would notice.

  • Broga

    I suppose you would not approve if I took a chainsaw to the emaciated, writhing, tortured, life size figure of Jesus which which I pass most days outside a Roman Catholic Church. I have just bought a new chainsaw. Could this be God telling me to take action?

    You don’t realise how unhinged you appear to be, do you?

  • Andrew

    It could be your anti-god telling you to take action, and it could also be the creation of a false equivalency (damaging something overtly obscene on public property – a fertility God’s penis – versus on private property – the one true God dying horribly for your sins while you still hate Him). In Christ, Andrew

  • barriejohn

    Why East Poodunk?

  • barriejohn

    “Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.”

    (H.L. Mencken)

  • barriejohn

    Sorry to keep banging on about the Plymouth Brethren, but I happen to know that they are quite strong in New Zealand. I think this may be connected to the immigration of large numbers of non-conformist Scots to the islands in the past. They seem quite strict as well (“Wee Frees”, anyone?).

  • barriejohn

    He’s a troll. Don’t encourage him!

  • barriejohn

    Sadly, many Christians actually believe that this sort of “miraculous” intervention is possible. They aren’t as harmless as they appear.

  • Broga

    “damaging something overtly obscene on public property.”

    If a penis is overtly obscene, you should take that up with your God who created it. So what’s obscene about a penis? Do you regard a part of your body as obscene? Why should a deeply disturbed and obsessively puritanical character like you decide what is to be displayed on public property? Do you regard as obscene one of the great creative achievements of human art: Michael Angelo’s “David?”

    I would be interested to know what you regard as my sins?

  • Broga

    “The one true God?” So how do you decide that from all the other “true believers” who are convinced their God is the one true God. It seems that you are an atheist for all the other gods except your own. I take Richard Dawkins’ advice and go one step further.

  • Broga

    Good advice. They are so bloody irritating in the arrogant conviction that they must be right.

  • Andrew

    There are too many logical reasons to express in this type of format to prove my belief in following Jesus instead of the multitudes of other false gods or the false position of one man like Dawkins. However, you are right in saying I reject all other godly claims apart from Jesus, but I have no intention or desire to put a fallen man who repeatedly spreads falsehood like they are facts before the absolute truth and sovereignty of our Lord and Savior. If you really want to know and have a relationship with the Truth then you will seek it and Him with all you have, otherwise you will continue to believe what you like and is comforting to your chosen lifestyle. Following Jesus is demanding and not for the weak or faint of heart because it requires sacrifice and honest judgement before mercy. In Christ, Andrew

  • Andrew

    Sins are anything that goes against God will and what He wants for us and from us. It’s not hard, and they are very clearly laid out in the bible. Another way to look at it, is anything that contradicts God’s Holy character. We all sin, myself included, but we must admit and confess them in order to receive the grace of His character to overcome them. And that includes making a large fertility penis on a statue to worship the act of sex versus creating a tasteful depiction of a male figure that does not obviously draw attention to his genitalia. In Christ, Andrew

  • Barry Duke

    ” Following Jesus is demanding and not for the weak or faint of heart.” No, it is just for the fearful and feeble-minded who have never outgrown the infantile belief in an invisible friend. Goodbye, Andrew. People who advocate or support attacks on the icons of other cultures are not welcome here.

  • wyocowboy

    maybe he wanted the penis for his own pleasure. lol

  • Timothy Weston

    …or his wife needed it 🙂

  • Broga

    Barry: I have taken the advice that I should not have needed and decided not to comment on Andrew. His latest comments to me reveal that he has been rendered brain dead as a result of toxic Christianity.

  • CoastalMaineBird

    a tasteful depiction of a male figure

    The guy has nails through his wrists and ankles AND YOU CALL THAT TASTEFUL ?

    That’s perverted.