Casino worker with Bible: 'It gives me strength'

A SkyCity employee has been accused of misconduct for carrying a Bible during her shifts. Photo / Thinkstock
A SkyCity employee has been accused of misconduct for carrying a Bible during her shifts. Photo / Thinkstock

A SkyCity worker who faces disciplinary action for carrying a bible at work says the book gives her life.

Tuni Parata will meet SkyCity managers tomorrow for a meeting on her alleged misconduct for carrying a pocket Bible while working as a tower host at the casino.

"The Bible is something I believe in,'' Ms Parata said today.

"It gives me strength''.

She said the Bible kept her inspired while at work.

"It's not meant to offend anyone at all,'' she told One News.

SkyCity says carrying the Bible is a breach of the uniform code but Christian leaders say the action is extreme and unfair.

People carried the Bible to be "inspired by its message'' and preventing someone from doing so took away their personal freedom, said Catholic Diocese of Auckland spokeswoman Lyndsay Freer.

"The carrying of a small Bible in this woman's pocket is hardly an unreasonable act so long as she was not attempting to force her beliefs upon others.

"What will Sky City do next, penalise staff members who wear a cross around their neck, or display some other religious symbol such as the head scarf or burqa?,'' she said.

Auckland University Christian Club president Jenny Mao, who carries her Bible on a mobile phone app, agreed.

"Some people are quite religious and they feel more comfortable with them (Bibles).

"I think it's allowed to be brought with her unless she was reading it at work,'' she said.

Ms Parata said carrying a Bible at all times was a vital part of her faith and relationship to God.

Her Union, Unite, has described the action against her as "absurd''.

SkyCity group services general manager Grainne Troute said yesterday that carrying items such as mobile phones and books could interfere with a worker's "full engagement with their customers''.

Today Ms Troute said SkyCity regretted how the incident had played out.

The casino had tried to resolve the matter quickly by moving the meeting from Thursday to today but it would now be held tomorrow afternoon.

"We would like to reiterate that at no point was this situation deemed serious misconduct nor will it result in a dismissal. While SkyCity has a uniform policy we are confident there is enough flexibility in our uniform policy to resolve this,'' she said.

- APNZ

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