Human Rights Commission receives complaints over Brian Tamaki rant

The Human Rights Commission has received 16 complaints after Brian Tamaki's rant this month. Photo / Michael Craig
The Human Rights Commission has received 16 complaints after Brian Tamaki's rant this month. Photo / Michael Craig

The Human Rights Commission has received 16 complaints about Brian Tamaki's rant blaming gay people for earthquakes.

In a sermon the day before last week's massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake which killed two people, Tamaki told churchgoers quakes were a result of sexual perversions.

He also blamed a gay priest and the people of Christchurch for the devastating earthquakes that hit Canterbury in 2010 and 2011, killing 185 people.

A spokeswoman for the commission said 16 complaints had been received about his speech, which could result in mediation.

After the rant was reported by the Herald, Human Rights Commissioner Richard Tankersley branded it as "disgusting."

"Tamaki's words are a lesson to us all that intolerance and prejudice is very real," Tankersley said.

"At this time when families are mourning loved ones and many more are scared and wondering how to face the next day, this kind of message is frankly, disgusting."

Tamaki's comments were labelled "ridiculous" by Prime Minister John Key, while the mayor of Kaikoura Winston Gray called them "pathetic".

And the sermon also prompted an online campaign asking people to donate to Rainbow Youth using Brian Tamaki's name. More than $3000 had been given by the end of last week.

Meanwhile, the commission has also received 17 complaints about Muslim cleric Shaykh Dr Mohammad Anwar Sahib.

The top cleric, who was also the secretary of the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand until today, was shown in a series of lectures recorded at a Manukau mosque and posted on social media vilifying Jewish and Christian communities.

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy. Photo / Mark Mitchell

In response to the video, Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy said: "We live in one of the most ethnically diverse nations on earth as well as one of the most peaceful: this is because we are a tolerant nation.

"This kind of intolerance is not welcome here in any form: Prejudice against Jewish people has no place in New Zealand."

Sahib denied inciting hate or being anti-Semitic.

- NZ Herald

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