Hannah Tamaki says she will "always be friends" with the campaign manager she dumped after he posted a tirade of abuse online.
Jevan Goulter has been close friends with Tamaki and her husband Brian for the past nine years but this week was unceremoniously dumped as Vision New Zealand's campaign manager after he took umbridge at comments made by The Project co-host Kanoa Lloyd which has led to a police complaint.
It's a complaint NetSafe today say police should be taking a "close look at" given the strengthened laws around inciting suicide online in the Harmful Digital Communications Act legislation brought into force in 2015.
Lloyd said on Monday's show that Tamaki should not be on the programme: "I love Dancing with the Stars, and I don't really think I want to see a homophobic paso doble or a xenophobic cha-cha".
• Police complaint over Jevan Goulter's tirade against The Project's Kanoa Lloyd
• Hannah Tamaki sacks campaign manager Jevan Goulter after tirade against The Project's Kanoa Lloyd
• Watch: Hannah Tamaki's campaign manager issues emotional apology to Kanoa Lloyd
• Jevan Goulter: How I brought Destiny Church's Brian Tamaki and his apology to the rainbow community - and what came next
In a post since deleted from his personal Facebook page, Goulter labelled Lloyd a "rancid rotton [sic] stuffed pig with blood pouring out of her eyes" and said she should "show NZ what voluntary euthanasia looks like".
Police received a report following concerns about the post about 9.30am Tuesday morning. A spokesman today said they were currently "working through this matter" with the person who made the complaint.
Tamaki was to be revealed next month as being on the cast of this year's Dancing With The Stars, however after Goulter's online attack on Lloyd, she was dumped.
A short time later, Tamaki then dumped Goulter from his post. He removed his post before putting up a tearful apology.
"I wanted to make an apology to Kanoa Lloyd from The Project.
"I wanted to make an apology because I need to for the comments I made last night, which was totally unacceptable.
"It was downright disgusting really. I have no grounds to justify the things I said, whatsoever ... Kanoa, I'd like to genuinely apologise for the things I said because clearly there were things in there that much wider, deeper things in them that I was too careless to think about when I put my post up.
"They were certainly views that are not held by anybody I work with, associate with or even views that I hold myself. It goes to show what a poor choice I made when I decided to do that."
On behalf of Lloyd, a Mediaworks spokeswoman said Lloyd wouldn't be making any further comment about the story. Tamaki is yet to return a request for comment.
However, she has been open about her views on Facebook today revealing in a post that she and Goulter "are still and will always be friends".
"You don't have to always agree with each other ... And true friends understand that our actions have consequences. I know how to love someone unconditionally, 9yrs of true friendship. Is what we have and always will be the other thing is this, I have never ask [sic] Jevan for anything. We have both just enjoyed & will continue to enjoy our friendship."
In a post on her own page this morning, Tamaki wrote how to keep smiling when there were disappointments in life.
"The life tips you teach others are the experiences that have made the most impact on your life. A nana Hannah tip, teach children from a young age that disappointments happen in life. Learn from them, not be burnt by them we are still smiling."
Meanwhile, when asked if Gaulter's comments warranted a police prosecution, Martin Cocker, chief executive of NetSafe, said it wasn't up to him, however he said it warranted "a close look".
"I didn't read the specific content so I would be at a stretch to say if they should or shouldn't but it's fair to say from what I've seen it definitely warrants a close look from them.
"But whether they would follow that through to a prosecution or not I couldn't say."
NetSafe is the Government-approved agency in charge of helping people with their complaints under the Act. He said from that perspective, Goulter appeared to have done what they would have asked of him - removed the post and apologised.
"From a civil process we would say that he has done the right thing.
"The problem of course when somebody has the profile he has and the profile it does is that it does lead to other reoccurring harm; other people producing similar content so even despite withdrawing the content and apologising it doesn't stop the harm that that post caused because other people are copycats and join in.
"It doesn't completely exonerate him but he has done the kind of things that we would ask him to do if it was brought under a civil process."
The high-profile nature of those involved aggravated the situation due to possible copycat behaviour.
"I think when people are high profile and produce these kind of communications, then it is incredibly unhelpful because it normalises a behaviour that we're trying not to."
As for whether online bullying had eased since implementation of the Act in 2015, Cocker said it hadn't changed.
Surveys carried out in 2012 and 2019 had delivered the same result - 1 in 10 Kiwis were harmed by digital communication each year.
"The rate of abuse is constant."