Writing in The Conversation this week, Australian Uniting Church minister Geoff Thompson said the Israel/Maria Folau debate was "a perfect storm of race, religion, sport, politics, sex, law and rights".

The transtasman tempest, which began with Australian rugby player Israel Folau's fire-and-brimstone posts on social media and subsequent contractual battle with Rugby Australia - and have now impacted on Netball New Zealand and its sponsors after his NZ netballer wife Maria reposted her husband's controversial appeal for donations to help in his legal fight - appears to be showing few signs of easing.

The issues of freedom of speech,