Thursday, 11 October, 2012 - 10:32
Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is calling on Maori men leaders to stand up for their wahine and keep boxer Mike Tyson out of New Zealand.
Mrs Turei today issued a direct challenge to former Labour MP John Tamihere and Urban Maori Authority chairman Willie Jackson to pull their support for Tyson and stop promoting him as a role model for young Maori men.
"When Maori men endorse an unrepentant rapist like Mike Tyson, it hurts women.
"Tyson has repeatedly denied the rape he was convicted of in 1992 and continued to reveal hateful, misogynistic views about women.
"As recently as two months ago Tyson spoke about calling his one man show, which supposedly details how he has turned his life around, Boxing, Bitches and Lawsuits. He has joked about Sarah Palin being raped.
"When Maori male leaders tell young Maori that men like Tyson are role models it puts young Maori men, and the women they care about at risk.
"One in four women suffer sexual abuse and Maori women are even more at risk.
"John and Willie should be standing up for their sisters, mothers, and daughters and fighting to keep Tyson out.
"The Green Party believes in restorative justice, the ability for offenders to acknowledge the harm they have done and turn their lives around.
"But Tyson has repeatedly denied the rape he was convicted of and reveals himself as an angry, violent man.
"He is not a role model, and Maori leaders should stop endorsing his hatred of women by calling him one," Mrs Turei said.
We blogged our approval last week of Kate Wilkinson's decision to revoke Mike Tyson's visa to visit New Zealand after it was revealed that the Life Education Trust did not support his trip.
Physical and sexual violence can never be condoned. The revelations this week that Tyson has recently continued to make jokes about rape and condescending remarks about women suggest that deep down, little has changed in his worldview.
Rape is not a joking matter. We said that when Kim Dotcom made a recent intemperate outburst, and we repeat that today. A close family member has been a victim of rape, and she most certainly isn't laughing.
We can think of no good reason for Mike Tyson visiting New Zealand. We wonder how much of Willie Jackson's support is related to the promise of a $60,000 donation to the Manukau Urban Maori Authority. Our immigration rules with regard to criminal conviction are robust, and there is no reason whatsoever for Kate Wilkinson to again waive them to facilitate Tyson's proposed visit.
Whilst Metiria Turei's objection is based primarily on his unsuitability as a role model to young Maori men, we agree with her overall sentiments, and have no hesitation in associating ourselves with them.