Commission urges New Zealanders to look to civil defence experts for earthquake guidance

Commission urges New Zealanders to look to civil defence experts for earthquake guidance

November 16, 2016

The Human Rights Commission says an Auckland man who has blamed gay people for the recent deadly earthquakes is ironic given that today is an international day dedicated to tolerance.

“Blaming gay people and other New Zealanders for the deadly quakes is both ignorant and ironic given that today is the UN International Day for Tolerance: Mr Tamaki’s words are a lesson to us all that intolerance and prejudice is very real,” said Human Rights Commissioner Richard Tankersley.

"I encourage New Zealanders to look to our earthquake scientists and our civil defence experts for guidance, rather than putting their trust in Mr Tamaki's sermons."

“We are all born free and equal in dignity and rights and we are entitled to be actively included in our shared world. This is the foundation of the UN Declaration for Human Rights that our country that our nation is a signatory to,” said Mr Tankersley.

"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," said Mr Tankersley.

"We are proud to see the local and central government and community coming together - as is often the case the local marae has taken in hundreds of stranded people while Ngai Tahu iwi stepped in quickly with donations including tonnes of kaimoana. Please continue to stick together and look after one another."

Human Rights Commission

The Commission works for a free, fair, safe and just New Zealand, where diversity is valued and human dignity and rights are respected.