Let Brian Tamaki speak. If we stop him, then where do we draw the line?

A Christchurch school plans to review its hiring policies after leasing its auditorium to a controversial preacher accused of hate speech.

Self-styled bishop and Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki is speaking at Haeata Community Campus, in Aranui, at 7pm on Monday.

His appearance has attracted widespread attention after a protest event, dubbed the “Queer Quake Mardi Gras”, was organised by activist Josie Butler.

Free speech meets free speech.   

Tamaki was widely condemned after comments he made in a sermon last year blaming earthquakes on “gays, sinners and murderers”.

Mocked, I would have said.

Haeata board of trustees chairwoman Cheryl Doig said in light of the situation, the board would review what groups could hire school facilities.

Why?   If the gatherings are peaceful, lawful and safe, I see no reason why you would not let some people hire the hall.   In fact, as a public facility, you really can’t decide who meets your idea of morality.

“It’s a really important ethical discussion and one I’m pleased has been highlighted because I think all schools need to have that conversation,” she said.

“We have a fair and just society and a school that’s diverse, and that’s what we’d be expecting to take into account for any future hiring.”

Asked if she thought gay students at Haeata would be comfortable with Tamaki appearing at their school – albeit at a private event -– Doig said “probably not”.

“We’ve worked really hard to make sure all students regardless of their gender, sexuality, race etc are supported,” she said.

“From a personal point of view, I am not supportive of anyone that isn’t supportive of all members of the community, and who puts across messages that may inflame or divide our community.”

School principal Andy Kai Fong said the school hired its facilities to a range of community groups, including Destiny Church on at least one previous occasion.

I’m offended by vegans.  But that doesn’t mean they can’t get together in a public hall and have a conference about their choices in life.

Someone from Wifebeaters Anonymous should phone the school to book the hall.  Will the school reject the group because they are self-admitted wife beaters, or accept the group because they are trying to become better people?

Or, as they should do, just look at it as lawful people minding their own damn business hiring a space and that it is none of their business as long as it is safe and lawful.


– Stuff

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.