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The Māori Party is pleased charges laid with a Tauranga man are being taken seriously by the Courts.
A 44-year-old man appeared in Tauranga District Court last week to face charges of inciting racial disharmony and making an objectionable publication after uploading a video to YouTube that incited violence, death threats to Māori.
He was arrested earlier on June 3 — initially appearing at the District Court on June 10.
Multiple complaints were made following outrage at words described as “highly distressing” from the man who directed the hate speech at Māori people, culture, history and heritage.
Te Pāti Māori laid a complaint with the IPCA about the video prior to it being removed from the platform. Concerns were also raised about why Police took too long to respond and arrest the individual.
A number of reports were made to the Department of Internal Affairs who took action.
Name suppression remains for the man and the next court date is scheduled for July 29. A plea is yet to be made.
Māori Party Co-leader, Rawiri Waititi, says the Government could reflect the situation in the review of upcoming hate speech laws.
“We are pleased with the charge and expected nothing less,” he said.
“A charge of inciting racial disharmony is incredibly important because it is rare and only sanctioned by the Attorney General.”
“This decision has set a precedent for human rights breaches and hate speech by white extremists moving forward.”
“The crown has sent a clear message that hate speech and inciting racial disharmony will not be tolerated.”
“We expect these messages to be reflected in the review of hate speech laws.”
Co-leader, Debbie Ngarewa-Packer, says white supremacy is a growing problem in the country but people who report inciteful and violent content are doing their part to stop it from spreading.
“This ruling is a reflection of a slowly but surely maturing Aotearoa that threatens the very existence of white supremacy and our people are prepared to activate,” she said.
“We consider this ruling as a win for Māori, and a win for our whanaunga from other whenua who have been subjected to racial violence and hate speech such as this.”
“This ruling is a landmark decision in the future of race relations in Aotearoa. Had we not put pressure on the Police and the Crown, we would not have seen an outcome like this.”
“It goes to show the might of indigenous power.”
Immigrant from the United Kingdom, racist and white supremacist Lee Williams, sparked negative outcomes online after mocking Mr Waititi in a YouTube video posted to his channel that has over 15,700 subscribers.
A petition was made on Change.org calling for him to be sacked from a company, Synlait, that employed him after posting the racist content online.
He was placed on a three-week suspension under a pending investigation and then sacked for ruining the company image in the public domain. Fundraising campaigns set up on GoFundMe and Givealittle were taken down following complaints about his racist actions portrayed online.
These actions by Mr Williams encouraged the individual to incite violence to Māori and is now facing the charges; thisquality reports.
Far-right white supremacists have been spreading misinformation and manipulative speech to thousands on their own platforms built on YouTube. The channel of Mr Williams remains after being temporarily suspended.
thisquality Founder Sam Hudson interviewed the Editor of Mana News and founding member of Love Aotearoa Hate Racism, Joe Trinder, about who’s behind it and how it can be counteracted.
Any content that is thought to be objectionable should be reported to the Department of Internal Affairs. Alternatively, text or talk at 1737 with a trained counsellor 24 hours a day.
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