Gay Hate Crime In Moeraki, New Zealand.

Two North Otago men accused of kidnapping a man last week are facing seven charges including  kidnapping and assault of a male at  Moeraki last Friday, unlawfully entering and remaining in his house and another house at Moeraki, threatening a second man and assaulting him twice.

The charges stemmed from an incident where the men allegedly ordered two men to leave town because of the mistaken belief they were gay. Source

The two accused, a 41 year old man from Oamaru and a 40 year old from Hampden, have had their names suppressed.

Hampden police Senior Constable Darrin Low told Dunedin District Court (on Monday) that one man who had been detained said he had “never known fear like it“. Source

Our thoughts are with the victims and we wish them a full and speedy recovery from their ordeal.

It’s good to see that police are taking this incident seriously and are prosecuting the alleged offenders, however it does highlight how shockingly bigoted and violent some of the more rural areas of New Zealand can be.

But is ‘gay bashing,’ in all its forms, limited just to the rural backwaters of New Zealand, or is there something dark lurking within the collective fragile Kiwi psyche  ?

Air NZ’s Gay Kiss Refusal

Following complaints from gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people Air New Zealand said recently that they will remove a scene from an in-flight safety video where All Black player, Richard Kahui,  refused to kiss a gay flight attendant on the cheek.

The video, which had already been shown to over two million people on Air NZ’s aircraft, apparently without any thought as to whether it may have marginalised or offended some people, also raised concern from a university professor who feared it may have caused gay male suicide. Is it any wonder in a country where ads like this next one are permitted, legitimising homophobia:

Low Carb Beer ‘Queer’

Earlier this month GayNZ reported on an ad campaign by Moa Beer, which suggested that anyone drinking low carb beer was ‘queer’:

“Moa Beer is offering to apologise in person to anyone offended by a t-shirt campaign which suggests low carb beer drinkers are queer, after an outpouring of disgust and disappointment on Facebook.

The boutique brewer’s marketing department was giving away t-shirts which said “Low Carb Beers”, with the a pink ‘Q’ superimposed over the letter ‘B’ so it read “Qeers”, promoting the fact that Moa’s brews are “full strength”.

When asked by Daily News whether the campaign is saying that anyone who drinks low carb beer must be queer, Moa’s marketing manager replied “yes”, but also so replied “yes” to the question of whether Moa was bothered that it had offended some gay people.

The ensuing story sparked angry backlash on its Facebook page…” read the full report here

So what’s the message here – Homophobia in NZ is acceptable until it results in physical harm and assault?

Comments left on the beer company’s wall included:

“Yesterday a friend of mine was threatened with being bottled, sworn at and called a faggot because he walked down Ponsonby Road holding his boyfriend’s hand.
THIS is why, unfortunately, NZ isn’t mature enough for Moa’s advertisement. I know it’s meant in humour, there are too many people who see that kind of advertising as legitimising their homophobia. Take Toyota and the ‘bugger’ commercials. Suddenly it was acceptable. It was on wheel covers. It was publicly ok to say the word. This will happen with homophobia if advertisements like Moa’s are seen as ok.”

“It’s reading debates like this that I’m pleased I’ve left New Zealand. Considering it’s nearly 2011 it’s amazing how backward kiwis can still be. We need to be more accepting. To those that posted “PC madness” “take a joke” etc., it’s easy to say that when you are part of the majority. Try putting yourself in the shoes… of someone in a minority group and feel what it’s like to be oppressed; dealing with this stuff day in, day out.
ps I’m not gay.
pps won’t be buying the beer.”

“The only people that will take offensive to it are ‘Queers’, I don’t get mad at ads that take the piss out of woman, as a lot of beer adverts do, eg Tui…. I say grow a set of balls and laugh… by the way well done MOA by the reaction this has had it means your advertising has worked!!!”

“Another ‘Like’ just to post on your wall.
I really thought we had made progress, as a country, away from homophobic shyte like your QEER T Shirt campaign.
Like many, I’d never heard of you but the bad news is, now I have, I don’t like you.
Epic PR failure.”

Other stories presently in the NZ News you may be interested in:



4 thoughts on “Gay Hate Crime In Moeraki, New Zealand.

  1. Kiwi dancer Brendan Cole (now in the UK), a ballroom dancer on the Strictly Come Dancing show, was bullied in his Christchurch boys’ school very badly in his youth, for not being a rugby type. He wasn’t gay, but he was small and slight and interested in dancing. They used to call him gay, faggot, etc., and tape metal compasses to their shoes and kick him with them. Lucky guy escaped to the UK and made it big.

  2. in the Herald

    “A Northland lesbian couple have been targeted by arson and had anti-gay slurs graffitied on their property, hurting their business and making them consider leaving the small town they have called home for seven years.

    Juliet Leigh and Lindsay Curnow, in their mid-60s, said their sexuality had never been an issue for people at Mangawhai Heads, a seaside town about an hour’s drive north of Auckland”.

  3. The gay panic defense is alive and well in NZ, despite the government’s progressive stance on permitting partnerships. I cannot emphasise enough that the progressiveness is an illusion projected by the NZ government to ensure it will fit in with what it perceives to be a First World tolerance stance. On the interpersonal level, outside a cosmopolitan area, New Zealanders are not overly inclusive of gays and non-Maori minorities in their social lives except to some small degree outside the two larger cities. They consider it their right to joke loudly about gays and minorities, and those people should just suck it up “because it’s called freedom of speech” (unless you make pointed remarks about Kiwis – then they go ballistic). I do not know any gay people who hold hands in public in New Zealand. Then again, I do not see many straights doing it either. They are not casually affectionate people, in any event.

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