Auckland Councillors condemn Nazi comments

Press Release – Phil Goff

Phil Goff, current Deputy Mayor Bill Cashmore, and Councillors Chris Darby, Richard Hills, Josephine Bartley and Penny Hulse today condemned the use of Nazi slogan by mayoral candidate John Tamihere during a debate last night.

In response to Phil Goff talking about the diversity of Auckland and the upcoming birth of his grandchild, Mr Tamihere said “Well, I say sieg heil to that”.

Cr Richard Hills said, “Mr Tamihere has never apologised for his homophobia, he’s never apologised for his sexism, he’s now topping it off with using Nazi slogans. Absolutely disgusting that he wants to lead our awesome city. He and the candidates supporting him need to think about this hateful direction they’re taking this election and our city. We all deserve much better,”

Cr Chris Darby said “The use of the Nazi salute Sieg Heil espouses the most despicable hatred of people. With part of my family having German heritage, we know only too well the ugliness of hatred. While not a criminal act in New Zealand, as it is in Germany, anyone using the salute is inciting hatred, something Aucklanders should make no room for.”

Phil Goff said, “These comments are unacceptable for someone who wants to be Mayor of this city. I am proud of how multicultural our city is and more importantly, I am proud of how we embrace our diversity. This is not the first time Mr Tamihere’s comments have gotten him in trouble and I don’t think it will be the last.”

Cr Josephine Bartley said, “You can’t take back something once you say it. There is no understandable reason to use Nazi language in a conversation about a mixed-race grandchild. Although his intention may have been to belittle the speaker, his words would have hurt many who know about and may have connections with the atrocity. The people Mr Tamihere purports to represent deserve better than shock factor disrespectful one-liners. Do better please!”

Currently Deputy Mayor Bill Cashmore noted, “This type of rhetoric shows the measure of a man. This isn’t the type of language that you use in a debate or anywhere else. There is no excuse for it. We don’t need this type of politics in our city.”

Cr Penny Hulse said, “Using Nazi salutes and slogans as a way of belittling a political opponent shows that Mr Tamihere has not reformed or changed his ways at all and this crass behaviour is par for he course.”

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