Dame Tariana Turia supports hip-hop artist Chris Brown in his application to visit New Zealand.
She emphasises the importance of speaking out about domestic violence as opposed to ostracising offenders.
Dame Turia says, “The case of hip hop artist Chris Brown provides an interesting opportunity for us to have the debate about our attitudes towards rehabilitation of offending particularly in the context of violence.”
Tainui spokesman, Tukoroirangi Morgan told Te Kāea that an invitation to Tūrangawaewae Marae would be considered if Chris Brown was permitted entry into New Zealand.
Morgan also says that if Chris Brown gains entrance into New Zealand, the marae would be the best place to confront him about his assault conviction.
Shortly after, the Māori King’s office issued a statement saying it had not extended a formal royal invitation to the American singer.
Dame Turia says, “It seems there’s one school of thought which wants to banish individuals – to exclude certain people from our community based on our reaction to them.
There’s another group of New Zealanders who are prepared to let people have another chance to prove themselves for the better.
I believe in forgiveness; in individuals taking responsibility for their actions and then setting out on a path to repair the harm done.”
Turia says she considered her position for Brown’s request and that there was no excuse for his violence. However she also believes that communities should not exclude or marginalize those who committed a crime.
“In my analysis of the actions Mr Brown has taken he has expressed genuine remorse; has served the sentence handed down to him, and has deliberately sought to make amends through using his profile to speak out about violence.”
Chris Brown's promoters say they would consider an invitation from Tainui if Brown was let into the country.
Jevan Goulter, who is acting for tour promoters Castor and Ford, says Brown could have a valuable message for many New Zealanders.
Goulter says, “What you have is a pop star with huge influence all over the world, and I think what Tainui has realised is that it’s better to collaborate with him, than not to.”