25 Feb 2020

Online attack 'inexcusable' - Vision NZ ex-campaign manager

From Checkpoint, 5:06 pm on 25 February 2020

Former Vision NZ campaign manager Jevan Goulter has told Checkpoint he is "absolutely" ashamed of himself for posting a personal attack against broadcaster Kanoa Lloyd on social media.

He said he was upset at what Lloyd had said about plans to cast Hannah Tamaki on the Dancing with the Star TV show, and he was "just lashing out".

Tamaki's Vision New Zealand political party has fired Goulter after his response.

Police have also confirmed they were looking into at least one complaint about Goulter's social media post, which has since been removed. 

Tamaki, who leads Destiny Church with her husband Brian Tamaki, was widely rumoured to be in Mediaworks' 2020 season of Dancing With the Stars.

Mediaworks carries the Rainbow Tick – a sign of commitment to making a safe workplace for LGBTTQIA+ people, while Brian Tamaki is known for well-documented xenophobic and homophobic views.

On Monday, The Project host Kanoa Lloyd called for Hannah Tamaki to not be a contestant on Dancing with the Stars, saying: "Please don't bring that stuff to my place of work, to our place of work. And please don't make her a hero in New Zealand's living rooms."

In response, Goulter posted a personal attack against Lloyd on social media, inciting self-harm. 

Speaking to Checkpoint, he said nothing justified the comments he posted.

"I'm not going to try and defend them whatsoever, they were poor judgment, inexcusable."

He made the post late on Monday night, and on his own, he told Checkpoint.

Also on Monday night Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki posted a similar tirade online, calling the media "venomous, dirty liberal, sexually confused," with photos of Lloyd, Helen Clark and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern attached.

Goulter said he was not aware of Brian Tamaki's post.

On Tuesday morning Goulter rang Hannah Tamaki to apologise and resign at the same time she was trying to reach him to sack him.

Soon afterward Tamaki announced the termination of Goulter's role with Vision NZ.

"I would never condone that disgusting language and behaviour," she said in a press release.

Talking to Checkpoint, Tamaki said there was a lot wrong with what Goulter had said.

"I think it is disgusting to actually talk about any person, but to talk about a woman... I don't think anyone has a right to talk about anybody like that."

In response to Brian Tamaki's post, which similarly attacked Lloyd, Hannah Tamaki said it was not an issue related to Vision NZ.

"He's going to do his tweets and do what he does, I'm going to do what sits right with me. He did not do that under Vision NZ, I can't go around and say 'I'm sacking you out of Vision NZ because he's not doing that for Vision NZ."

Brian Tamaki's post has been removed from Facebook, but remains on Twitter.

This afternoon MediaWorks said it had pulled Hannah Tamaki from the line up for Dancing with the Stars

A spokesperson said it was originally planned for Hannah to take part in the show but they now recognised this was a mistake and apologised.