30 Sep 2015

Chris Brown promoter seeks backing

6:38 am on 30 September 2015

The promoter of Chris Brown's concert has been seeking help from organisations to get the US singer, who has been convicted of assault and threatening to kill, into New Zealand.

Whether his concert in Auckland on 18 December goes ahead is still in doubt because he needs a special waiver to enter New Zealand.

But support for Brown from the likes of Dame Tariana Turia has shocked a Māori family violence worker.

Chris Brown on stage in New York City in October 2014.

Chris Brown will need a special waiver to enter New Zealand because of his conviction. Photo: AFP

Australia has given formal notice it will consider refusing him a visa, and in his first public statements, Brown has taken to Twitter to make his case for his Australian tour to go ahead.

Jevan Goulter is acting for the tour's promoter, Castor and Ford Tours, and has been seeking support for Brown's entry to New Zealand.

"I've been looking at organisations who have a certain kaupapa... and so I have had a look at those sorts of groups and I have looked at them to see if there's some sort of correlation or collaboration."

Mr Goulter said it was not a secret campaign but he has asked groups if they saw a benefit in Brown "being able to promote a message" that they are trying to get out to his fans.

"I would never try and advise an NGO (non-government organisation) or an organisation what it is they should be doing.

"If they feel that the ideas that I have floated - and the discussions that I've had with them are beneficial... then they're more than welcome to come out and say that publicly," Mr Goulter said.

Some MPs, including Labour's Sue Moroney and National's Judith Collins, have said Brown is not welcome in New Zealand.

Tariana Turia says the iwi had little choice but to keep working with the Crown.

Dame Tariana Turia Photo: MAORI PARTY

But yesterday he found an ally in Dame Tariana, who said she believed in forgiveness.

"He would like to come here, he's prepared to give a particular message to our young people.

"Our young people listen to people like Chris Brown, they don't listen to me - I was involved in family violence probably for a good 12 years of my time in Parliament.

"For all the programmes that we put out there - nothing changed," Dame Tariana told Radio New Zealand's Mihingarangi Forbes.

She added that Brown "had a lot to offer" and "can only bring something good" to young people and that his messages would resonate with them.

Dame Tariana said she would write to the Immigration Minister in support of Brown.

But her comments have dismayed Tiaria Fletcher, from Waitakere Anti-Violence Essential Services (WAVES) in west Auckland.

"I've come away feeling very frustrated, very concerned at how within Māoridom, as a Māori woman, we continue to give a voice to those who have perpetrated violence against women.

"Violence against their partners - their wives - and we seem to afford them a level of mana and compassion and forgiveness.

"I think there's a price you pay before you turn around and become the messenger that supposedly can inform and influence our young people," she said.

Ms Fletcher said Chris Brown still had a long way to go before he "earned the right" to come into New Zealand and give messages to rangatahi.

"I think there's another message that Tariana Turia is missing - and that message is the bigger message about us as a country saying 'no' to family violence.

"As a country we have amongst the worst family violence statistics in the world, and as Māori, family violence statistics are devastating for us," she said.

'I prefer to look at our homegrown role models'

Dame Tariana's successor in the Māori Party, its current co-leader Marama Fox, said she did not have a view on whether Brown should be allowed into New Zealand.

But she said, while Dame Tariana made good and valid points, there were better role models than Brown.

"He is a role model, he may have some words of advice to our young people and there'll be certain young people who will listen to him.

"I prefer our own role models and I prefer to look at our homegrown role models who speak up about those issues, and any other issues for that matter.

"I'd be directing my children to look at our ancestors, our tupuna, if they were looking for role models to emulate," Ms Fox said.

Australia has already taken a step toward blocking Chris Brown from going there for the same One Hell of a Nite tour.

With tickets already on sale here, there is still no word on whether he will apply to come to New Zealand.

He was convicted in 2009 of assaulting and threatening to kill his then-girlfriend, Rihanna.

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