Asia

New Zealand Maori women support Chris Brown tour

  • 2 October 2015
  • From the section Asia
File picture of R^B singer Chris Brown posing at the 2015 iHeartRadio Music Awards in Los Angeles, California, March 29, 2015. Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Britain and Canada have previously refused to give Chris Brown visas to perform because of his history of domestic violence

Maori women leaders have said they support a bid by US singer Chris Brown to perform in New Zealand.

Spokesperson Merepeka Raukawa-Tait said Brown should talk to Maori youth about his reform since his conviction.

Brown is barred from visiting New Zealand because of his 2009 conviction for assaulting his then-girlfriend Rihanna.

His visa application to perform in Australia is also expected to be denied.

New Zealand National MP Judith Collins has spoken out against him, saying he is not welcome in New Zealand.

"We've got enough wife-beaters in this country," she said.

'Done the time'

Brown would need to apply for a special visa to perform his planned concerts in New Zealand in December.

Ms Raukawa-Tait said in a press release on Thursday: "No-one supports Chris Brown's past domestic violence history but it's about going forward and sadly we still have major problems with Maori in this area."

"We believe having done the crime and done the time he should be able to enter the country," she was quoted as saying by the Stuff.co.nz news portal.

Another woman in the group, Dame Tariana Turia, former co-leader of the Maori Party, said she would support Brown's visa application as young people in the community were more likely to listen to him than their elders, Stuff said.

The issue of race was also mentioned during the press conference in Auckland - something other commentators have also written about.

The women asked why white musicians with similar violent histories were permitted to perform in New Zealand, citing Eminem and Ozzy Osbourne, according to Stuff.

Brown later posted on Twitter: "Nothing more amazing than strong women. Thank you to Dame Tariana Turia and everyone who showed their support in NZ."

Britain and Canada have previously refused to give Chris Brown visas.

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