Regional | Co-Governance

'Racist' rally going ahead, after organiser's legal threats

A sports stadium in Te Tai Tokerau says it feels forced to host an event billed as an anti-co-governance rally, due to legal threats by the organisers.

McKay Stadium says it initially declined to host the event for lobbyists of but the group launched legal proceedings with the Human Rights Commission for allegedly breaching the Human Rights Act.

Flyers promoting the Sunday rally started appearing in letterboxes last week, according to Whangārei residents.

"Co-governance discriminates" against non-Māori is among the claims made in the pamphlet.

It also says non-Māori "had" rights in Aotearoa, seemingly claiming they no longer do.

“Protect the future of our multicultural country for your children and grandchildren to inherit," the pamphlet urges.

'Little choice'

Sports Northland, which manages the stadium, has been urged not to host the event, with online commentators branding it "racist and vile".

"He shouldn't be allowed to use council facilities with his racist views!" one commenter wrote.

"It's vile, ignorant, offensive tripe," another said.

Sports Northland told on Friday it had little choice over hosting the event after organisers launched legal action.

“Please be assured that the views of this group in no way represent ours,” a representative wrote.

“We initially declined this booking. However, the group has taken us to the Human Rights Commission and started legal action for allegedly breaching the Human Rights Act for declining its booking… therefore we have had to accommodate it,” the organisation said. website down

Julian Batchelor is the apparent convenor of the group, and social media users have since provided a screenshot of the initial rejection apparently appealed by Batchelor.

The organisation "recently adjusted" its trust deed to recognise Te Tiriti o Waitangi and had restructured its board to adopt co-governance, so Batchelor's event was not the right fit, it said.

“Thank you for taking the time to meet yesterday and for forwarding information on your movement,” the correspondence says.

“After viewing your website and the information you sent, we have, unfortunately,y made the decision to decline your facility booking.

“I hope this is understandable.”

The website has been taken down. has approached Sport Northland about the status of the event.

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