An Auckland meat worker, Kukyi Tupuanga, was fired for allegedly making “racist” comments.

Specifically, he made numerous insulting and threatening remarks about Islam to an Islamic halal co‑worker and on the evidence deserved to be booted. Tupuanga openly admitted to the abuse and threats of violence charges but rightly took umbrage at the racism assertion. Employment Authority member Vicki Campbell was quoted, “While a meat works is a robust environment I find Mr Tupuanga’s comments and conduct was capable of being regarded as serious misconduct.”

Fair enough, but then Vicki Campbell made a world‑class ass of herself by adding Tupuanga’s anti‑Muslim comments were “racially offensive”.

So there you have it. This woman is evidently under the impression that Islam is a race. Given the publicity accorded this case Vicki Campbell owes Tupuanga an apology, failing which he should sue her. I’d happily pay his legal fees as I’m thoroughly fed up with the constant mis‑use of this word.

Is there currently any greater abused term than “Racism”. Jaywalk and one will be accused of racism for delaying an Indian taxi driver.


Agree entirely. Make anything other than anodyne utterances about anyone who isn’t pakeha and one is cast as racist or worse.

I agree the opinion that a particular group of people constitute a “race” is fallacious and probably by the same logic of the accuser is also “racist”. I also think it is only because Mr Tupuanga verbally abused individuals who were higher up the victimhood pyramid than he was that this incident escalated and is a news story. If he’d directed his abuse at persons of NZ European background any complaint against him would have been dismissed and he would still have his job.

Reasoned minded people may look very closely at the case of sacked meat worker. I’ve always understood Islam to be a religious-political philosophy but now the Auckland Meat Processers and the Employment Relations Authority have clarified Islam as a race which clearly it isn’t when viewed against the historical formation of Islam and the fact that anyone of any colour and any nationality can become a Muslim. The other disturbing undercurrent of the Tupuanga affair is one can be now be prosecuted for offending another’s sensitivity which goes against the freedom of speech or freedom to make satire and freedom to engage in comedy. I suppose this case is evidence of the long reach of the law and of Sharia law in this instance. One may suspect that if Mr Tupuanga took a case to the High Court he’d win hands with lots of money to go with it and reinstatement toboot to the job from which he was unjustifiably dismissed in my opinion.

The issue arises because people haven’t found a simple word to apply to those expressing religious bigotry.

    There’s no such thing as “religious bigotry”; it’s in the same category as “hate speech” – in other words, an undefinable nonsense.

    Just as all New Zealanders have the freedom to worship whoever they want, so do all New Zealanders have the freedom to criticise, mock and disparage if they so wish.

      Yes, they do have freedom to criticise, mock and disparage whatever they want, including the religion of others. And long may that continue, including and especially of Islam.

      But yes, there is such a thing as religious bigotry, e.g., “Jews are money-grubbing Christ-killers plotting to undermine the morals of Gentiles”, or “Catholics are lazy drunkards who out-breed Protestants and suck on welfare”. But hey, you are even free to say those things too, if you are sufficiently ignorant and bold.

      But unlike Kukyi Tupuanga, you are not allowed to threaten others on the basis of one’s religious faith (or race – see how the two, while not exactly the same are often related? They were in Tupuanga’s threat-laden rants), including and especially in the workplace. Because another quirk of free speech – Tupuanga’s employer is not obligated to provide a platform for it, yet again including and especially when it is threat-laden.

      Sure, accusations of “racism”, “religious bigotry”, or “sexist/homophobe/transphobic” may be used all to readily in our current context by lazy and politically-motivated bullies to try and shut down genuine dissent and free speech. But not in this particular case. If you don’t know the full extent of what was said and done by Tupuanga, then research a bit further. Bob Jones did, hence he rightly understood that there are consequences to “free speech”, which in this case, and the absence of the complainant taking Greg Moore’s idiot advice to “smack the threatened in the gob” rightly included Tupuanga losing his job.

      On which report a bunch of pedants have ignored the issue that free speech has consequences, and instead have fixated on the semantics of racism vs religious bigotry…thus overlooking Bob Jones satire and revealing, unlike Jones, they are a bunch of ignorant bores making up legal fiction.

The whole thing is starting to get a bit tiresome. The meatworker sounds like a bit of a dick, but all religions should be able to handle a bit of critique or ridicule, why should one religion be deemed untouchable?
I have Muslim family and friends from many countries, including my very dear partner, their race has got nothing to do with the borax I poke their way.

@ Al Gustafson & Greg Moore

Freedom to criticise religion – and long may that be the case – is one thing. Threats of violence, including because of one’s religion, be it Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Jedi is another. Am amazed you can’t make that distinction…or that some round here seem to think it is worth making a fuss over the difference between the technical meaning racism and/or religious bigotry. Genuine racism and/or religious bigotry that is. The latter of which, based on what was reported, applied.

But hey, whatever passes the time. Next week you can add to the sum of human knowledge by clarifying for us that while not all beer is lager, all lager is beer.

    1: “Religious bigotry”, so what, who cares? It’s only words.
    2: “Threats of violence”, well smack the threatener in the gob and the problem goes away.
    Hopefully, this just added to the sum of human knowledge as you wished.

      Nope. But then I take responsibility for foolishly looking in the wrong place for wisdom. Like Bob Jones said, the person concerned was rightly dismissed for making threats in the workplace. Just remind me never to be even more foolish to work with you.

      And religious bigotry? In the right circumstances, when it denies someone a job, accommodation or physical safety, it is rightly a punishable crime. But hey, kill someone with that punch and it will be the least of your problems. Bloody PC gone made, eh?

Relax Kimbo , I can offer you some reassurance.
My two companies only employ those who are constructive, productive, and especially those who think outside the box. It works well for all of us.
We will never meet. good day Sir.
Greg Moore.

    “Constructive, productive and thinks outside the box?” Meh. So what, Who cares? To quote you further It’s only words. And you seem to be under the misapprehension I would accept your “reassurance” that you can recognise those things that too. Judged on your efforts thus far I doubt it. But in the unfortunate event of meeting you in person, and if I need a recommendation for the tastiest crayon to chew on, you’re my go-to guy.

      All good Kimbo. I will forward a box of most tasty orange ones to the taxpayer-funded government department you work for.
      “Constructive, productive and thinks outside the box, meh, so what, who cares”
      Summed yourself and your poor attitude up very well in one sentence.

      Free advice Greg – never assume as you make an ass out of you and me. Don’t work in a government department or anything like it. Plus your English comprehension needs work to discern sarcasm. But then lazy assumptions rather than thinking outside the box sure seem your trademark. But love the self-delusion and narcissism.

      Mind you, I wouldn’t mind being the lawyer who bills for the employment disputes on your watch. “Punch the threatener in the mouth”? Yeah, that’ll work.

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