Stockists pull Kaiapoi's Eagle Brewing beer after owner's racist rant

Warning: This article contains racist language.

A Canterbury brewery owner's racist Facebook rant, where he labelled Māori the "scourge of New Zealand" has prompted stockists to remove all of his products from their shelves.

Eagle Brewing's owner David Gaughan has come under fire after lashing out against Māori in a comment on a public Facebook post.

His comment accusing Māori of being "NZ's biggest problem" was spotted by social media users, who called out his "disgusting" behaviour.

Several New Zealand stockists and pubs have since decided to stop stocking his products.

"We will no longer be supporting Eagle Brewing in any way. They were stocked in eight of our stores and all stores have now removed this product from their shelves," a Liquorland spokesperson told Newshub on Friday.

"Their comments are no way in line with our brand values or ethos and we no longer wish to be associated with them in any way."

Beer Jerk, New Zealand's online craft beer stockists, has also dropped the products, saying it's "disgusted". 

"Our whole team is disgusted by these indefensible comments. We discovered this last night and have removed all Eagle products from our store," Beer Jerk wrote on Facebook on Friday.

New World Kaiapoi has made the decision to remove all the brewery's products from their shelves.

"Racism on any level will not be tolerated and to be a bystander is not an option," they commented.

The Beer Library, Christchurch's Online Craft Beer Bottle Shop, is in the process of removing all Eagle Brewing products from its shelves too.

"This is not the type of attitude we wish to support in New Zealand or anywhere in the world and it does not reflect the opinions of myself, my staff, or the ethos of our brand," owner Garth Peterson wrote on Facebook.

"[We] will not be doing any business with this company in the future."

Keith Galbraith, owner of Galbraith's Alehouse in Auckland's Grafton, says he has removed the products from the menu. 

"I was forwarded the original post last night at 8:28pm and all products were removed shortly after 8:30pm," he told Newshub.

"I will not be dealing with this company again ever."

"Can 100 percent confirm we will not be stocking their beer," Newmarket's Lumsden Freehouse said. 

Canterbury Cricket has also decided to remove Eagle Brewing as their sponsor.

"We are incredibly disappointed that an individual of a company we are associated with has made these comments as they are completely contradictory to our values," Canterbury Cricket wrote on Facebook.

"Consequently, we are in the process of terminating our agreement with Eagle Brewing."

Stockists pull Kaiapoi's Eagle Brewing beer after owner's racist rant

Eagle Brewing posted an apology on Facebook, claiming the comment was "poorly worded" and was "actually trying to highlight the unacceptable issue of violence against women".

"The author and the business are deeply sorry for any hurt arising from the comment," it wrote on Facebook.

The comment has since been removed. 

In a statement issued to Newshub via PR agency Delaney late on Friday afternoon, Gaughan said he'd be working with "my Māori friends" and domestic violence advocacy group She's Not Your Rehab on a "new journey of understanding".

"On Wednesday evening I made a comment on social media that was completely unacceptable. I want to apologise unreservedly for making the comment, and for the large amount of hurt and anger it has caused, and rightly so," the statement reads.

"The comment was made as a result of deep seated issues I have within myself about growing up with family violence and seeing it affect people I love. This in no way justifies what I said.

"I have come to understand that I need to look inside at the changes I can make to unlearn and relearn, so I can gain a better cultural understanding in the place that I feel privileged to call my home.

"I sincerely thank those who have reached out including organisations such as She Is Not My Rehab (sic) who I will be working with on this new journey of understanding, as well as my Maori friends who have encouraged open dialogue with aroha to create a deeper understanding."

"Again, I am deeply sorry and I will do everything in my power to learn, grow and make this right."