Rotorua man apologies for 'racist' moko kauae comments

A Rotorua man has apologised for his "racist" comment after calling a moko kauae a barcode for Work and Income. 

Gavin Eggleton, 65, replied on social media to someone who has the traditional facial tattoo on their chin, calling her "Another one with the winns barcode on her chin [sic]".

But this enraged a relative of the woman who shared the screenshots of his comment.

"I got so angry this morning to find that my beautiful niece was targeted after making a comment on a newspaper post," she wrote.

"My niece is a teacher and very proudly wears a moko kauae.

"She called him out and mentioned his business, and he apologised and couldn't delete his comment fast enough."

Other commenters were incensed, with one writing it's a "disgusting' thing to say.

"He's wrong for shitting on her moko kauae, being racist and also for implying that it's shameful to be with WINZ," another wrote.

Rotorua man apologies for 'racist' moko kauae comments
Photo credit: Facebook

Unfortunately, Eggleton was wrongly identified as running a local spa - which has since been overrun with bad reviews and abuse.

The spa's owners say they have no connection to Eggleton and the spa is being used to house the homeless in Rotorua. 

"The owners... do not tolerate, condone or support any kind of racism by any of their staff, associates or guests," they say in a statement according to Stuff.

"[We] are innocent parties caught up in someone else's bigoted opinion."

Eggleton told the Rotorua Daily Post he's been getting death threats and is sorry for his "stupid comment".

"I'm too scared to tell my wife, but my daughter rang me this morning from Whitianga and said 'Dad, what have you done?'," he said.

"I just don't know how I can fix it. I'm not a racist and I love Māori people. I have lots of Māori friends, it's just not me."