National Māori Authority boss calls for Eagle Brewing to be 'hauled before the Human Rights Commission' after owner's racist anti-Māori rant

A prominent Māori leader is calling for a beer company at the centre of a racism storm to be "hauled before the Human Rights Commission", and its owner to be barred from the liquor industry altogether.

David Gaughan, owner of Eagle Brewing, has come under fire after lashing out against Māori in a comment on a public social media post.

He called male tangata whenua the "scourge of New Zealand" and said the "quicker we put them in prison the better" in a comment on a 1 News story posted to Facebook. 

Matthew Tukaki, chairman of the National Māori Authority, says Gaughan appears to be "unfit to hold any sort of role in a company and in particular a liquor company".

"If any licenses or otherwise are held by this company to produce alcohol then it's time those licenses were cancelled. 

"If this man has a problem with alcohol and that alcohol is feeding his hate of Māori, of people of colour, then he should be nowhere near booze let alone be allowed to be involved in a company that sells it."

After Gaughan's post went viral, Eagle Brewing said in a post on Facebook the comments had been "misconstrued", then deleted the post. 

It then posted a second 'apology', this time saying Gaughan's comment was "poorly worded and was actually trying to highlight the unacceptable issue of violence against women", and it "totally denounces any form of racism and promotes a multicultural environment within its team of employees".

Gaughan went on to say he would take a break from Facebook and consider his position in the business.

"My health is currently not the best and I need some time to reflect on how the pressure of the last few years has impacted me."

Matthew Tukaki.
Matthew Tukaki. Photo credit: The AM Show

Tukaki said he's "sick and tired of not just the comments that people like this man have made, but also that when they do apologise they only do so when they appear to have been caught out".

"This man, from all accounts, has a history of these sorts of derogatory remarks... if people like this man and like this company think for one moment Māori or anyone else is going to just sit back and let this happen, to let these words filled with hate and racism permeate our society, then they have another thing coming".

A number of stores and bars have since said they'll never stock Eagle Brewing beers again. 

"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."

Canterbury Cricket also decided to remove Eagle Brewing as a sponsor.

"If this man and this company are going to truly learn, it appears from me the only way that will happen is through the hip pocket," said Tukaki.