John Tamihere's most controversial moments

Former Labour MP John Tamihere has put his hat in the ring for the Auckland mayoralty.

Over his long political career, he has managed to make headlines for his comments on gays, Jews, women and rape survivors. Here are some of the most controversial.



Perhaps his most controversial statement came during a 2005 interview with Investigate magazine editor Ian Wishart, where he took aim at his female Labour colleagues - calling them "the Labour Party Wimmins Division".

"I don't mind front-bums being promoted, but just because they're [women] shouldn't be the issue, they've won that war," Mr Tamihere said.

"It's about an anti-men agenda, that's what I reckon. It's about men's values, men's communication standards, men's conduct."

In the aftermath, then-Prime Minister Helen Clark called his comments "simply unacceptable".

"It's clearly a very long route back to redemption and rebuilding a career and the other options are, I suppose, to find another one, he's going to have to reflect on that," she told RNZ.

"I can't see that a re-election to the Cabinet would be possible because the extent of destruction of confidence is pretty deep. As I say, it would be a very long route to redemption."

Roast Busters


Mr Tamihere and co-host Willie Jackson were stood down from their show on MediaWorks station RadioLIVE over controversial comments about alleged teenage sex group the Roast Busters.

In the wake of the scandal, the pair held an interview with 'Amy', a friend of a girl who claimed to have been raped by the Roast Busters.

They asked the 18-year-old about her own sexual habits and dress sense, and asked why she was out late at night drinking and at what age she lost her virginity.

After multiple companies pulled advertising, Mr Tamihere confirmed his show would be coming to an end and issued an apology.

"We deeply regret the comments we made last week and the upset they caused so many people," he said.

"We regret the impact this has had on our wives and children, our grandchildren and our communities."



Mr Tamihere also got in trouble after calling his gay colleagues "queers" and said he didn't support gay rights.

"I've got a right to think that sex with another male is unhealthy and violating. I've got a right to think that," he told Mr Wishart in 2005.

"I said to Chris Carter, 'I'm standing against that bloody Civil Union Bill mate because you've already had enough! I voted for one piece of social engineering and now you're f**king coming back for another!' Those two queers never got it right."

And after being allowed back into the Labour party in 2012, Mr Tamihere once again expressed his views on the LGBTQ community.

"I don't have a problem with gay people," he said. "I have a problem with gay marriage."



Mr Tamihere said he was "sick and tired of hearing how many Jews got gassed" in the Holocaust.

"I already know that. How many times do I have to be told and made to feel guilty?" he asked Investigate.

The 'sisterhood'


Mr Tamihere isn't a big fan of the "sisterhood", a term he has used multiple times to disparage women he doesn't agree with.

Reflecting on his career in Labour at a press conference last year, he blamed feminists for his downfall.

"I was in too much of a hurry, and I ran into the sisterhood of Clark and co, so I didn't fare too well."

Asked if he thought there was still a sisterhood, he said "I suspect so".

"MeToo and all that."

He also took aim at his former employer for its gender balance.

"It's interesting too at MediaWorks, it's a sisterhood running it and I'm just writing up my affidavit now and reflecting on it, it's amazing, it's back to the future with Helen and co," he told Radio Waatea in 2013.

Abandoning his cats


In 2005, two of his cats needed to be put down after he left them behind while moving house, NZME reported.

The cats were left without food or water for 11 days. The SPCA received a complaint, rescued the pair and spoke to Mr Tamihere.

SPCA Auckland chief executive Bob Kerridge said his organisation was "really angry" about the animals.

"We take it very seriously. Abandonment is one of the worst crimes. It is deliberate. It is not as if they lose them," NZME reported him saying.

Mr Tamihere allegedly told officers he was planning to return to pick them up.

Unfortunately, the cats reportedly needed to be put down after they found to be suffering from feline immunodeficiency virus.

Mr Tamihere was given a written caution by the SPCA.