Grant Robertson's message to Aziz Al-Sa'afin on 'gay-bashing'

Grant Robertson has revealed that about 20 years ago he had a similar experience to Aziz Al-Sa'afin's homophobic attack.

The Finance Minister sent Aziz a supportive message on Twitter this week, in light of The AM Show reporter's "gay-bashing" over the weekend. 

"Aziz, I am so sorry this happened to you. A very similar thing happened to me 20 or so years ago and it breaks my heart it is still happening. Kia Kaha," he wrote. 

Mr Robertson did not wish to comment further when approached by Newshub. 

Aziz has received a lot of support since he shared his story on Monday. He said he and a friend were beaten up on Auckland's Karangahape Rd Saturday night in a homophobic attack. 

"This weekend I learnt I was also classed as a "fag", and I got beaten up for it. You heard right. In New Zealand," Aziz wrote

Rāwā Karetai, an LGBTI+ activist, told Newshub this week that unfortunately, gay hate crime still happens in New Zealand.

"It is rare that something of this scale happens, but about once a year we hear another story and it gets media coverage. It's not a safe environment," he said

Magic Talk host Sean Plunket said the incident changed his mind about the need for events like the Big Gay Out. 

"If rubbish like that is still going on in New Zealand, and hate crimes like that are still being perpetrated against people just minding their own business, then there is a need for it," he wrote

"The LGBTQI community have a reason to get in our faces occasionally, and we need to accept it and we have got to stop hating on it."

Newshub.