Former Immigration Minister says Israel Folau should be banned from New Zealand

Former Immigration Minister says Israel Folau should be banned from New Zealand
Photo credit: Getty

A Former Immigration Minister says Israel Folau should be banned from New Zealand - after the star Aussie Rugby player said gay people would go to hell.    

Tuariki Delamere, now a top immigration lawyer, says Folau is a threat to public order and should be denied access to our country.

"I don't believe he's allowed to stand up and express what I term hate speech against homosexuals," Mr Delaware said.

Israel Folau is Australian Rugby's biggest star, a three-time Player of the Year, and is married to netball star Maria Tutaia.        

He caused controversy when someone asked him what God's plan is for gay people, and he said "Hell unless they repent their sins and turn to god."

Mr Delamere says under the Immigration Act that's enough to turn him away at the border next time he comes to play rugby here.

"You're not allowed to create a situation where you're creating the threat of public order, or against the public interest," he said.

It's not the first time Folau has made anti-gay comments, and it flies in the face of Rugby Australia's own inclusion policy.

Mr Delamere was inspired to call for a ban after he saw his gay nephew's pain.  

"To have public figures stand up and say you're a germ, you're disgusting, you're terrible - that's pretty hurtful."

But Rainbow Youth, which supports queer and gender diverse people in New Zealand, believes banning Folau won't achieve anything.    

Rainbow Youth Frances Arns says "I think Israel Folau's comments are affecting New Zealand, regardless of whether he's going to be here, or not."

Qantas, sponsor of Australia's national rugby team the Wallabies, has fired a warning shot saying it's disappointed.  

No doubt that will be put to Folau when he meets with his bosses at Australian Rugby soon.

Newshub.

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