Waikato candidate in trouble over ' racial slurs'
Multiple-council candidate James Parlane has found himself in hot water with Trade Me users after allegedly making racial slurs on the online auction site.
The former lawyer - who is running for the Waipa mayoralty - rankled feathers in the question and answers section of an auction selling "Maori" personalised number plates, which made headlines in 2011 for attracting racist and offensive comments.
Plate owner Bruce Haliday opened bids at $49,000 with a buy now price of $99,000 and has attracted more than 8000 page views and plenty of ugly commentary.
Mr Parlane, who goes by the Trade Me name neilrob, asked if the seller would "take a check from Winz coz dat's pay day for my famly benne-fit cuz? U should offa it 2 Willie an J.T. bro." [sic]
Mr Haliday was offended by what he called "bro speak" and wrote that he was shocked to find the commenter was a mayoral candidate.
Mr Parlane told the Waikato Times he was sorry if people had taken offence but did not think he had done anything wrong.
"At the end of the day, I thought that a little joke was not going to be that harmful but obviously he's trying to make a mountain out of a molehill."
He threw his hat in the ring for the Taumarunui Ward of the Ruapehu Council where nearly half of the population was Maori.
"I wouldn't have thought that all of those people would find that offensive ... at the end of the day it was intended as a piece of humour.
"If I have upset anybody then I certainly would apologise but at the end of the day I don't believe that it was racist," Mr Parlane said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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