Business

Singer Ria Hall is leading a charge to boycott the brand over racist comments about Māori.

Calls have been made to boycott Eagle Brewing after racist comments made by its founder and head brewer. Bars and bottle shops around New Zealand are boycotting a local brewery because of racist comments about Mori made online by its founder and head brewer and a subsequent post by the company saying the comments were “misconstrued”.
Eagle Brewing founder and head brewer David Gaughan yesterday commented on a news story on Facebook about a shooting in Napier calling Mori “the scourge of New Zealand”.
He went on to say the majority of the male population should be put in prison because they beat their partners and didn’t care about society.
The comments have been widely condemned on social media as “disgusting” and “racist”.
In a statement to the Herald, Gaughan apologised saying: “I want to apologise unreservedly for making the comment, and for the large amount of hurt and anger it has caused, and rightly so.
“The comment was made as a result of deep seated issues I have within myself about growing up with family violence and seeing it affect people I love. This in no way justifies what I said.
“I have come to understand that I need to look inside at the changes I can make to unlearn and relearn, so I can gain a better cultural understanding in the place that I feel privileged to call my home.”
He also thanked several organisations who had “reached out” to him and would now embark on “this new journey of understanding”
“Again, I am deeply sorry and I will do everything in my power to learn, grow and make this right.”
Shortly after the statement was issued, Canterbury Cricket confirmed it was in the process of “terminating” their partnership deal with Eagle Brewing.
“Canterbury Cricket Association wants to be clear that we do not tolerate any racist commentary.
“We are incredibly disappointed that an individual of a company we are associated with has made these comments as they are completely contradictory to our values.”
Kaiapoi-based Eagle Brewing had earlier responded to the comments with a Facebook post of their own claiming the comments had been “misconstrued”.
“We are aware of a comment circulating that may be misconstrued as racism. Firstly, Eagle Brewing totally denounces any form of racism and promotes a multicultural environment within its team of employees,” the company said.
“Unfortunately the comment was poorly worded and was actually trying to highlight the unacceptable issue of violence against women.
“The author and the business are deeply sorry for any hurt arising from the comment.”
The “apology” has since been deleted.
Since then the post has been denounced by members of the media.
Kiwi singer Ria Hall has spearheaded a charge to boycott the company.
On Facebook, Hall said: “I’d encourage you NOT to support this business. This is the type of disgusting behaviour that will be called out and held to account.
“Eagle Brewing NZ BE BETTER.”
Since then numerous stockists including The Beer Library, The Lumsden Freehouse, Moon, Beer Jerk, Galbraith’s Alehouse, The Beer Spot and Liquorland all said they had pulled the products from their shelves and would no longer be stocking the brand.
One shareholder also said on Facebook he wanted to liquidate his shares.
“Who else is a shareholder of Port & Eagle Brewpub & Eagle Brewing NZ and wants to join together to liquidate their shares before the entire business implodes after the racist comments of their director and head brewer David Gaughan have been spewed out all over social media?”
This morning Gaughan announced he would be “taking a break from Facebook” and “considering his position within the business”.
He also said the comments were misconstrued and apologised for the way it had been perceived.
“My intention was to highlight the unacceptable issue of violence against women, which is statistically higher in some cultures,” he posted on his Facebook page.
“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 … the business and its stakeholders need to be confident that it will continue to flourish and it will.”