2 Feb 2009

KKK recruitment 'no cause for concern'

3:12 pm on 2 February 2009

Race Relations Commissioner Joris De Bres says claims of Ku Klux Klan recruitment in New Zealand are as yet no cause for concern.

A former Klan leader who now rejects the organisation said last week that he knew of at least one member who is in Auckland trying to recruit for the white supremacist organisation.

However, Mr De Bres says until he sees hard evidence there is no need for action.

He says similar claims were made eight years ago by the same man, and there was no subsequent emergence of Ku Klux Klan activity.

Johnny Lee Clary was named the imperial wizard of the Klan in 1989 but later became a born-again Christian and now travels the world teaching against racism and hatred.

He told Nine to Noon on Friday that contacts in New Zealand have told him paraphernalia about the group is being distributed in Auckland as part of moves to recruit young members.

He said the organisation targets young people from low socio-economic backgrounds.