7 Dec 2015

Women's Refuge staffer sorry for swearing

4:51 pm on 7 December 2015

Women's Refuge has apologised to Chris Brown's New Zealand promoter, Jevan Goulter, for verbally abusing him during a telephone conversation.

Chris Brown

Chris Brown Photo: AFP/Michael Kovac /Getty Images North America

Brown caused a stir when he announced plans to visit New Zealand, with anti-violence groups speaking out against his trip because of his conviction for assaulting a former partner.

The singer last week cancelled the tour but not before gaining the support of several high-profile Maori women, including Dame Tariana Turia.

But not everyone agreed with them, including a Women's Refuge staff member who has since written to Mr Goulter saying sorry and that she was not acting with malice when she swore at him a number of times.

The woman accused Mr Goulter of turning the event into a "Brown Circus".

"What I can tell you is the apology letter was sent to me as a result of the words after having bad mouthed Tariana and Merepeka [Raukawa-Tait], saying 'that's the problem with f***ing brown people, they turn everything into a f***ing circus'," Mr Goulter said.

Asked whether the staff member could have been referring to Chris Brown's people rather than "brown people", Mr Goulter said: "There's absolutely no way that could have been taken out of context."

Women's Refuge chief executive Dr Ang Jury said the comment was ill-judged but disputed Mr Goulter's version.

Dr Jury said in a statement the staff member's reference to "brown" referred to Chris Brown.

"... and was in no way any form of racially connected comment, however Mr Goulter may have chosen to interpret it."

The staff member has been given a verbal warning.