‘Tal­ented’ sol­dier’s mys­tery death

Sunday News - - NEWS -

MORE than 100 writ­ers, ac­tors, direc­tors and mu­si­cians have signed a pledge sup­port­ing Lorde’s de­ci­sion not to per­form in Is­rael.

The state­ment, which was pub­lished in The Guardian was signed by well-known artists across mu­sic, film, theatre, and lit­er­a­ture in­clud­ing ac­tors Mark Ruf­falo, Julie Christie and John Cu­sack and mu­si­cians Peter Gabriel, Tom Morello and Roger Wa­ters.

‘‘We write in sup­port of Lorde, who made pub­lic her de­ci­sion not to per­form in Is­rael and has now been branded a ‘bigot’ in a full page ad­ver­tise­ment in the Wash­ing­ton Post,’’ the let­ter read.

‘‘Sh­mu­ley Boteach, the au­thor and pro­moter of the ad­vert, sup­ports Is­rael’s il­le­gal set­tle­ments and wrote last month on Bre­it­bart to thank Don­ald Trump for ‘‘elec­tri­fy­ing the world’’ with his recog­ni­tion of Jerusalem as Is­rael’s cap­i­tal in de­fi­ance of in­ter­na­tional law. He has noth­ing to teach artists about hu­man rights.’’

"We de­plore the bul­ly­ing tac­tics be­ing used to de­fend in­jus­tice against Pales­tini­ans and to sup­press an artist’s free­dom of con­science. We sup­port Lorde’s right to take a stand.’’

On Christ­mas Day, Lorde can­celled the gig she had sched­uled in Tel Aviv in June.

‘‘I’ve re­ceived an over­whelm­ing num­ber of mes­sages and let­ters and have had a lot of dis­cus­sions with peo­ple hold­ing many views, and I think the right de­ci­sion at this time is to can­cel the show,’’ she wrote."I’m not too proud to ad­mit I didn’t make the right call on this one. I’m truly sorry to re­verse my com­mit­ment to come play for you.’’ THE De­fence Force is in mourn­ing af­ter a ‘‘tal­ented’’ sol­dier and fa­ther-of-two died in mys­te­ri­ous cir­cum­stances.

Lance Cor­po­ral Bar­ney Te Kani, was at his home near the Burn­ham Army Camp, when he died in his sleep last week.

St John at­tended and said the death was sud­den and the cause is un­known. His case is with the coro­ner, but it was not a sui­cide.

Te Kani lived with his part­ner Kezia Tapsell and two young chil­dren.

‘‘Lance Cor­po­ral Bar­ney Te Kani was a tal­ented sol­dier who had re­cently been pro­moted in recog­ni­tion of his lead­er­ship po­ten­tial. The NZDF, es­pe­cially the mem­bers of 2nd/1st Bat­tal­ion at Burn­ham, ex­tend their deep­est sym­pa­thies to his fam­ily and friends on his pass­ing,’’ a spokesper­son for New Zealand De­fence Force said.

The first of his two fu­ner­als was held at Burn­ham yes­ter­day morn­ing, be­fore he was to be trans­ported back to his home­town of Ro­torua.

Te Kani had been an avid rugby player – and rep­re­sented New Zealand as a NZDF De­fence Blacks, and played for the Can­ter­bury Maori team as a first five.

He was one of the 34 per­son­nel to ar­rive back from the Solomons in 2012, the last group to come back from New Zealand’s three years in the Pa­cific Is­land na­tion.

His el­dest son Tama was 17 months at the time and greeted him at Christchurch Air­port wear­ing a T-shirt that said ‘‘My Papa, A Sol­dier, My Hero.’’

As a mark of re­spect, sev­eral of his friends com­mented on var­i­ous so­cial me­dia posts sign­ing off with ‘‘On­ward’’.

Tributes flowed on so­cial me­dia, with the Can­ter­bury Maori Rugby Waitaha post­ing a pic­ture of the man in his Can­ter­bury rugby kit.

While the NZDF Rugby De­fence Blacks Face­book page read: ‘‘The loss of a Team Mate and Com­rade is the loss of a Brother. It is with much sad­ness that the NZDF De­fence Blacks mourn the pass­ing of a brother, Bar­ney ‘Barnz’ ‘TK’ Te Kani. Our con­do­lences and heart felt thoughts are with his part­ner, his two boys, and whanau at this sad time. May you rest in peace.’’

A Givealit­tle page set up to as­sist his fam­ily had raised $5000 by last night.

Last week’s ad­vert, paid for by rabbi Sh­mu­ley Boteach, in the Wash­ing­ton Post said ‘‘21 is too young to be­come a bigot’’ and claimed Lorde and New Zealand are part of ‘‘a global an­ti­semitic boy­cott of Is­rael’’. Ac­tor John Cu­sack Ac­tor Wal­lace Shawn Ac­tor Juliet Steven­son Mu­si­cian Roger Wa­ters

Bar­ney Te Kani – pic­tured top with son Tama af­ter re­turn­ing from the Solomon Is­lands in 2012 – was farewelled at Burn­ham Army Camp yes­ter­day.

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