‘Talented’ soldier’s mystery death
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.