Chris Brown thanks ‘strong New Zealand women’ for their sup­port

The China Post - - LIFE -

Amer­i­can R&B singer Chris Brown on Fri­day thanked New Zealand women’s ad­vo­cates for sup­port­ing his plan to per­form in the coun­try, de­spite a do­mes­tic vi­o­lence con­vic­tion which could see him banned.

Brown’s 2009 con­vic­tion for as­sault­ing his then-part­ner pop star Ri­hanna means he may be re­fused en­try to New Zealand, even though tick­ets for a Dec. 18 con­cert in Auck­land went on sale this week.

In or­der to per­form, Brown needs to ap­ply for a spe­cial dis­pen­sa­tion from immigration of­fi­cials, which as of last week had not been granted.

But the Grammy win­ner has found sup­port from an un­likely source — Maori women’s ad­vo­cates who say Brown ap­pears to have re­formed and could send a pow­er­ful mes­sage against do­mes­tic vi­o­lence.

A string of high-pro­file ad­vo­cates, such as for­mer Women’s Refuge chief Merepeka Raukawa-Tait, have backed Brown and of­fered to hold a tra­di­tional Maori welcome for him.

For­mer Maori Party chief Dame Tar­i­ana Turia said Maori youth could re­late more to an anti-do­mes­tic vi­o­lence mes­sage from 26-yearold Brown than one de­liv­ered by in­dige­nous el­ders.

“Good, bad, ugly or oth­er­wise, the truth of it is that young peo­ple are more likely to be in tune with Chris Brown than they are with one of us,” the 71-year-old said this week.

Brown ac­knowl­edged the “amaz­ing” Maori women’s stance on Fri­day.

“Noth­ing more amaz­ing than strong women,” he tweeted. “Thank you to Dame Tar­i­ana Turia and ev­ery­one who showed their sup­port in NZ.”

Sup­port for Brown in New Zealand is not unan­i­mous, with gov­ern­ment law­maker Ju­dith Collins say­ing last month: “We’ve got enough wife-beat­ers in this coun­try, he should just bug­ger off.”

Brown’s also faces be­ing banned from Aus­tralia be­cause of his past, and he of­fered this week to raise aware­ness of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence there if his “One Hell of a Nite” tour is al­lowed to go ahead.

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