Video: 'Inciting violence, verging on hate speech' - Baptist leader, Human Rights boss slam Auckland pastor's 'shameful' sermon

A West Auckland pastor who gave a fiery sermon about Jacinda Ardern and said homosexuals should be shot has been slammed for his "hate speech".

In a video posted on Facebook back in July, pastor Logan Robertson from Westcity Baptist Church - formally known as the Old Paths Baptist - said he thought gay people should be shot.

"My view on homo marriage is that the bible never mentions it so I’m not against them getting married as long as a bullet goes through their head the moment they kiss.

"Because that's what it talks about. Not about homo marriage but homo death.

"That's what should happen."

Speaking to the NZ Herald Reverend Helen Jacobi from St Matthew in the City church said the video was "inciting violence, verging on hate speech and verging on criminal behaviour".

"Jesus in particular said that he came to not live by those old laws but to bring a new law which is a law of love. So it's hard to see how that could be biblical."

Human Rights Commissioner Dr Jacki Blue told the NZ Herald she thought the pastor's video was "hateful".

"Those who preach hate and violence are out of touch with everything it means to be a New Zealander. We pride ourselves on defending human rights," Dr Blue said.

"To use this language is not only hateful and shameful, it is un-Kiwi and has no place here."

The New Zealand Baptist Union’s national leader Reverend Craig Vernall has also condemned Robertson's comments.

He says he became aware of Robertson’s church when it started back in 2014 with only four to five people in the congregation.

It's not known how many people attend his church but the Facebook page has nearly 1,300 likes.

When approached by the NZ Herald for comment, Robertson says he hadn’t called for anyone in his church to shoot anyone he was just quoting the Bible.

"I'm not inciting vigilantes. It's got nothing to do with me – they could read that verse in the Bible."

Robertson didn't deny his sermon was hate speech.

"Of course it is. Does it sound like hate speech to you?

"If the world thinks that's hate speech than that's fine."

This isn't the first time Robertson has gained media attention.

In 2014 a letter he wrote to a gay man saying he was praying he would “commit suicide” went viral.

Don't vote for Jacinda Ardern

In another video posted on the church’s Facebook page from a sermon on Sunday, Robertson told his congregation not to vote for Labour leader Jacinda Ardern because she was a woman.

"Definitely don’t vote for Jacinda.

"I don't vote. I don’t let my wife vote. I don't believe in voting.

"She needs to shut up and go home and get in the kitchen where women belong and make a cake for her boyfriends. That's where she needs to be."



Versions of synthetic cannabis in New Zealand up to 10 times stronger than strain that saw US 'zombie outbreak'

Experts are warning there are deadlier versions of synthetic cannabis available in New Zealand which are much more potent than the one which caused the so-called zombie outbreaks in the US.

The Government's been told two deadly types of synthetic cannabis are so potent they should be classified as class A drugs.

One of these drugs has been linked to a well-known case that rocked the United States in 2016.

"The concentrations we're seeing in New Zealand are much more potent than what we saw in the Zombie outbreak in New York," Health Minister David Clark says.

In some instances, the drugs found here were 10 times stronger.

The news comes after synthetic cannabis was linked to the deaths of at least 45 people since June 2017.

"I don't think we ever anticipated we'd get new synthetic drugs that would lead to so much harm," Drug Foundation Executive Director Ross Bell told 1 NEWS.

Synthetic cannabis is already illegal - but the maximum punishment for dealers is two years in prison.

Making synthetic cannabis a class A drug would put it alongside methamphetamine, cocaine, magic mushrooms and lsd.

This would mean the police would have more power and the penalties would be significantly tougher for dealers and users.

The Government says it will make a decision on synthetic drugs in the coming weeks.

They're calling for the drug to be classified as Class A – the most harmful and dangerous. Source: 1 NEWS


Wellington bus network changes to be reviewed after council bombarded with complaints

Wellington's new bus network will be independently reviewed after ongoing complaints of buses being late, too full to board or not showing up at all.

The regional council today voted today to have the system reviewed and the results reported back by December.

Since the system was changed in July the council has been bombarded with complaints.

Councillors have also asked officers to change a route so that it began and ended in Kilbirnie, as it previously did, and for feedback on whether some other routes can be changed.

Regional council chief executive Greg Campbell said he took full responsibility for fixing the network's problems.

He said the review needed to be done quickly.

"Any commuter that is left stranded, or a bus that is late, that is of extreme concern. We have to get a clear view of what is happening. What an independent review can really do - particularly for management and council - is give a view of what has happened and articulate that well."

At the beginning of the meeting several Wellington residents addressed the council to let it know they were still unhappy with the new bus routes.

A Wellington principal said the recent re-jig of the routes was making his students late for class and putting them in danger.

St Patrick's College, Kilbirnie's rector Neal Swindells told this morning's meeting about 100-150 boys were using the new service.

"Currently our two 753 buses from the station in the afternoon are significantly overloaded and are unsafe. On Monday this week, they were both loaded to the gunnels and there were 30-odd students who couldn't get on. So what they do is they cross the road to catch the new 24 bus, which by the time it leaves St Pat's now is also overfull."

rnz.co.nz

Commuters at a bus stop in Newtown. Source: rnz.co.nz

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Serious crash leaves one person in critical condition, closes section of SH2 near Upper Hutt

A serious crash has left one person in critical condition and a section of State Highway 2 closed in both directions near Kaitoke, Upper Hutt.

Police say there are likely to be lengthy delays and motorists are asked to avoid the area if possible.


A road closure sign in front of a Police vehicle
A road closure sign in front of a Police vehicle. Source: 1 NEWS


Government reveals details of emails between Clare Curran and Derek Handley

Details of the email exchange between former Digital Services Minister Clare Curran and Derek Handley were revealed today during Parliament's Question Time. 

Ms Curran said she was not aware of RNZ's policies surrounding meetings with Minister's at the time.
Source: 1 NEWS

The messages were sent over the role of chief technology officer, with Ms Curran using her private Gmail account to send the emails. 

An offer to Mr Handley for the role was retracted by the Government last week, resulting in a $100,000 pay out to the entrepreneur. 

Acting State Services Minister Grant Robertson told the House the following about three exchanges between the pair about the role. 

First exchange

August 11: 

"Derek Handley emails Clare Curran about the chief technology officer position and questions about the role of the CTO, including resourcing for the role and potential conflicts of interest."

August 14

"Clare Curran replies to that email, confirming a call to discuss these matters."

August 15

"Derek Handley replies to that, confirming times for the call."

Second exchange

August 19

"Clare Curran emails Derek Handley regarding logistics around the next step on the process of appointment, including the content of any public statements that might be made, and refers to contract discussions with the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA)."

August 20

"Derek Handley responds to that email to Clare Curran about those issues, including the contact he has had with DIA and management of conflicts of interest."

Third exchange

August 21

"Clare Curran emails Derek Handley regarding issues that would be on the work plan of the chief technology officer and attaches some relevant background documents on those issues.

"On the same day, Derek Handley responds to Clare Curran, acknowledging the material and referring to the discussions that he is having with DIA."

Derek Handley says he’ll donate the compensation but is disappointed at the way the issue was handled. Source: 1 NEWS

The chief technology officer was intended to "drive a forward-looking digital agenda for New Zealand", said the then Minister for Government Digital Services Clare Curran, when the role was announced last December. 

The new Minister for Government Digital Services Megan Woods said the Government have put a "full stop" on the process.

Ms Curran was stripped of her position as Minister for Government Digital Services after not disclosing a meeting with Mr Handley previously.