ANAND HIRA: One law for rugby players and a different law for everyone else


A man has beat up four people - including two women. No one is denying it happened. And if this mongrel was an accountant, truck driver, labourer, firefighter, lawyer, doctor or just about anything else - he would be in prison. Because no one in their right mind would believe their job should excuse such a brutal behaviour.

Unless your name is Losi Filipo and that career is playing rugby.

Then we can't have the punishment adversely affect his career. That just wouldn't be fair. If you are good at rugby, you can get away with anything. That's the New Zealand we live in. There is one law for rugby players and a different law for everyone else.

One victim couldn't work for three months. One of the women has to get plastic surgery on her face, she was a model. The other woman - a world class barbershop singer - feared she'd never sing again. And one of his victims couldn't work for eight months after the assault, and still suffers chronic fatigue and migraines, oh - and he was a promising rugby player too, who will never play the game again.

Their careers were affected by this attack. So can someone explain to me how it's fair that Losi Filipo gets discharged without conviction. Because it makes no sense to me.

Playing sport for a living should be an honour. To represent the rest of the community and be paid for it is a privilege. This is a god-damn disgrace. Our justice system cares more about rugby potential than protecting New Zealanders from monsters. I am ashamed of a justice system that cares so little for victims. But that's not the worst of it. We should be afraid.

There are monsters walking our streets who think they are above the law. And the law has proven them right.


Anand Hira produces Night Talk with Karyn Hay, 8pm - midnight on RadioLIVE. 

source: data archive