Star Wars star Jay Laga'aia has spoken out against controversial pastor Brian Tamaki, describing the self-styled "apostle" as a "waste of oxygen" in a broadside fired online after Tamaki was arrested today.
Laga'aia, whose long career also includes starring roles in popular dramas Street Legal and Water Rats, commented on Facebook after Tamaki was taken into custody this morning for breaching his bail conditions.
He is now being held in custody for 10 days before his next court appearance.
"This guy is such a waste of oxygen," Laga'aia wrote.
"Teach these guys a lesson. First and foremost, if you can't shut them down, then hit them where it really hurts, the hip pocket."
Laga'aia, who achieved global fame as Captain Typho in the Star Wars prequels, also referenced the Australian Hillsong church who hit the headlines last week for holding a "youth camp" full of music and dancing in New South Wales, despite the state having rules against such activities as it struggles to keep pace with the Omicron outbreak.
"Tax them and see how quickly they comply or how many shell companies spring up. Hillsong are also in this category. They're ceased to become a church and are now just business. So, tax them all!"
The overwhelming number of responses to the actor's message were positive, but others criticised him for speaking out.
"Mate, you're an actor not a scientist or a doctor or anything more important than a lowly actor. Keep your opinions and your woke logic to yourself," one critic wrote.
Brian Tamaki was arrested this morning after allegations that he breached bail conditions by speaking at a January anti-vaccine rally in Christchurch which was attended by more than 100 people – more than allowed under the traffic light system.
As part of his bail conditions, Tamaki is not allowed to "organise or attend any protests in breach of any Covid-19 level requirement".
Hannah and Brian Tamaki emerge from their house this morning as police arrest Brian Tamaki. Photo / David Fisher
The 63-year-old has previously been charged three times over his attendance at Auckland Domain lockdown protests. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges, including allegations he violated the conditions of his bail.
Tamaki and his wife Hannah posted a Facebook live video this morning at their home, announcing he was about to be arrested.
Brian Tamaki said he was speaking up on behalf of businesses and other individuals who had been hurt or affected by vaccination mandates.
"People think I keep breaching my bail conditions, I've always said I'm not guilty," he said.
"For all of those who say 'book him, send him off to jail', you don't understand about why this has happened and I should never have been charged in the first place thank you."