Demi Hunziker (Ngāpuhi), passionate about serving Maori communities, claims she was fired from her day job after her employer discovered her on OnlyFans, a platform popularized by sexual content. Video / Dean Purcell
A woman claims she was forced to quit her job after her bosses found out she was selling videos of herself on an adult website.
Demi Hunziker (Ngāpuhi) spent nearly three months working as an operations coordinator for Ngāti Manuhiri Settlement Trust, an iwi organization based in Warkworth, before saying she was asked to leave due to her OnlyFans account.
The 28-year-old joined OnlyFans – an adult website that users pay a subscription to access – when she was fired from her flight hostess job last year while Covid-19 was making havoc in the travel industry.
“I was on the wage subsidy and $ 470 a week just wasn’t enough. I had to find another way to supplement my income,” she told the Herald.
In her first week on OnlyFans, Hunziker earned up to $ 10,000 and was able to pay off some of her debts and help her family through a rough patch, in addition to paying her weekly bills.
Having been a stripper in the past, OnlyFans was a safer environment for her.
“It’s all online. I didn’t need to see anyone, no one could touch me, I could do it my way.”
OnlyFans requires a subscription fee which is paid to the content creator. Without it, the content, and in the case of Hunziker, is completely inaccessible or searchable.
The decision to create adult content was an easy one, Hunziker said, simply because it was never a derogatory subject for her, and for some Maori, te ao Maori’s sexuality is fully embraced.
But Hunziker aspired to give back to a Maori community organization in Auckland. She said that after spending half of her life in Tāmaki Makaurau, it was only right to “give back to a local iwi”.
“The salary they [Ngāti Manuhiri] offered to me was awesome. When I got a job with this iwi I thought ‘I can finally hang [OnlyFans] up’.”
But Hunziker said there was friction between her and management in her new role with Ngāti Manuhiri because she was still waiting for a contract and claims her salary was cut.
After asking for documents “several times,” Hunziker said she had come to a point where she was “walking on eggshells.”
When a meeting with management was finally called, Hunziker prepared to finally sign her contract.
Instead, she alleged that she was confronted with her “other mahi” on OnlyFans and asked to leave.
“In my desperation and pure aroha for this place, I pretty much pleaded for my job.
“I gave them a big Maori talk about how much I loved working there, but then they were told that they would rather I resign.”
Hunziker has since filed a personal grievance, alleging wrongful termination and undue disadvantage while she was previously at work.
“Ms Hunziker’s employer was initially open to her retaining her position with the Trust should she resign from her part-time job, when Ms Hunziker agreed to do so. [one of the bosses] advised her, “All things considered, it’s probably better if you go,” “read the letter from a lawyer sent to Ngati Manuhiri Settlement Trust seen by the Herald on Sunday.
“Following this meeting, our client was shocked and upset. Although your words clearly rejected it, given other comments you made, such as “we don’t want to fire you because it’s not nice”, our client believed you asked him to hand over his resignation. In view of this, our client submitted his resignation. “
While she cannot comment specifically on Hunziker’s case, employment lawyer Alice Anderson says an employer must follow a “fair” process before firing an employee. This includes: enabling an employee to obtain appropriate support; and a chance to respond to any allegations or concerns that have arisen, which should then be given due consideration before any decision is taken.
“Even though we look at the issue through a Maori Kaupapa lens, it is important that fair processes are followed when making decisions, as the process itself is seen as an inherent good in Ao Maori tea and is often everything. as important as the result that has been achieved.
“Employers should seek to follow processes that improve the management of everyone involved, even when dealing with sensitive issues. “
Aotearoa sex worker collective representative in New Zealand, Talia Morrison, told the Herald that stigma around sex among Ao Maori exists due to colonial and Christian influence.
“It’s a shame because before colonization, the Maoris celebrated sexuality, so much so that we see it in our prints.”
Morrison understands that there are many perspectives on what sexual freedom should look like, but, “to me it doesn’t make sense to oppress our people with an alien standard of living that goes against it. of how our tūpuna lived before tauiwi. [non-Māori] came to our shores “.
“There are so many digital sexual content creators who have a ‘day job’ because, frankly, sometimes you can’t do enough with a day job.
“Once people realize that sex workers or content creators work like ‘normal’ people, then I think people can have better discussions about workplace policies and how whose sex work can affect the workplace.
“We dont do [punish] people who watch porn, so why are we punishing those who create it? “
The Herald has twice contacted Ngati Manuhiri’s acting CEO for comment, but the iwi organization declined to comment.
“Being forced to quit a job you love hurts a lot. Especially when it comes from your own people,” Hunziker said.
“I know I gave them the best of myself with what I could work with. I left with my head held high, and in my eyes, I didn’t do anything wrong.”