Mayors not laughing at Hitler spoof

WALT DICKSON
Last updated 11:35 03/07/2013

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Wairarapa News

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A video clip posted on YouTube mocking the three Wairarapa mayors is threatening to further fuel animosity between the Governance Review Working Party and Better Wairarapa.

The nearly four minute long clip takes a scene from the 2004 war film Downfall, which depicts the final ten days of Adolf Hitler's reign of Nazi Germany.

It has been dubbed with English subtitles to parody the review of local governance options for Wairarapa.

In the scene, an enraged Fuhrer gives his top generals - in this case Adrienne Staples, Ron Mark and Garry Daniell - a dressing down over their handling of the review and their preference for a Unitary Authority.

The verbal tirade is punctuated with profanity and personal insults.

As of yesterday the video had nearly 1600 views on You Tube since being posted on June 19.

Adrienne Staples and her husband have engaged a lawyer to see that the video is removed, as have other parties.

"It is proving to be very difficult because you are dealing with American lawyers and American law," Mrs Staples said.

The South Wairarapa mayor is also considering legal action for slander with the video accusing her of being a liar.

She says You Tube can easily prove who the source is, "it is whether they will tell us".

"We know who it is, to pretend we don't know who it is, is just ridiculous.

"Actually the onus is for them to prove to us that they have not done it, it is not on us to prove that they did."

Former Masterton District councillor Brent Goodwin is widely tipped as be the creator of the video.

Asked if he had been involved Mr Goodwin said that he "does not respond to rumour".

Better Wairarapa, which supports Wairarapa being part of a Wellington super city, have been quick to distance themselves. Chair, Wairarapa Chamber of Commerce chief executive Stephanie Gundersen-Reid said she finds the video deeply offensive and it does nothing for the debate.

She has written to each district council chief executive explaining that Better Wairarapa has "no involvement".

"The groups I represent would never use such language and we do not condone it at all," Ms Gundersen-Reid told Wairarapa News.

"It saddens me to hear that some people are trying to push the blame our way."

But that doesn't wash with Mrs Staples. While Better Wairarapa may not have commissioned the video some of their members were among the first people to start circulating it and commenting on it, making them just as guilty, she said.

"Quite frankly, anybody that considers that it is humorous has gone down in my estimation."

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- Wairarapa News

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