Prime Minister John Key target of flying-dildo Waitangi protest

BEVAN READ/stuff.co.nz - Newshub

Protestors are divided over the actions of Josie Butler, an anti-TPP protester, threw the phallic object at Minister Steven Joyce.

It turns out National MP Steven Joyce did the honourable thing and took a dildo for his boss.

The large, rubber sex toy thrown at the Economic Minister's face was actually meant for Prime Minister John Key, a protester says.

It was only after the Prime Minister backed out of Waitangi events at the last-minute that protester Josie Butler was forced to find a new target: Joyce's face.

Steven Joyce was addressing media at Waitangi when a sex toy was hurled at him by a protester.
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Steven Joyce was addressing media at Waitangi when a sex toy was hurled at him by a protester.

Anti-TPPA trade agreement protesters at Waitangi say they were against the dildo-throwing incident and Butler had since apologised to them.

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The penis-slinging has made international headlines with Joyce's surprised expression now infamous across the world.

Christchurch nurse Josie Butler snapped this selfie at TPPA protests in Auckland the day before her dildo throwing stunt.
SUPPLIED

Christchurch nurse Josie Butler snapped this selfie at TPPA protests in Auckland the day before her dildo throwing stunt.

He had just finished discussions with iwi on Friday and was speaking with media when the Christchurch nurse chucked her rubber rocket at him.

She yelled "that's for raping our sovereignty" as she threw the sex toy.

Police arrested her but did not lay charges. She later posted on Facebook: "Im free! No charges laid woohoo! TPPA NO WAY".

BEVAN READ/stuff.co.nz - NewsHub

Steven Joyce is chalking up a sex toy being thrown at him as a 'new experience'.

When asked if he wanted Butler charged, Joyce said that was up to police.

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"It wasn't too worrying from my perspective."

Butler has kept her head down following the incident and did not respond to a request for an interview. But fellow TPPA protesters said she acted alone and later regretted what she did.

Francis Bradley, who met her a few days before the incident at Waitangi, said Key was her original target.

Butler was with a few friends at Waitangi rather than being part of a larger, organised protest group, he said. Earlier she had been in Auckland for Thursday's signing of the TPPA, taking part in protest action blocking motorways.

The nurse did not tell other protesters of her plans to throw a penis at a politician, he said.

Her intentions were good but any protest action should have been agreed upon as a group rather than individually, Bradley said.

A number of protesters, including Bradley, said her penis-incident had attracted the wrong type of attention to their cause.

"It was out of frustration and passionate anger at what the Government was doing.

"She was angry and wanted to do it, but when she heard the rest of us saying you should have focused on the kaupapa (Maori principles), she was quite apologetic."

The nurse was absent from a large anti-TPPA hikoi at Waitangi on Saturday.

Bradley said he didn't know where she was but believed she was still at Waitangi.

She was keeping her head down after realising her fellow protesters were against what she did, he said.

Kuia Mere Wikitera said Butler was "not in our group or with us." 

"She made her decision to do what she did. I didn't want it to ... take the focus off what we are doing."

Wikitera said the focus of Waitangi Day protest should have been the hikoi where 500 people joined together to denounce the trade agreement  

"Don't focus on one incident that is going to spoil our kaupapa because it is just narrow-minded thinking."

The Prime Minister, who opted for rugby league over politics and protest on Waitangi Day, has slammed the incident.

"It's appalling because that image has gone around the world and now there's people in countries all over the world who are saying that the way New Zealanders commemorate or celebrate their national day is with a senior politician having a sex toy thrown at them."

British news website BBC was among the media companies that gave it attention.

Joyce himself recognised he would be the butt of many a joke by tweeting: "Someone send the gif over to John Oliver so we can get it over with."

US TV satirist John Oliver has previously made mileage out of John Key's gaffs - ponytail pulling and a radio interview where he made, amongst other statements, an admission he urinates in the shower.

Key said his decision to stay away from Waitangi this year was common sense due to the risk of violence against him or his staff. 

But he said he would be back in 2017 - if he was invited.

As for Butler, her social media friends were quick to offer support. "You made us proud," one wrote while another said: "that's an awesome effort."

It's not the first time Butler has hit headlines, but in the past it was for different reasons.

A story of "nursing heroes" was written about Butler in 2011 when she graduated from her nursing degree in Christchurch.

She had worked at a hospital, rest homes and welfare centres with the nursing volunteer army during her training year.

"It was quite stressful, but I want to nurse in Sudan, and now I know I can cope with any situation," she said at the time.

 - Sunday Star Times

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