Letting it all hang out at the naturist festival (+video)

Last updated 00:44 30/12/2008
PHIL REID/Dominion Post
FANCY FREE: Ken Mercer plays Miniten tennis at the 'Cruising Naturally' Festival at Wellington Naturist Club.

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Reading's easy, but naturist Pos Chute is more than willing to tackle more tricky activities in the buff.

Asked if there was anything he wouldn't do, he said: "Maybe ice-caving," then quickly retracted. "Oh nah, I'd probably give that a go."

Mr Chute, 32, an air force engineer, of Palmerston North, was among more than 130 other naturists or nudists who descended on Te Marua, Upper Hutt, for the 57th national festival of the Naturist Federation.

The week-long event, which started on Sunday, has attracted sun-lovers from as far away as Britain and Germany to the park-like camp at the foot of the Rimutaka Range.

Wellington Naturist Club president Ken Mercer said the warm weather was playing a big part in the success of the event, which includes team games, miniten a form of tennis and petanque. His wife, Judith, said many non-nudists had misconceptions about naturist camps. "They just don't know what to expect."

June Campbell-Tong, of Whitby, has been a passionate supporter of nudity for 45 years. "It's beautiful, it's wonderful," she said. "I can't wait to come out here it's a stress release. People can come here and forget the outside world."

She said that, in today's busy world, people could forget to relax, and becoming a naturist could help to solve a lot of the stress involved with tough economic times.

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- The Dominion Post

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