Waitangi: sex toys and politics

BEVAN READ/stuff.co.nz - NewsHub

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

Flying sex toys, cultural clashes and political leaders being left out in the rain.

Waitangi managed to descend into a circus, even after Prime Minister John Key ditched the event for rugby league.

Rain dampened down the usual protest clashes, but a lone-heckler still took a shot at National - spicing up what was a relatively uneventful day. 

A woman hurled a sex toy at Steven Joyce, shouting "that's for raping our sovereignty".

A woman hurled a sex toy at Steven Joyce, shouting "that's for raping our sovereignty".

The female protester yelled "that's for raping our sovereignty" as she threw a dildo Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce.

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He joins former National leader Don Brash as the victim of dirty confrontations at Waitangi. Protesters slung mud at Brash during his visit in 2004.

Even Queen Elizabeth didn't leave Waitangi unscathed after being hit by a wet tshirt in 1990.

Joyce was an apparent virgin when it came to being hit with flying objects.

"I don't think those things happen every day," he said. "I'm fine. I was a little bit surprised but we thought it was humorous at the end of it all.

"[You have] new experiences in politics every day. It's the privilege of serving," Joyce said, tongue-in-cheek.

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Opposition parties also smirked at Joyce's run-in with the sex toy.

"It's a creative item, I guess, to throw at a politician," Labour leader Andrew Little said.

The Labour leader said he couldn't figure out the connection between sexual devices and Maori sovereignty. 

When told of the incident, NZ First leader Winston Peter smiled and said: "What am I to make of that?"

The dildo wasn't the only point of controversy during Friday's events.

A large Labour Party entourage was forced to wait almost 90 minutes in the rain before being welcomed onto Te Tii Marae.

Once there, Labour deputy leader Annette King caused a furore when she sat at the front - the traditional seating for men.

A kuia asked King to move, but after a bit of discussion she stayed put and the Powhiri continued.

Little said they were told beforehand it was acceptable for King to sit front-row since she was deputy leader.

So while Labour was left out in the rain, the Prime Minister was planning to watch rugby league at the Auckland Nines on Waitangi Day.

Key refused to go to Waitangi after being told he couldn't talk politics and protesters threatened to keep him off the marae.

It appeared the opposition parties didn't have to abide by the same policy at the marae.

Little said he wasn't told of any restrictions on what he could talk about and alluded to the TPPA in his speech.

"It's disappointing that [Key] chose not to attend ... I would have turned up as an act of courage and leadership."

NZ  First Winston Peters said he blamed Ngapuhi for the fiasco over the Prime Minister's last-minute cancellation.

"A lot of ngapuhi will have serious regrets and a number of them have mentioned it to me already," he said.

"[They said] what a disaster, how stupid is this?"

The majority of people in Northland wanted the Prime Minister to come to Waitangi, he said.

"It's high time for Ngapuhi leadership to front up and if they can't be leaders step aside for someone who can."

The drama had been embarrassing for Ngapuhi, he said. "This is our national day. We're the only country in the world who craps all over our national day."

Although Hone Harawira, former Maori and Mana Party MP, was less sympathetic of the Prime Minister's decision to avoid Waitangi.

"John Key, stop being a cry baby. Get on that bloody plane, get your a*** up here to Waitangi and front up. If you can't, resign."

 - Stuff

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