Topless feminists protest NZ's 'Win a Wife' event

FRONTING UP: Topless Ukrainian feminists protest a New Zealand "Win A Wife" competition in Kiev.
FRONTING UP: Topless Ukrainian feminists protest a New Zealand "Win A Wife" competition in Kiev.

A controversial New Zealand "Win a Wife" competition has sparked a topless protest from Ukrainian feminists.

The Rock FM radio station ran the competition called Win a Wife, offering a 12-night trip - along with $2000 spending money - to Ukraine organised by a bride agency, Endless Love Agency, which says on its website it offers "beautiful genuine Ukraine ladies looking for love and marriage with Kiwi men".

A winemaker named Greg was the winner and he is due in the Ukraine mining town of Donetsk later this month before also visiting another town called Zaporizhia.

The prize does not include travel for the Ukraine woman to come to New Zealand.

Activists from the Femen group, which uses stripping as a shock tactic, braved wintry temperatures in central Kiev, holding banners with slogans such as "Ukraine is not a brothel".

It was reported that Femen's members wear little but flower garlands for frequent protests against Ukraine's sex industry and targeting of Ukrainian women by international agencies that organise sex tours.

"Femen warns the lucky winner of the New Zealand competition that he can expect an unhappy ending in Ukraine," activist Olexandra Shevchenko said in a statement on the movement's blog.

"Ukraine is not a brothel and Ukrainian women are not prostitutes."

Before announcing the winner, the radio station said it wasn't offering the opportunity to just anybody and planned to "weed out the no-hopers and time-wasters" with its application form and various psychological tests.

However, former Green MP and social activist Sue Bradford slammed the contest.

"It is unusual and somewhat disturbing that a commercial entity would commercialise what should be one of the most meaningful human relationships and actually offer it as a prize for a radio show," she said.

"It's really taking commercial radio to new depths."

The Rock programme director, Brad King, said it had received a "massive reaction" from all over the country.

"Some people think it's a little stupid, others see it as what it is, a tongue in cheek idea that gives someone the opportunity of a lifetime to travel on an all-expenses paid trip to the Ukraine," he said.

He would not say whether the station had received any complaints.

"We like to have a bit of a laugh and not take things too seriously, so rather than playing 'cupid' we decided we would play 'stupid' on this, and send a listener over to the Ukraine with the chance of finding a connection."

Stuff