'Lord Gough's' brush with the bogans

CHARLIE GATES
Last updated 05:00 29/01/2011
Jamie Gough
Jamie Gough

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A Christchurch councillor has been branded a "snob" after complaining that city beaches are spoilt by "every bogan in town".

Cr Jamie Gough said in a magazine column that Sumner, Taylors Mistake and Corsair Bay were "overrun by every Dwayne and his pit-bull".

"There's only one thing that ruins a relaxing day at the beach and that's when every bogan in town (and from further afield too no doubt) has the same bright idea. This is exactly what happened to Jasmine and I in early January," he wrote.

Gough advised people to go to more isolated beaches "where old Commodore tyres don't grip" so "you won't find a mullet or AC/DC shirt in sight."

Gough, 25, was elected as a councillor for the Fendalton/Waimairi ward last year and is connected to a family fortune worth an estimated $310 million. He is on the board of family engineering business Gough Gough and Hamer. The comments have attracted criticism from Sumner resident Robin Judkins and Christchurch blogger and activist James Macbeth Dann.

Judkins said the comments were snobbery. "It is absolute, bloody rubbish and it is intellectual and social snobbery on his part too," he said.

Dann mocked the column in his blog edmuzik.tumblr.com. "Heaven forbid that other people should be using a public space when Lord Gough of Fendalton wants to dangle his pinkies in the water with Lady Jasmine," he wrote.

Cr Yani Johanson, who has Sumner Beach in his ward, said he had not experienced problems.

"From my point of view, I have been down to the beaches a few times this summer. I saw lots of people from different walks of life but didn't have any concerns," he said.

Gough said the column was lighthearted.

"My intent was not to offend and I apologise if I caused any offence. I will buy them a Woodstock one day," he said. "It was a bit of a laugh. I didn't mean bogans were not welcome on this earth. People should lighten up..

"If it was my maiden speech for council and I started talking about the eradication of bogans in a serious format it would be understandable if people wanted to criticise, but I'm surprised that people don't have more of a sense of humour. It wasn't actually targeted to belittle bogans, they are a valued part of our society. Everyone has their place."

The comments were based on an experience at Corsair Bay. "We just wanted a nice day at the beach and there were a whole lot of stereotypical bogans from something like Outrageous Fortune – it was like the Wests."

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