Annemarie is the magazines editor and regular columnist for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Editorial: Protest tosser cringe worthy

10 comments
The sex toy incident - a childish and embarrassing stunt that not only humiliates another person but disgraces our country's reputation.
The sex toy incident - a childish and embarrassing stunt that not only humiliates another person but disgraces our country's reputation.

I know someone who likes to chase people with snails from the garden, finding their screams hilarious.

Who jumps out on people from around corners, cracking up laughing when they leap out of their skin.

Who likes to stick apple stickers to people's bottoms so they walk around all day with "yummy fruit" labelled on their behind.

Not funny is it?

But they are only 8 years old. One forgives children a bit of misguided slapstick and hopes that you can teach them to grow out of getting cheap laughs at the expense of others.

Like throwing a sex toy in the face of Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce while he was in Waitangi - to me a childish and embarrassing stunt that not only humiliates another person but disgraces our country's reputation.

I was amazed to learn later, that the dildo tosser, identified as Josie Butler from Christchurch, was a nurse.

I have an image of nurses as people who dedicated their professional lives to caring for other people.

Her actions were humiliating and degrading.

Butler may say her act was one of protest.

She afterwards told Mana News, "the aim was to gain awareness about the atrocity that is the TPPA ... I will continue to proudly stand up for my country and it's beautiful people".

All she has gained awareness for around the world is what she did.

I feel embarrassed by her actions and the subsequent global attention, which makes us a laughing stock around the world, and I am sure I am not alone.

Mr Joyce has handled the matter with respect and decorum, gaining on the way I would imagine more support for the TPP, with many peaceful protesters also wanting to distance themselves from Butler's bad-clown antics.

Freedom to speak out for, or against, what you believe in is vital in any democracy.

This was not an eloquent argument against TPP, however, but a mindless act of attention-seeking.

The fact she has not been criminally charged in my view lays politicians open to more attacks, something I think most New Zealanders, whatever their political beliefs, would not want.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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