The friendly ghost of "Dildo Baggins" haunted John Key during his Town Basin visit when a group of singing protesters serenaded him from a boat.

They were supposed to be dressed as sex toys, but there was little offensive about the group's garb which looked more like earless pink rabbit suits.

The group broke into a song over a loud speaker system, expressing their discontent at what they say is the scrapping of a Northland rail line, which is expected to result in another 150 logging trucks on to the region's roads.

The group were admirers of Christchurch nurse Jodie Butler, who hurled a sex toy at Minister for Economic Development Steven Joyce at Waitangi, earning him the nickname "Dildo Baggins". Protest organiser Ian Sturt could see a new theme emerging for action against the National party. "Let's start a theme. Even if you just paint your face pink," he said.

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Police were keeping a close eye on the boat and advised the group not to disrupt proceedings. Attendees at the sod-turning mostly ignored the singers.

Mr Sturt said he wanted to make it "100 per cent clear" his group were not anti-Hundertwasser. "We're ... educating the people about what the Government is up to - or not." Alexandra Newlove