Claire Trevett is the New Zealand Herald’s deputy political editor.

Waitangi: Protester throws sex toy at Steven Joyce

Photo source: Newshub

The identity of the woman who threw a sex toy at economic development minister Steven Joyce can be revealed.

The dildo tosser was Christchurch nurse Josie Butler, who yelled: "That's for raping our sovereignty".

She was then taken away by police, but said on her Facebook tonight she was out of custody and no charges had been laid.


She was at yesterday's anti-Trans Pacific Partnership protest in Auckland and One News recently interviewed her at another rally against the agreement.

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A brief history of Waitangi Day

"I just thought it was a really good cause, and a good way of getting the community engaged," she said about why she'd shown up.

"With the signing coming up next week I thought it was really important that we take a really strong stand against this to protect the people of New Zealand, really.

"I'm here as a nurse because I'm worried about the patient rights and how many people will essentially die if this goes through because the price of medication's going up, so yeah, it's something I feel really strongly about."

Mr Joyce was speaking to media at the time after meeting with iwi leaders at Waitangi.

Labour leader Andrew Little said it was "a creative item" to have thrown at a politician, but it was not rare for politicians to have objects thrown at them, such as "vegetable matter, clods of dirt here at Waitangi actually."

"It's a matter of historical record. Things get thrown at politicians, not just insults.

Video

It is a creative item, I guess, to throw at a politician and perhaps the person throwing it thought there was a message in it. I can't imagine what that could be."

Told the woman had referred to taking away sovereignty, Mr Little said "right. The connection between sexual devices and sovereignty is not immediately apparent to me, but I think we should not underestimate the fact people are very hot under the collar about TPP."

His press secretary promptly suggested the press conference end at that point.

Steven Joyce did not respond other that to promptly end the press conference at the time.

He seemed more amused by the incident than concerned later. Asked if it was a first for him, he laughed and said "yes, it would be fair to say, under any circumstances."

The woman was spoken to by Police for about 10 minutes before being taken away in a Police car, giving a peace sign and thumbs up out of the window.

NZ First leader Winston Peters said he was not sure what to make of it.

"What am I to make of that? Steven is a bit of a political Sampson without hair."

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce says being hit in the face by a flying pink dildo was quite amusing but he hoped it would not be a career defining moment.

Mr Joyce could not quite bring himself to name the item - a large pink rubber penis.

"We were just having a little discussion about the iwi leaders' meeting and, yes, somebody threw an article at me, it could be described." He said he had not realised what it was until afterwards.

Mr Joyce had not seen the footage and laughed when it was shown to him.

"That is quite amusing. It's funnier than I thought." He said he hoped it would not be a career defining moment. "I'd rather hope that I've done a few things that made a contribution to New Zeland and this would just be a background thing." He said it had not left a bruise.

Asked if the Prime Minister's absence had put him in the firing line as the most senior Government minister at Waitangi, he said he did not believe he was in any danger.

Straight after the incident, Mr Joyce left but he has since returned to discuss it.

He said he heard the woman shout something about sovereignty and believed it was an anti-TPP protest. "The whole thing was a little bit surprising but people do what they do. It was a little bit amusing once I knew all the details." He had not seen the dildo since, and hoped not to. The dildo was left lying on the ground after Mr Joyce left before it was picked up by Police, who described it as "objectionable material."

Despite the inglorious nature of his fame, Mr Joyce denied he was happy to have stolen Labour leader Andrew Little's thunder for the day: "I didn't realise he had much thunder to steal."

Mr Joyce was soon trending on Twitter and tweeted "someone send the gif over to John Oliver so we can get it over with.."

Mr Oliver, the host of US show Last Week Tonight, has previously mocked Mr Joyce for his description of National's use of music similar to Eminem as "pretty legal" and mocked Prime Minister John Key over the flag and for pulling a waitress' ponytail.

Thrown at Waitangi

• 1982: GOLF BALL & EGG: Governor-General Sir David Beattie has an egg thrown at his back and a golf ball at his chest. He reportedly told police the blow to the chest was painful.

• 1990: T-SHIRT: Queen Elizabeth has a black, wet T-shirt thrown at her during a visit to Waitangi. The female protester who threw the shirt can be heard yelling to the Queen: "Honour the Treaty!" The protester is later arrested.

• 2004: MUD: National Party leader Dr Don Brash has a chunk of mud thrown at him while speaking to media outside the gates of Te Tii Waitangi Marae. A 24-year-old Hamilton man is later taken away by police.

• 2014: DEAD FISH: A bucket of fish is thrown in the path of Prime Minister John Key as he leaves Te Tii Marae. A crowd had earlier been protesting deep sea oil mining.

- NZ Herald

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