National Party North Shore candidate Maggie Barry is trying to play down being spat at in Devonport and being harangued by customers at a cafe.

A witness told the Herald Ms Barry appeared shaken after being "spat at the foot" outside New World while campaigning this month.

The shopper, who did not want to be named, said a man who was "clearly not fond of National" refused to shake Ms Barry's hand, then spat in front of her.

"She seemed very shaken and shocked, and had to be consoled by her supporters," he said.


A Devonport Flagstaff report said Ms Barry "did not want to make a big deal" about the incident, but that she was surprised at the aggression.

Ms Barry was told by customers at the Little & Friday cafe in Belmont last Saturday that she and her supporters were not welcome because it was "red", according to the community paper.

Ms Barry was quoted as saying: "I love Devonport's character and spirit ... but these incidents showed bad manners - that is how my mother would have described them."

Little & Friday owner Kim Evans was horrified to hear about the incident and that her cafe was supposedly "red" - she is voting for Ms Barry and National.

She wasn't in the cafe at the time, but staff told her a few customers had objected to Ms Barry campaigning inside the eatery. "It's obviously a customer associated with the Labour Party who said it. Maybe some of the customers just wanted to have lunch.

"But it's a crock to say the cafe is red and therefore she is not welcome. Maggie Barry is most welcome to come back any time."