A Hamilton councillor is being slammed online for parking her campaign car in a mobility car park at the Hamilton Gardens this afternoon.
Siggi Henry has apologised, saying she was in a rush to attend a council event and shouldn't have done it.
The photo showing the west ward councillor's red signwritten car badly parked in a mobility car park was posted on Twitter and has upset several people who have commented about it showing disrespect for disabled people.
The photo was taken at the citizenship ceremony at Hamilton Gardens this afternoon.
One person questioned whether you would vote for someone completely thoughtless.
Another tweeted that they had seen Henry's car parked half on a footpath the other day.
"Thought it was maybe a one-off, but perhaps no?"
Henry said she felt really really bad about it.
"I wanted to apologise. I was in an extreme rush. I came from another meeting and I'm very very sorry and I just wanted to apologise to the disabled community and I'm sorry I did that. I shouldn't have done that I know. That's all that I wanted to say," she said.
"I'm German. I hate being late. That's my major problem."
She confirmed she did not have a mobility permit.
CCS Disability Action national manager access and infrastructure BJ Clark said it was extremely disappointing, especially for a city leader who should know better and be setting an example.
Clark manages the mobility parking scheme nationally and said the biggest problem was the abuse of parks often because they were in convenient places.
"The reality is, 'I was only going to be five minutes or I was in a hurry', in those five minutes you may well have prevented someone coming to park, for example someone going to that citizenship ceremony that had an impairment so therefore they would have had to find somewhere else to park."
Hamilton City Council general manager of infrastructure operations Eeva-Liisa Wright said the spaces were there to support people with mobility impairments and a parking permit was required to park in the space.
An infringement notice could only be issued if a parking warden attended and identified the car was parked in a disabled park without the correct permit.
"We have to attend. We can't just base it on a photo or anything like that."
Henry is no stranger to controversy. She was recently criticised by fellow councillors for not disclosing in her electioneering material that she is a long-term anti-vaccination and anti-fluoride campaigner.
She has also been in the spotlight for wearing an anti-vax shirt to an autism awareness event and wearing a tin foil hat to meet then Associate Minister of Health Peter Dunne in 2017.
Hamilton Mayor Andrew King has been approached for comment.