The Wellington City Council has asked its street maintenance staff to remove posters with the new prime minister Christopher Luxon, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Act leader David Seymour superimposed on to a penis.
Councillor Teri O’Neill posted the billstickers with her friends last Friday night and told the Herald she stood by her decision, saying she wanted to “challenge entrenched power structures”.
A council spokesman confirmed to the Herald the instruction had been sent out for staff to remove the posters if they saw them. He clarified staff hadn’t been told to specifically go and find the posters to remove.
“They’re glued on, so we’ve told our staff to do whatever it takes to remove the offending image,” he said, adding there were few of the posters around the city.
Councillor Teri O’Neill posted the billstickers with her friends last Friday night and told the Herald she stood by her decision.
Seymour told Newstalk ZB he hadn’t seen the poster but when given a description of what it was he called it “pretty interesting.
“I’m always in favour of any kind of artistic licence and creativity, so good on them. I hope they enjoyed painting it.
“I don’t know how old the artist is. Are they [an] intermediate [school student] or high school?”
O’Neill said her community was “really scared of what’s to come” with the new government and she stood by her actions to “challenge entrenched power structures”.
Act leader David Seymour (left), National leader Christopher Luxon and New Zealand First leader Winston Peters. Photo / Mark Mitchell
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She said the law determined the right to protest and it opined that people with a public platform were obliged to challenge the status quo. She added the posters were meant as a humorous comment.
“I love that in Wellington we can take a bit of humour.
“Posters allow us to laugh at ourselves about the state we’re in while bringing about a social and political conversation. The house it’s on fire, but we’re also getting a brief moment to laugh about it.”
She said she “didn’t stop being an activist when I became a city councillor.
“Posting bills is a tried and true method of political engagement.”
O’Neill took pictures of herself and her friends sticking the posters up around the city last Friday night and posted them to social media on Monday.
The picture posted to O'Neill's Instagram story on Friday night. Photo / Teri O'Neill
The post carried a caption saying: “Some Friday night arts and crafts”.
She also posted one of the images to her Instagram story on Friday night and captioned it “xoxo to the incoming Government”.
Another one of the flyers said “Those racist men don’t speak for us”, referring to the new Government.
Raphael Franks is an Auckland-based reporter who covers breaking news. He joined the Herald as a Te Rito cadet in 2022.
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