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SocietyJune 8, 2018

Alan Duff threatens violence against Spinoff cameraman at Labour event


‘I could fucking nail you up against the wall,’ says NZ novelist at Northcote appearance in support of candidate Shanan Halbert

Novelist and outspoken commentator Alan Duff has unleashed a tirade at a Spinoff camera operator following an event on Wednesday evening at which he was the feature guest in support of Labour’s candidate in the Northcote byelection. After taking exception to questions about the prime minister and her pregnancy, Duff advances towards the freelance camera operator, saying, “Fuck, I could fucking nail you up against the wall.”

In light of his previous controversial comments about women, the Spinoff sought Duff’s views on Ardern’s pregnancy. He was having none of it. “You should, bloody, you should hone up on your skills. You can’t ask stupid questions like that. I mean, what would anyone think about someone’s pregnancy? The whole country’s happy because it’s the prime minister having a baby,” he said.

When it was put to Duff that online comments suggest the whole country is not happy, he said: “What, are you reading the fucking trolls? How old are you?”

Stepping towards the camera operator, he continued: “Fuck, I could fucking nail you up against the wall. You’re just a punk. You’re a punk.”

In the leadup to the event, held at the Birkenhead Brewing Company and hosted by senior Labour MP Willie Jackson, there had been disquiet from within the party about the controversial commentator appearing at a campaign event, according to one party member. The Once Were Warriors authors’ previous remarks about Muslims, Māori and women had even led to one member quitting the party, the source told the Spinoff.

Neither the Northcote Labour campaign coordinator nor the prime minister’s office responded to a request for comment.

During the event itself, Duff told the audience he had been “a National voter all my voting years” but had lost faith in the party and decided it was time to give Labour a chance. “There is no denying the Jacinda factor,” he said. “We all love a pretty young woman.”

Duff later said his wife had “told him off” over that remark.

Duff has stoked controversy in the past for his remarks about “female shriekers”, Muslims as “a people who can’t be told because they won’t be told”, and Māori leaders who “tell us it’s all right to whinge about our poverty”.

The camera operator was dispatched by the Spinoff with a list of questions as part of a package about Wednesday’s campaigning activities in the North Shore byelection, for which National candidate Dan Bidois is a narrow favourite over Halbert to succeed Jonathan Coleman, whose resignation triggered the contest.

The Spinoff TV screens Fridays at 9.45pm from June 22nd on THREE. Thanks to NZ on Air.


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