Mayor brushes off heckler

Mayor Peter Chin has brushed off an altercation with an irate anti-stadium heckler in a Dunedin supermarket as "something that goes with the territory".

The incident happened shortly after 11am yesterday, as Mr Chin joined a queue for a checkout at the Countdown store in central Dunedin.

He was being served when a man accompanied by several children, standing a few places back in the same queue, began heckling Mr Chin about the stadium project, a witness told the Otago Daily Times.

The exchange continued, watched by a gathering crowd of shoppers, until Mr Chin completed his transaction and left the store, the witness said.

Countdown staff refused to discuss the incident yesterday, but Mr Chin confirmed he exchanged "a few words" with an unknown man.

"It's something that goes with the territory. He was expressing his views about the stadium," Mr Chin said.

He said the heckler had not become abusive, calling him "mister" throughout the exchange, and another shopper had approached Mr Chin outside the store following the incident to apologise on behalf on those present, Mr Chin said.

"Presumably, he felt embarrassed about it. It didn't bother me at all," Mr Chin said.

chris.morris@odt.co.nz

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