'Activist' councillor posts flyers of Luxon, Seymour and Peters as genitals

One of the pictures posted to Teri O'Neill's Instagram story. Photo: Teri O'Neill
One of the pictures posted to Teri O'Neill's Instagram story. Photo: Teri O'Neill
Wellington City Councillor Teri O’Neill has defended her decision to post flyers featuring Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and his two deputies inside the image of a penis around Wellington City.

O’Neill took pictures of herself and her friends sticking the posters up around the city on Friday night and posted them to social media yesterday.

When contacted by The New Zealand Herald about the pictures, she made her Instagram private but says she stands by her decision to post the flyers - one of which featured Luxon inside the outline of a penis.

Another had Act leader David Seymour and NZ First leader Winston Peters inside the scrotum of the genitals while Luxon formed the head.

It was captioned “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.

Below it said “Pākehā for Te Tiriti”.

When contacted by the Herald, O’Neill said she thought she “probably had” stuck some of the pictures up herself, although declined to comment on which ones.

She said a lot of her community were “really scared of what’s to come” and that she stood by all her actions to “challenge entrenched power structures”.

O’Neill said the law determined the right to protest and it was her opinion that people with a 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.”

Mayor Tory Whanau said while she hadn’t seen the post itself, “in general councillors are free to express their views and humour is often used as a way to make a point”.

Whanau said she would not post the pictures herself, as she must “establish and maintain a relationship with the Government”.

She added she looked forward to sitting down with them and discussing “a way forward on big issues facing Wellington”.

The post on O’Neill’s Instagram came the same day Luxon, Peters and Seymour were sworn in to the Government.

Peters and Seymour were both sworn in as Deputy Prime Ministers under the arrangement in the coalition deals. The pair will each share the role, with Peters in the role for the first 18 months and then Seymour for the second 18 months.

Seymour told Newstalk ZB he hadn’t seen it the poster but when described what it was 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?

“If they called us racist, well we’ve got a government that’s committed to recognising the universal humanity in every human rather than dividing us by ethnicity,” Seymour said.

A Wellington City councillor can expect a salary of $119,618 if they have no other additional responsibilities.

By Vita Molyneux