Prime Minister John Key was booed off stage at Sunday’s Big Gay Out festival by a group of vocal anti-Trans-Pacific Partnership protesters.
Mr Key, wearing a pink polo shirt, took to the stage alongside National MPs Nikki Kaye and Maggie Barry.
He was booed by around 30 protesters while delivering a short speech on stage, which was cut to less than a minute and hardly understandable over the yelling of anti-TPP slogans.
“[We are] supporting the gay and lesbian community, we support a message to keep safe, and we want you to do that,” he tried to tell the crowd.
Three protesters also closed in on him off-stage holding signs that said: “capitalism is climate change war and pollution”.
Even though security was tight for the Prime Minister’s appearance, a group still managed to throw pink glitter over him and his entourage as he passed through the crowds.
One man was seen being detained by police and taken away in handcuffs. A witness said he was “swearing and carrying on”.
He said the TPPA protesters booing the Prime Minister during his speech on the Big Gay Out stage was disappointing.
“There is a time and place for everything and this community has fought so long for recognition, so that when people and politicians such as him make the effort to turn up these events, it’s a real shame to alienate them like that.”
Speaking to media afterwards, Mr Key said he had expected the reaction but stressed it was from a small group of individuals who did not support the National government and that he felt sorry for the event-goers, but “that’s the way it goes”.
“The funny thing was gay and lesbian rights activist have worked really hard, campaigned hard, for an extension of their rights over the years, and I voted for gay marriage,” Key said.
Key believed TPPA protesters would definiely dog him for the rest of 2016, and expressed dismay that they disrupted the day.
Despite these events, many were positive about the Prime Minister’s presence, opting to pose for selfies with him.
New Zealand model Colin Mathura-Jeffree and others were cheering in support of Key, one yelling “I love you babe” as he walked past.
Other politicians, including the leaders of Labour and the Green Party, also made an obligatory appearance.
It was the 17th year for Big Gay Out at Coyle Park, Point Chevalier on Valentine’s Day.
Watch: John Key booed off stage at Big Gay Out
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