'Political pillow talk' allegations in Mount Roskill
The woman who shut National MP Parmjeet Parmar out of a citizenship ceremony says the "political pillow talk" attack on her and her husband is "offensive"
Julie Fairey, who is married to Labour's likely Mount Roskill candidate Michael Wood, described Dr Parmar's allegation she was blocked from the ceremony to give him a political advantage as "sad".
"As a woman in politics, I identify as a feminist, I've been involved in women's issues for a long time and I find it pretty frustrating to be reduced to basically an appendage of my husband and it happens more than you think in this day and age," Ms Fairey said.
Dr Parmar put out a press statement saying she was stopped from going because of "political pillow talk" and has laid an official complaint with Auckland Council.
Ms Fairey is the Puketapapa local board chair and decides who can attend the ceremonies.
The row has blown up because Mr Wood and Dr Parmar are likely to face off in a Mt Roskill by-election later this year if Phil Goff wins the Auckland Mayoralty.
Ms Fairey said she was within the rules as only locally elected MPs were allowed to come -- and Dr Parmar was a list MP.
Mr Wood is allowed to go because he is also an elected member of the Puketepapa local board.
"I just made a, I thought, quite straightforward, quite fair and simple rule. If she gets elected MP for Mt Roskill, then she'll be very welcome," she said.
"There's nothing personal in it, it's just that it's not appropriate to have people on the stage who don't have a mandate from the community."
"I've had no other list MPs approach me wanting to attend -- the only MP who has attended and he hasn't attended all of them has been Phil Goff."
Ms Fairey believed Dr Parmar was using the blocking as electioneering.
"I've seen Parmjeet at a number of community events over the last little while; she said nothing to me about it. The fact [is] that the first I heard about there continuing to be a problem [was] via a media outlet ringing me to say 'what do I think of these political pillow talk allegations'."
Ms Fairey and Mr Wood have been backed by Labour leader Andrew Little who has accused National of "dirty politics".
Dr Parmar says the blocking is unfair and has pointed out that she stood in Mt Roskill at the last election.
Mr Wood has also attacked Dr Parmar.
"I don't mind having my views or my record attacked, but to have my family brought into it is tacky, desperate and unacceptable," he says.
Auckland Council says it is bound by the Local Government Act and can't change the rules.
With Mr Goff likely to win the mayoralty, a by-election in Mt Roskill is likely before the end of the year.
Dr Parmar and Mr Wood are almost certain to be the candidates, and it will be extremely close -- even though Mr Goff won the seat, National won the Party vote.
Dr Parmar says she has complained to Local Government Minister Sam Lotu'Iiga and Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne.