New Auckland Santa statue takes 'unintentional' aim at Simon Bridges

The newest Ponsonby Central Santa has been unveiled - this year cheekily dressed as Mary Poppins, complete with umbrella, carpet bag and fishnet stockings.

The notorious, gender-busting Ponsonby Central Santa may just disprove Simon Bridges' claim on The AM Show that "just as Mary Poppins is a woman, Santa Claus is a man". 

New Auckland Santa statue takes 'unintentional' aim at Simon Bridges
Photo credit: Supplied.

"The display is a nod to the film Mary Poppins Returns, due to be released in December," says Ponsonby Central spokesperson Tina Plunkett. 

"The display has been in the making since May, and any correlation to Simon Bridges' comments was purely coincidental, although humorous." 

New Auckland Santa statue takes 'unintentional' aim at Simon Bridges
Photo credit: Supplied.

While the Mary Poppins-inspired Santa statue has been for several months, it's coincidental timing to fit with Mr Bridges' comments during an interview with The AM Show on Monday. During the interview, he told viewers he was "okay" with Santa jobs only being given to men.

"I think it's just PC gone - I don't know if it's mad, but too far. You guys this morning are telling me that man didn't walk on the moon, now you're telling me Santa's a woman - I just want a few things I can believe in," the National leader said.

The Human Rights Commission says sex is a "prohibited ground of discrimination", but exceptions could be made for "reasons of authenticity".

"We've got discrimination rules and they're absolutely right, you know, whether it's gender, whether it's ethnicity," said Mr Bridges.

"But I think the truth is on Santa, this is a traditional thing. Mary Poppins is a woman, Santa Claus is a man. That's how it should be."

The Ponsonby Central Santa has always erred on the untraditional side.

In 2014, he channelled Marilyn Monroe with an up-skirting of his famous red coat while in 2016, he sported lycra, covering his crotch and posing with a bike to support Auckland Transport.

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