'It's not a thong': Auckland woman kicked out of Auckland Council pool defends bikini choice

A North Shore woman who was asked to cover up at an Auckland Council pool says her swimsuit shouldn't have been a problem because it wasn't a thong.

Yvette Harvie-Salter was sitting in the adults-only spa at Albany Stadium Pool on Saturday when a duty manager asked her to get out so they could have a private conversation.

The manager allegedly told Harvie-Salter she'd received "comments from some of the mums at the pool" that her bikini was too revealing for a public pool. The manager wouldn't tell her exactly who had complained, but told her she would need to change into a more modest swimsuit or cover up with a towel. 

Harvie-Salter told Magic Talk the manager pointed out signs about appropriate swimwear around the premises, but that there was no official ban on bikinis.

"It was quite humiliating," she says.

She says she bought the bikini from a local Glassons in January, and had been wearing it for her regular sauna sessions ever since, where she claims bikinis and "revealing" Speedos are common.

Host Brendan Telfer suggested there may have been "a considerable amount of [her] posterior hanging out", but Harvie-Salter says it was just a "standard bikini".

"[Glassons] do sell thong bikinis, but the one I have is not a thong, it's a standard bikini where it's not all completely out."

The bikini Yvette Harvie-Salter wore to Albany Stadium Pool.
The bikini Yvette Harvie-Salter wore to Albany Stadium Pool. Photo credit: Glassons

Glassons has been approached for comment.

Harvie-Salter doesn't believe her size 6 body should be considered objectionable. 

"Because I don't have any fat on my body I don't have anything hanging out either, so there's nothing to be offended by."

Appalled at the "absolutely ridiculous" request that she cover up, Harvie-Salter chose to leave the pool instead. When she asked for a refund, she says employees just "giggled" before offering her a voucher which she refused as she doesn't intend to return.

"It has spoiled it for me because I have to go somewhere else," she says. "I can't fathom it at all, going back to that same pool. All the same people still work there, [including] the one who confronted me."

She's particularly upset at having her clothing policed at a council-funded facility.

"What really offended me the most was the fact the Government agency backed the insecurity and the bigotry of what was going on."

On Monday she received a "sincere" apology from Rob McGee, head of active recreation at Auckland Council, who she says was disappointed to hear about the incident.

She accepted his apology but not his offer of compensation, although she says she'd be "happy to think about it".

"He did mention if I did want anything else, he didn't say what he could offer. I said no thank you, I appreciate your offer but I just wanted the apology for now."

Newshub.

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