Lisa Lewis' warning after Wellington City Council candidate calls for topless swimming pools

Lisa Lewis.
Lisa Lewis. Photo credit: The AM Show

Hamilton mayoral candidate and former sex worker Lisa Lewis is warning women not to rush to take off their tops just yet.

Her comment comes after Thomas Morgan, who is standing for Wellington City Council, has called for women to be allowed to swim topless at public pools. 

But Lewis has warned that women may get fined if they whip off their tops.

Speaking to Magic Talk, Lewis said when she took Boobs on Bikes to Hamilton in 2009, the local authorities didn't take too kindly to the sight.

"We got pulled over by police and we actually got a warning," Lewis said."I think [the charge] was indecent exposure."

She says the fine caught her by surprise after she faced no problems at the parade in Auckland. 

She even rode a police motorbike without a top - "they didn't authorise that, I just jumped on the back topless".

"I remember getting the fine in 2009 in Hamilton thinking 'this is such a contradiction'."

Lewis caught the country's attention when she streaked during an All Blacks match in 2006. Since then she has worked as a stripper and sex worker. In 2010 she made her first bid for the Hamilton mayoralty, finishing fourth.

Morgan, who is running as an independent candidate for Paekawakawa/Southern Ward, included "topless public swimming pools" as one of various ideas to improve life in his constituency. Although he was quick to admit that a main part of the reason he pitched the idea was to generate publicity, he also stood by the view. Such a move would help demystify the female body, which is often unfairly sexualised, Morgan said.

Lewis says in her experience opinion is split on whether women should be able to go topless in public.

"I think women being topless is portrayed as them being in strip clubs," she told Magic Talk. "There may be some people who do see it as being indecent. And you're going to get other people who are #freethenipple, that they think it's just their right and gender equality. It's really up to the individual person."

Lewis says she wanted to warn people that despite one's personal view on the matter, it might pay to remember that view might not be shared by the police.

"I just wanted to give people a heads up that just be prepared that police may try what they did with me in 2009."