Duncan Garner slams 'attention seeker' Lucy Lawless for NZ flag comments

  • 31/07/2018

Duncan Garner has slammed Kiwi actress Lucy Lawless for saying she wouldn't be offended if she saw someone burning the New Zealand flag. 

"I disagree with the Warrior Princess who is not my Warrior Princess today," Garner said on The AM Show on Tuesday, referring to Ms Lawless' role in her 1995-2001 hit TV show Xena: Warrior Princess

"Lucy Lawless, with every bone in my body, I disagree with you," said Garner. 

Ms Lawless took to Twitter on Monday to ask her followers how they would feel if they saw a Kiwi burning a New Zealand flag. Ms Lawless said she would shrug her shoulders if she saw it happening, and would assume the person is angry at the Government.  

"It would not offend my sense of identity one bit. I don't think I'm alone," Ms Lawless said. 

Garner, who voted to keep the current flag in the 2015-2016 referendum, called Ms Lawless an "attention seeker" for her comments. He said he'd assume that any person who burns a New Zealand flag would have "many issues" and would be "politically charged". 

"I'm largely proud of our country," said Garner, recalling his job as a youth to erect a New Zealand flag at the Birkenhead school he attended as a seven-year-old in 1981. 

Garner said New Zealanders have the right to protest, but doesn't agree that anyone should burn the flag. He reflected on the foreshore and seabed hīkoi in 2004 when protesters proudly raised the tino rangatiratanga flag at Parliament, and other flags including the United Tribes flag. 

"That's how you protest," Garner said. "We are far too apathetic as a nation. Protest, yes, but burn the flag and you lose the argument."  

One Twitter user replied to Ms Lawless' post saying police should respond to someone "torturing" New Zealand's flag. But Ms Lawless replied suggesting the police have "thieves and murderers to deal with".