Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate 'absolutely fine' after fainting during The AM Show interview

Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate is "absolutely fine" after she briefly appeared to lose consciousness during an interview with The AM Show on Monday.

While addressing the removal of the city's controversial Captain Hamilton monument, Southgate suddenly seemed dazed, winced, and took a seat. Her head drooped slightly and she appeared to briefly lose consciousness, despite continuing to speak without issue. 

As host Duncan Garner fired another question at the Mayor, Southgate visibly winced before her head drooped a second time. She quickly steadied herself and persevered with her answer, although her voice was noticeably shakier.

Garner quickly cut the interview short.

Southgate visibly winced and appeared to briefly lose consciousness.
Southgate visibly winced and appeared to briefly lose consciousness. Photo credit: The AM Show

Following the concerning segment, a spokesperson for Southgate confirmed the Mayor is "absolutely fine".

"She fainted. It's not a big deal," the spokesperson told Newshub. 

"The Mayor is absolutely fine. She's gone home to work from her home office."

In a statement to Newshub, Southgate said: "I had felt a little unwell over the weekend. That, plus a combination of a very warm room, proved a bad combination and meant a less-than-stylish start to the week! But I'’m absolutely fine and thank everyone for their concern."

On Friday, a donated statue erected in honour of Captain John Hamilton - the colonial figure who gave his name to the Waikato city - was carefully removed after Black Lives Matter protesters threatened to knock it down during Saturday's march. 

Southgate told The AM Show the controversial monument should never have been installed in Civic Square, outside the city council building.

"Personally, I don't think that Captain Hamilton should be in the Civic Square, right in front of the city council, but we're open to a conversation about where he should be," she said.

Southgate said it would have been "irresponsible" to ignore safety advice and leave the statue in place.