Security called to Northcote by-election mall confrontation

Security has been called to remove a Labour by-election candidate from an Auckland mall, in an altercation that led the mall to ban all further campaigning.

Labour got into a spat with Glenfield Mall after being denied permission to campaign inside the shopping establishment.

On May 21, the day after Labour was told campaigning was not allowed, National candidate Dan Bidois posted pictures campaigning alongside National Party Leader Simon Bridges at that very mall.

Glenfield Mall says it's now applied a blanket-ban on all political campaigning, alleging "unpleasant" behaviour from Labour.

The mall says both parties were told campaigning is not permitted, but Countdown supermarket gave National permission.

Labour's Northcote candidate Shanan Halbert told Newshub he went to the mall with former Labour MP Anne Hartley to get permission to campaign, as they had allowed National to.

"It was an honest and upfront discussion. There was no misbehaviour going on at the time," Mr Halbert said.

"It was very clear at the time the owner didn't feel she had an obligation to our community, to apply fairness. I responded to her and said that was disappointing.

"She felt at the time it is private property and it was within her right to make that decision. At that time she contacted security and asked me to leave."

The email exchange between Labour and the mall.
The email exchange between Labour and the mall. Photo credit: Supplied

Mr Halbert says he thanked her for her time and security followed him out. He denies he was asked to leave a number of times.

"She appeared to be upset particularly by the word 'fairness' that I used and reminding her of her obligations to our community."

Mr Halbert told Newshub everything he said was appropriate and it was a respectable conversation, but an honest one.

Kim Bennett - CEO of Ladstone Glenfield Limited, which own the mall - said Labour had challenged the mall's decision to not allow them to campaign.

"We had the Labour candidate come to us demanding he campaign in the mall. We advised this is not to happen, consistent with our initial response to both parties.

 "In the future, given the subsequent unpleasant nature of the Labour Party candidate's behaviour to us, we will have a blanket banning of any campaigning in the carpark within the mall and within retailers' premises."

Newshub.

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