Young woman 'disappointed' after former The Opportunities Party candidate asks her for naked photographs

Joshua Love says he will learn from his mistakes.
Joshua Love says he will learn from his mistakes. Photo credit: Facebook/supplied

A young Palmerston North woman is "disappointed" after an aspiring politician asked her for naked photographs.

The 20-year-old woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, told Newshub she contacted former The Opportunities Party (TOP) candidate Joshua Love following his resignation from the Party to offer her support.

Love resigned from his role in a scathing Facebook live video on Wednesday.

He announced he intends to stand as an independent candidate in the upcoming election. 

The woman reached out to express her condolences to him, saying she had spoken with Love before, but never seriously.

"I had watched a few of his live videos and chatted through the comments casually, that was all," she said.

After a brief conversation, Love asked her to "send nudes" if she wanted to know more about him.

When the woman expressed shock at the request, Love said he was joking - but then followed it up with another attempt to solicit photographs, saying he wasn't serious unless she did want to send the pictures.

"Then you are more of an asset to this country than you realise," he told her.

"I was shocked and found it wildly inappropriate," the woman told Newshub on Thursday.

"It's a very efficient way of losing a supporter."

After she said she no longer wanted to associate with him, Love asked if the pair could still be friends, saying "everyone gets so offended these days".

"No wonder why we're all depressed and on so much medication," he said. 

After being contacted by Newshub Love apologised to the woman saying "sorry for joking about nudes. Sorry if I hurt you."

However the woman says his apology did not feel genuine.

"I could forgive him for joking in poor taste if he genuinely is sorry," she said. 

"I'm not sure he really knows what he's apologising for. I don't think he should be pursuing a career in politics until he's matured a bit."

Love told Newshub he regretted the comments he made.

"There's no way I can justify the request except to say I'm a little bit lonely and I treat male and female friends the same way." 

He then sent a screenshot of a conversation with a male friend where he said the man could send him nudes "any time".

He added he believed the woman to be a personal friend of his, adding she once offered to go to dinner with him.

"So yeah I thought we were boys".

He reiterated the regret he felt and says he intends to treat the incident as a learning opportunity.

"I am proud of my ability to learn from my mistakes. The main lesson is to not ask anyone for nudes even as a joke."

Love's resignation follows a complaint from an unnamed TOP board member which claims he turned up to a meeting hungover, and behaved in an "entirely unacceptable" manner and was "aggressive and confrontational to the point that you made the board member feel unsafe".

But Love says he was brought to the meeting on false pretences and was frustrated and unhappy so he left.  He says he was never aggressive and CCTV should be able to prove it.

Love told Newshub he had been thinking about leaving the party before he received the letter.

"I had been quietly considering it due to what I perceived as inability to run a political organisation efficiently. But the letter outlining accusations without evidence was the last straw."

TOP leader Geoff Simmons said Love resigned after he received a warning regarding "serious concerns about his conduct and level of professionalism".

"We wrote to Joshua privately to clarify the standards most Kiwis expect of their politicians. Judging by his response, he was not willing to live up to those standards," Simmons said.