This media release from the man who wanted to be known as Jo Henky was made at 11:23 this morning:
We were saddened to hear National Party president Peter Goodfellow attacking the messenger on Checkpoint last night, rather than responding to the message.
If National disagrees with the policies “The Rich Deserve More” and “Drill It! Mine It! Sell It!” they should simply say so.
To our knowledge no billboards were harmed in the delivery of this message. The stickers can be easily peeled off.
We do not represent a political party. We are private individuals who are disturbed by the policy directions of the current Government, and who seek to engage in the political process at election time in a light-hearted and hopefully humorous way.
Yet by then he had already been outed as Jolyon White, a Green Party member.
NewsTalkZB’s Felix Marwick tweeted more than an hour earlier that the Green Party might have been behind the sabotage and that Russel Norman was going to front the media. He followed up with a tweet saying it was the partner of Norman’s EA.
Norman continues to deny any knowledge of the attack on the billboards:
Dr Norman said he learnt of Mr White’s involvement only after other Green members recognised his voice in a radio interview this morning.
I accept his word and that the actions of White and whoever else was involved, whether or not they were Greens, were not acting on the party’s behalf.
Norman’s EA has been stood down and White has resigned from the party.
I have found no reference to any assurance from any other MP or office holder in the party. Until they give one it is legitimate to ask did any of them know anything about the plan or its execution before this morning?
Regardless of the answer to that question, Dim Post gets to the nub of the damage this has done to the more moderate brand the party has been striving to cultivate.
The Greens are often criticised for being watermelons – a green shell with a red centre. This episode shows that for all the effort the party has put into taming its image, there are still some wild greens behind the urbane front.