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New Zealand Prime Minister booed off stage at Auckland gay pride event over trade deal

New Zealand Prime Minister booed off stage at Auckland gay pride event over trade deal

The Prime Minister who presided over the legalization of same-sex marriage in New Zealand found himself booed off stage and glitter bombed at an LGBTI pride event on Sunday that was being held as part of the Auckland Pride Festival.

Prime Minister John Key took to the stage but provoked an angry response from a group of protesters who were opposed to New Zealand signing the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement trade deal.

The deal involves 11 Asian and Pacific countries, including Australia and the United States, and many fear it will lead to an erosion of national sovereignty to the benefit of transnational corporations who will be able to sue signatories if they pass regulations that affect how they do business.

The protesters booed and shouted at Key and held up placards, one of which read ‘capitalism is climate change, war and pollution.’

One protester tried to climb over a security barrier but was pushed back while another was handcuffed and taken away by police.

Key later dismissed the reaction from some among the crowd as just the actions of activists from the Green Party and Mana Party.

New Zealand’s LGBTI community is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality this year and its 17th Big Gay Out.

‘On the ground the feeling was stronger than any other time I’d been there,’ Key later said of the event.

‘They were hijacjked by a really small group wearing Mana t-shirts and Green Party badges and all this sort of stuff.’

‘The big banner that was held behind them had the Green Party logo. The people were hijacking a sort of fun day out for people as they were trying to celebrate their sexuality.’