A Gisborne council candidate basing part of his campaign on the fact he was a police officer underwent disciplinary action for wearing a pig mask while on duty.
Sources have confirmed the incident involved Daniel “Teddy” Thompson, a council hopeful, who was censured for his actions.
It is understood the incident involved Thompson wearing the mask while driving a marked patrol car about 20 years ago, but he did not lose his job over the event.
Contacted by Local Democracy Reporting, Thompson would neither confirm nor deny the incident, calling it “rumours”.
“Can you tell me what this has got to do with the elections? I’m not here to squash rumours,” he said.
Asked what was true, he did not give a direct answer.
“When we have the election, numbers will show I’m pretty well known in this community. People know me.”
More recently, Thompson worked at Gisborne District Council for six years, including the last three as one of two roading network managers reporting to the journeys operations manager, who reports to the director of Lifelines.
At a candidate event in Tokomaru Bay on 23 August, he said he had worked nine years in the police.
He also listed finance and construction as part of his resume, and that he mentored troubled youth, which he said was the most rewarding role he’d had.
Lately he had been working for himself building removable units.
Since running for council, a picture has emerged of Thompson at the Wellington Covid mandate protest, in a Dropbox set up by former councillor Manu Caddie, which encouraged members of the public to share questionable content they could find on candidates.
Local Democracy Reporting asked Thompson if he attended the protest, but he replied he was “not interested, sorry”.
“I don’t want to give any negative stuff any of my attention, really.”
This month Thompson appeared on two introductory videos for Gisborne candidates – one on the district council’s YouTube page and the other with Local Focus on the Gisborne Herald and NZ Herald websites.
On the latter, he referred to himself as “the king of Gizzy”.
Asked by the interviewer if he had ever been arrested, he replied “not yet, but I’m sure it’s coming”.
The interviewer also asked him what his hidden talent was.
“I used to be pretty good at scoring sheilas. But I’ve lost that talent. Missus and kids now.”
This year’s local government election is set for 8 October. Voting papers should have arrived in the mailbox of all people enrolled to vote by now, and can be posted any day up to 4 October, or put in a ballot box up to and including the morning of 8 October.
Local Democracy Reporting is Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air