Swarbrick breaks up candidate fracas
A mayoral candidate who yelled ’’Oooh, I can feel a brawl!’’ and ‘‘Allahu Akbar’’ during an Auckland mayoral debate has defended his outburst by saying he was ‘‘incredibly drunk’’.
Adam Holland, the founder of Auckland Legalise Cannabis, commandeered the microphone during the debate at the Auckland University Students’ Association bar Shadows on Tuesday night.
Earlier, David Hay, who had already informally pulled out of the mayoral race, was abused by rival Alezix Heneti as he tried to make a speech.
Heneti yelled: ’’You pulled out! You don’t deserve the right to be here!’’
She then tried to snatch the microphone out of Hay’s hand.
Holland said that was when he started yelling: ‘‘to defuse the situation to some degree’’.
‘‘I thought, this will be a good laugh to commandeer the microphone and just start screaming some utter nonsense,’’ the 25-yearold said.
Holland yelled: ‘‘There’s going to be a brawl! Oooh, I can feel a brawl!’’ and ’’Allahu Akbar’’ - Arabic for ‘God is great’.
Mayoral hopeful Chloe Swarbrick got between Hay and Heneti as they continued to scream at each other.
Hay later posted a video of the fracas online.
Swarbrick said it was the oddest debate she had taken part in during the campaign.
‘‘It was very interesting ... There was a lot of not nice, quite nasty behaviour.’’
Meanwhile, Holland took to Facebook to defend his actions.
‘‘I, Adam John Holland, in no way endorse or promote violence. I was incredibly drunk at the time and honestly, if the Auckland University Students Association (dropkicks), are offended - I don’t probably did inflame the situation looking back but what can I do about it now?’’
He also wanted to set the record straight about his choice of outfit, which had been referred to as a ‘kaftan’.
‘‘My Islamic garb cost me $375 from a shop in Mt Roskill.’’
Chloe Swarbrick said on Wednesday that Holland’s actions were ‘‘quite nasty’’.