Nude jogging ‘same as a gang patch’ – judge (who was clothed when delivering the judgement)
Dominion Post 1 Dec 2012
The right to go jogging in the nude has been upheld by the High Court. Andrew Lyall Pointon, 47, (who was clothed in court) was wearing only a pair of shoes when he was spotted by a woman while running at 8.30am in a forest near Tauranga in August last year. The woman, who was walking her dog, was so offended and threatened by what she had seen that she vowed not to return to the Oropi Bike Park. She lodged a complaint with police and three days later Mr Pointon was arrested as he emerged naked from the forest after another run. He was charged with offensive behaviour and found guilty in Tauranga District Court last December. An appeal was thrown out in June, but a second appeal was yesterday upheld by Justice Paul Heath (who was clothed in court) in the High Court at Tauranga. “If it was [offensive] then God wouldn’t have given us genitals,” Mr Pointon (who was clothed at the time) told The Dominion Post yesterday. “It is a win for all libertarians and a setback for all conservatives in the country.” However, Family First spokesman Bob McCoskrie said he was disappointed with Justice Heath’s decision, which showed “double standards”. “Is it OK for someone to streak through his courtroom? He’d be the first one to put them in the cells.”
….Mr Pointon’s lawyer Michael Bott (who was clothed in court) – a specialist in human rights and civil liberties – said he could not understand why women were able to ride naked down the main street of Tauranga during the Boobs on Bikes event without intervention and yet days later his client was arrested going about his business in a remote area: “It just appears inconsistent and grossly sexist.” If the original decision went unchallenged, it would have had a “chilling effect” on freedom of expression, he said. “Police (who are clothed) should learn to become more tolerant (of crime, we assume he means) and learn New Zealand is becoming increasing tolerant of a . . . variety of lifestyle choices and expressions.” Mr McCoskrie said there was a time and a place for nakedness and it was not in a public place. “It’s offensive to most of the population – that’s why most of us wear clothes.”
UPDATE: We even got a mention in the UK newspapers!