'It made me feel worthless' – Waikato mother and journalist shocked at crass message sent to her by local politician

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Source:

Seven Sharp

A Waikato freelance journalist is outraged and upset over a crass message sent to her by a Hamilton City Councillor. 

Mother-of-three Angela Cuming took to Twitter to express her outrage at a lewd joke sent to her by Hamilton City Councillor Mark Bunting.
Source: Seven Sharp

Mother of three boys Angela Cuming has been on a campaign to stop the council putting a freeze on new playgrounds for the next decade and thought a private message sent over Facebook from Councillor Mark Bunting yesterday might be to show his support. 

Instead, he'd sent her a crass, sexually explicit message in reference to her last name. 

Horrified, Ms Cuming outed him on social media. 

"I thought, you know, call him out," she told TVNZ 1's Seven Sharp programme. 

"I'm just someone who wants to hold men to account and in particular people like Councillor Bunting because he's a man in a position of power and authority."

Mr Bunting immediately apologised online but he hasn't picked up the phone to Ms Cuming. 

"He knows my phone number. He's never given me a call. I think he's sorry in the sense that he got caught out.

"Then he put it back on me saying 'I thought you were a good mate'".

It's not the first time the behaviour of Hamilton City Councillors have been in the spotlight this term. 

There have been complaints about sexism, homophobia and fat shaming. 

Councillor Angela O'Leary has witnessed it all. 

"I think it needs some fundamental honest conversations the Mayor needs to have with elected members and I don't think to date this has happened."

Mr Bunting, who has since unfollowed Ms Cuming on Twitter, now faces a disciplinary hearing over the message. 

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