4 May 2017

Tourism Minister advises 'sense of humour' over Mt Taranaki nude photo

4:57 pm on 4 May 2017

Tourism Minister Paula Bennett was not offended by a young woman's nude photoshoot on Mt Taranaki, but says she will not be stripping down herself.

The view of Mt Taranaki reflected in the tarns on the Pouakai saddle.

The view of Mt Taranaki reflected in the tarns on the Pouakai Saddle (file) Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

Glamour model Jaylene Cook, 25, last week shared a photo of herself on Instagram wearing nothing but gloves, shoes and a beanie near the mountain's summit.

Local Māori described her actions as "inappropriate and disrespectful".

Mrs Bennett said the photo didn't bother her, though it was "quite surprising".

"I'm the Minister of Police, not the Minister of Fun Police... Other people are fully entitled to their own opinions, but I'm not offended."

She suggested people "keep a sense of humour", but hoped the trend would not take off.

"Mainly because New Zealand is quite cold and I wouldn't like people's health to be detrimented because they're running around naked," she said.

"But I did notice the gloves - so maybe she was thinking about the weather and that it might be a bit chilly."

Asked whether she would front a tourism campaign inspired by the nude photoshoot, Mrs Bennett was adamant.

"There's no way I'm getting naked anywhere except the privacy of my own bathroom. I want to be really clear about that one."

"And while there might be some tourism boost, I hope it doesn't quite take off, because, I think like most people, I've probably seen enough."

Ms Cook is originally from Cambridge in the Waikato, but now lives on Australia's Gold Coast. The picture has accrued more than 17,000 likes over five days on Instagram.

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