MP Marama Fox walks off the set of The Nation after comparing tobacco lobbyist Axel Gietz to a Nazi Germany leader.
MP Marama Fox walked off the set of The Nation this morning after calling a spokesman for big tobacco a “peddler of death”.
She told Imperial Tobacco spokesman Dr Axel Gietz: “You make billions of dollars every year profiting off misery and death. You are a peddler of death.”
Before getting up and walking out, she said: “I’m not going to listen to you. I think you should crawl back into the hole that is reserved for corporate executioners.”
She also compared him to a leader from Nazi Germany.
Gietz is in the country as a result of New Zealand’s moves to bring in plain packaging for tobacco products like cigarettes, something the industry is opposed to.
…During the debate, Fox likened Gietz to “Dr Goebbels” – referring to Joseph Goebbels, the head of propaganda during Adolf Hitler’s rule in Nazi Germany.
Gietz – who is German – said the attack was a first for him.
“I get called a lot of names,” he said. “What happened to me this morning, that was a first.”
“Yes, I get called names, but you know what, my experience is it doesn’t help to do a tit for tat. I try to do the voice of reason. I try to put forward my arguments.”
Fox admitted she had gone on The Nation to give Gietz “a bit of a telling off”.
But, she said, likening him to a Nazi leader “might have been a step too far”.
She said Goebbels was known as Dr Death, and she saw both as peddlers of death.
Gietz didn’t appear to take offence at the insult.
“Nobody gets anywhere by ranting at people and losing their tempers.”
He joked Fox’s outburst could go viral.