A journalist has taken a local councillor to task after he sent her a "grossly inappropriate joke" and then attempted to apologise for what he described as a "silly" photo sent to a friend.
- Councillor Mark Bunting apologises to journalist for sending offensive pictures
- Angela Cuming says it is never OK to send people offensive content
- People on Twitter have called for Mr Bunting to be sacked
New Zealand journalist Angela Cuming posted a photo on Twitter — sent to her by Hamilton City councillor Mark Bunting — that showed two electronic signs that read, "Jesus is cuming" and "open your mouth".
Cuming said she was sent the photo the same day Hamilton City Council axed the building of any new playgrounds for the next 10 years.
"I am so thrilled @councillorbunty found time to send me this grossly inappropriate and offensive 'joke'," she sarcastically tweeted.
The journalist said the picture had her in tears.
Councillor Bunting commented on her tweet to apologise.
"Yes, this was me," he wrote.
"It was a video I saw shared on Facebook and saw your last name and thought it was silly and that it would make you laugh.
"I was so, so wrong in my judgement and I unreservedly apologise Angela."
Cuming hit back and said his actions were unacceptable.
"Any joke of any sexual nature is never okay for a man — particularly one in a position of power and authority — to send to any woman, regardless of their name," she said.
Councillor Bunting responded: "You're right. I'm so sorry."
The councillor then wrote a separate tweet addressing the inappropriate photos.
"So, you might see a thread on Twitter about a meme I sent privately to someone whom I thought was a mate," he said.
"I misjudged the humour and offended them as a result. Needless to say I feel terrible about it and regret what was an error of judgement and I apologise unreservedly."
Cuming angrily tweeted back: "WTF? So if I was a true 'mate' I wouldn't have been offended by a sexually inappropriate joke about swallowing semen? And you offended everyone. And if you feel terrible how do you think I feel?"
The journalist also posted another picture to Twitter, showing a screenshot of messages sent between herself and Councillor Bunting.
A number of people slammed Councillor Bunting on Twitter, with some even calling for him to be sacked.
On his website, he described himself as a, "coach, director and all round good guy".
He is a former schoolteacher and an award-winning radio host.
"Mark is driven to improve the world he lives in," the website says.
Hamilton City Council has been contacted for comment.