National’s Palmerston North candidate apologises after photo of him appearing to impersonate Hitler surfaces on social media

Source: 1News

The National Party’s 18-year-old Palmerston North candidate William Wood has apologised for appearing to impersonate Adolf Hitler four years ago.

A photo which has emerged on social media shows Mr Wood with a painted-on moustache, similar to Hitler’s, and holding up his arm in the Nazi salute.

When approached by 1 NEWS Mr Wood apologised for the photo.

“The photo was taken when I was 14. It was an error on my part. I apologise for any offence I may have caused,” he said.

Yesterday Mr Wood spent the day campaigning with National’s new leader Judith Collins in Palmerston North.

National's Palmerston North candidate William Wood with leader Judith Collins.

Late last year Mr Wood posted then deleted a photo on social media which showed a friend, standing beside him, making a hand gesture adopted by white supremacists. His friend was also wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat.

Mr Wood was selected as the Palmerston North candidate in November last year, beating current MP Jo Hayes, the party's 2017 candidate Adrienne Pierce and newcomer Ava Neal.

He will be battling for the seat vacated by Labour's Iain Lees-Galloway, who won't be contesting the 2020 election after he was sacked as a minister by Jacinda Ardern after revelations he'd had an affair with a former staffer.

When asked about the image in Parliament today, both Winston Peters and David Seymour had a rare moment of agreeance on an issue.

"We all made mistakes when we were young, I would think it’s part of the growing up process and by the looks of it he’s still growing up," Mr Peters said.

"I wouldn’t punish someone for something they did when they were 14, I’d tell them it was very bad taste and hope if he’s now mature enough to be a candidate he understands it’s the wrong thing to do," Mr Seymour commented.