25 Nov 2009

Smokefree activist got into meeting 'dishonestly'

5:33 pm on 25 November 2009

An anti-smoking activist is being accused of dishonestly infiltrating a meeting of convenience store owners at which the issue of tobacco product display was being discussed.

The association says Smokefree Coalition director Prudence Stone used the name McLean and claimed to be from a residents' association in order to gain access to its leaders' summit in Auckland last Thursday.

Its says she was spotted in the audience recording a speech by a Canadian convenience store representative about the impact of Canada's retail tobacco display ban.

Association chairperson Roger Bull says the summit was open to the public and he's shocked Ms Stone decided to register by dishonest means.

"We're very open," Mr Bull says. "We are quite happy to sit down and discuss any of the propositions that they wish to put forward, and hopefully they'd start learning a little bit about our organisation."

For her part, Ms Stone says McLean is her married name and she is a legitimate member of Wellington's Newtown Residents Association.

The Smokefree Coalition's website features a report by Prudence Stone about the conference.