Nude image on Mt Taranaki meant no offence

Jaylene Cook on Mt Taranaki - Photo by Josh Shaw

A glamour model and playboy playmate who scaled Mt Taranaki for a nude photo says she didn’t mean to offend anyone.

25-year-old Jaylene Cook joined Kawe Kōrero Reporters with her boyfriend Josh Shaw to address the controversial image that has gone viral on social media.

She says, “We never knew it would offend anyone.”

Cook’s photographer boyfriend Josh says the couple never planned on taking a nude photo.

“We just honestly set out to hike the mountain and when we got up there it was a spur of the moment thing,” he says.

Cook says, “We just wanted to embrace the mountain in the purest form we could.”

She says it was chilly up there but nothing too drastic.

“I’m a Kiwi so I’ve got thick skin. So the cold wasn’t too bad but the sun was beautiful up there.”

Trenton Martin from local iwi Te Atiawa says, “He (Mt Taranaki) is a personification of us as a people and we always acknowledge him first in our pepeha.  Absolutely I am offended by this, we can’t make them not do it, but we can moan about it!”  

Matehuirua Limmer who is also from Te Atiawa told Māori Television that Mt Taranaki was their ancestor and he is seen as a living being.

However Cook says they now know the cultural values of the mountain and will most likely keep her nude photos private next time.