Rob Moodie, 67, a former representative rugby player and Police Association secretary, turned heads at the High Court in Wellington yesterday when he arrived for a hearing dressed in a skirt and carrying a handbag.
Dr Moodie, a married father of three, says his behaviour is not a publicity stunt. He is heterosexual but has a “strong female gender bias” and had always preferred women’s clothes.
Though he had “sired” three children, he said he was born with an innate understanding of the female sex and would now be expressing it through his dress.
Dr Moodie arrived at court yesterday wearing a navy blue two-piece suit, with ankle-length skirt, patterned blouse and a diamond-studded brooch. He lifted his skirt to reveal dainty lace-gartered stockings covering his hairy legs.
The outfit, one of several he has had made or bought in recent months, was worn to highlight what he called “the male ethos” and “old boys’ network” pervading the judiciary.
Dr Moodie said he had worn women’s clothing in the past while working as the Police Association secretary.
His frustration at the long-running saga of the Berryman bridge case had prompted his decision to resume wearing women’s clothes to court. The “last straw” was a Court of Appeal decision this month ordering the Berrymans to pay $10,000 costs to the army.
He has acted for former King Country farmers Keith and Margaret Berryman in their fight to clear their names over an army-built bridge collapse in 1994 that killed beekeeper Ken Richards.
He had no intention of shaving off his trademark moustache and was still grappling with which toilet to use at court.
“I call it a flash of lace at the urinal.”