Browsing through items of political news published on Labour Day, we came across a statement from the New Zealand Public Party (NZPP) and Reset New Zealand which declared they were retreating from Jami-Lee Ross’s Advance New Zealand party.
Not a full retreat, necessarily. Rather, they
“ … have moved away from their election alliance with Advance NZ to reform back into the intended party”.
The intended party?
An amalgamated party without Ross and his supporters, we imagine.
“We recognise the importance of this movement continuing to improve itself in many ways, and at the same time staying true to its core”, said NZPP’s leader, Billy Te Kahika.
“That means NZPP will continue to call things out on behalf of the public, hold this government up to scrutiny, demand its accountability, and defend our rights and freedoms.
“We will also be a watchdog of the New Zealand media that continues to be hostile towards the organisation that is rightfully questioning the Government’s COVID-19 narrative and educating the public about the patently dishonest actions of this sector towards us and the persistent slanting of facts and misinformation”.
No doubt Te Kahika imagines he has had a raw deal from the media because it has not given much credence to his claims that –
- Billionaires have developed weaponised viruses to enslave humanity.
- The government is authorising the military to enter people’s homes and is planning to implement forced vaccinations.
News media have challenged his misinformation about the effects of fluoridation and 5G, too.
Many of Te Kahika’s views have been discredited by fact-checkers.
We learned more about Advance New Zealand and its relationship with NZPP from the minor party election policy positions posted by The Spinoff:
The Advance New Zealand Party was recently established by Jami-Lee Ross, former National MP and currently an independent MP for Botany. Ross describes the party as an attempt to represent middle-ground voters. It is particularly focussed on electoral reform and anti-corruption policies. Advance recently joined with the unregistered New Zealand Public Party, whose founder, Billy Te Kahika, has previously claimed that the Covid-19 pandemic was planned by the United Nations, and opposes 5G, 1080, fluoridation of water, and vaccination.
In their Labour Day press statement, NZPP leader Billy Te Kahika and Party Director Michael Stace emphasised that Te Kahika is not stepping down, and the NZPP is not severing its relationship with Advance NZ. It was “simply restoring its autonomy”.
None of this restoration of autonomy carry-on had been recorded on the Advance NZ website when we checked earlier today. The last news item posted there is dated October 12 and sets out 100 Reasons to Party Vote Advance NZ.
Whether or not they read all of the 100 reasons, 20,878 Kiwis gave Advance NZ their party votes. (according to the election night count). That’s just 0.9% of all party votes cast, but – fair to say – 0.9% was better than the support mustered by many of the other minor parties.
Here’s how parties with even smaller support scored (in each case, Point of Order has referenced the policy positions precised in The Spinoff) –
Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party – 7,590 votes (0.3%).
The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party is a single-issue party dedicated to the legalisation of marijuana for medical, recreational, and industrial use. It has contested every election and by-election since it was founded in 1996. Although it has never been in parliament, a number of its candidates have gone on to become MPs or mayors after leaving the party, including mayor of Invercargill Tim Shadbolt and former Green Party MPs Metiria Turei and Nándor Tánczos.
ONE Party – 6,474 votes (0.3%)
The One Party is a Christian fundamentalist party. It describes itself as the country’s only Christian political party and is founded on the idea of uniting all New Zealand Christians behind it. It is generally socially conservative and economically right-wing. It also emphasises honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi and protecting the rights and tikanga of tangata whenua. It was created in 2019 and 2020 will be its first election.
Vision New Zealand – 2,780 votes (0.1%)
Vision New Zealand is a conservative Christian fundamentalist party. The party has expressed hard-right views on immigration, homosexuality, and abortion. It is led by Hannah Tamaki, wife of Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki. Brian Tamaki established a forerunner party, Destiny New Zealand party, in 2003 which has since disbanded. Vision NZ was registered in 2019 to contest the 2020 election.
NZ Outdoors Party – 2,596 votes (0.1%)
The New Zealand Outdoors Party is a conservationist party focused on protecting natural heritage and recreational access to the outdoors. It advocates small government and self-sufficiency and has campaigned on reducing tourist numbers and opposing 5G and the use of 1080. It was launched in 2015 and contested the 2017 election but failed to gain any seats.
TEA Party – 1,871 votes (0.1%)
The New Zealand TEA Party describes itself as socially democratic, culturally diversified and fiscally conservative. TEA stands for Taxpayers and Entrepreneurs Alliance. The party is focused on supporting workers and small-to-medium businesses, as well as what it calls quality migration. It also promotes international cooperation, seeking to encourage foreign trade, investment, education and tourism in New Zealand. This will be the first election it contests.
Sustainable New Zealand Party – 1,469 votes (0.1%)
The Sustainable New Zealand Party is an environmentalist party that describes itself as neither left nor right wing. It was founded in 2019 by former Green Party candidate Vernon Tava out of concern at the lack of an environmental party open to working with right-wing parties in government. The party describes its values as environmental, economic, and social sustainability.
Social Credit – 1,351 votes (0.1%)
Social Credit is a centre-left party that promotes the creation of what it calls a social credit economy, where individuals are put in more direct control of the financial system. It is not currently in parliament. Formed in 1953, Social Credit is NZ’s oldest minor party and from the 1950s to 1980s was the third largest party in NZ, winning 20 percent of votes at the 1981 election. In the 1990s it joined the Alliance and later the Progressive Party before becoming independent again after the 2002 election. Social Credit won seats in parliament four times as an independent party, and twice as part of Alliance.
HeartlandNZ – 987 votes (0.0%)
Heartland New Zealand is a centre-right party that aims to represent rural communities and agriculture. It opposes current environmental protection policies which it says are too restrictive on farmers, though it does have alternative climate and environmental policies. Former Franklin District mayor Mark Ball leads the party and is contesting the Port Waikato electorate. Formed and registered in 2020, this will be Heartland’s first election.
As The Spinoff noted, Social Credit once was the third-biggest party in NZ and has had MPs in Parliament
The Wikipedia reference cautions it is not to be confused with Social Credit-NZ.
The party held a number of seats in the New Zealand House of Representatives, although never more than two at a time. It renamed itself the New Zealand Democratic Party from 1985 to 2018, and was for a time part of the Alliance from 1991 to 2002. It returned to the Social Credit name in 2018.
New Zealand First – the best-performing of the also-rans in this year’s general election – secured 63,534 votes on election night (2.7% of the total).
That’s many more than was secured by the Jami-Lee Ross-NZPP merger, which is now being unmerged.
How long will it take (we wonder) before the Peters party is languishing near the bottom of the heap with the Socreds?