Today, 18 August, the New Zealand political class crossed the fine line between democracy and socialism. On the steps of TVNZ’s Auckland office twelve policemen and women in yellow hi-viz vests seized Free Speech advocate and democracy idealist Mr Billy te Kahika, while he addressed a peaceful gathering. Ten minutes later they grabbed maverick media man Vinnie Eastwood, handcuffed him in front of the assembled 120, and marched him away too. The remaining crowd we not dispersed. Only these independent media freedom fighters were arrested.
Of course, all freedom-loving Kiwis are outraged by this unjustified attack on Mr te Kahika the event organiser and his colleague Mr Eastwood. For over an hour the gathering had been calm, disciplined, and moderate. So, in that spirit the people expressed verbally their strong objections to the Police violation of their peaceful assembly.
These arrests carry a deep symbolic meaning. On the very doorstep of TVNZ headquarters, the supposed free media, Police trample New Zealander’s rights to freedom of assembly and free speech. There and then the media people did nothing to support our freedoms. Hiding behind their soggy masks and cameras they did not express outrage or concern at the violations of fellow Kiwi’s human rights.
Under the Ardern Covid government, media reports now excuse the violation of our civil liberties. Reporters employ the Covid narrative to justify the repression of all freedoms and thereby act to amplify fear in Kiwi communities. Their stories seem to say; “You might get arrested if you speak for science, for human rights, for reliable information, for decency”. So, people, shut up and remain scared to speak out. Is this now a democratic nation?
Make no mistake in your analysis of the situation. NZ’s political class, Labour, National the Greens, Act, the Maori Party, they no longer represent us. These people work against our freedoms, are opposed to scientific enquiry, detest human rights, distort information, and live an indecent lifestyle at the public expense. Prime Minister Ardern’s call for “Kindness” smacks of an Orwellian “1984” dystopia where “War is Peace, Ignorance is Strength”, and presumably “Kindness is domination.”
Do we want a tyrannic Nanny State in New Zealand? Look how the goal posts continue to move and where our freedoms are right now.
Those of us who still drink from the Well of Sanity are in tune with our ANZAC ancestors. The true spirit of New Zealand still flows as a groundswell living in the minds and hearts of the grassroots people. The farmers, the tradies, the small business owners, the dads and mums of common-sense. These Kiwis honour the sacred freedoms for which our grandparents and great-grandparents generations paid the blood-price on the battlefields against global tyranny.
Our fervent prayer is that we be worthy of our dearest ancestors who suffered and died or survived and came home to build the nation. Now is our turn to organise, to develop the means to rid our nation of this plague of lies, fear, corruption, ignorance, and gutlessness, that has settled over the weak, the decadent and the compliant like a choking blanket.
The politically driven arrests of Mr te Kahika and Mr Eastwood form a boundary line now crossed in deliberation by the Ardern government. All alert New Zealanders understand the meaning of this politicised violation of our free speech traditions.
The police were acting under Section 26(1) of the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020 which states, “Attending a gathering in any outdoor place in an alert level 4 area”. The threat backing police action is punishment, up to 6 months imprisonment or a fine not exceeding $4000.
Chris Newman is an author and commentator, covering issues of social change, religion and ideology. He has travelled 38 countries, and holds a Masters in Education (SUNY) and BA in Sociology (Auckland).