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Damaging trust, causing harm

Opinion Piece

by Aimee Milne

Aimee Milne

Supporters of Jen Brown’s Advance NZ Public Party defend “freedom of speech” as a strawman argument. I am not challenging freedom of speech, but they are trying to shut down a legitimate response to it.

Jen Brown’s supporters insinuate poor character in an attempt to shame me into giving up my right of response to their anti-vax rhetoric and neo-Nazi ideals.

On social media, speech has never been so free and unregulated. The privilege of free speech should be used responsibly. Critical theorists hold the view that reinterpreting “freedom of speech” legislation would allow for regulation, rather than normalisation of hate speech. I believe regulating the discourse may lead to a more tolerant and equal society.

ANZPP have an unshiftable view that lying and manipulative half-truths are part of “freedom of speech”, which makes it difficult to find the actual truth. This approach destroys trust and harms individuals and groups (particularly minorities). As we have seen locally and globally, lies metastasize and can lead to violence.

The free speech argument provides the oxygen to embers of entitlement.

ANZPP party members openly support Trump, who is a white-supremacist, narcissistic misogynist who contributes to hate crimes by encouraging malicious discourse — much like Advance NZ co-leader Billy Te Kahika and the discourse surrounding him.

Researchers have found that the commonality between anti-vaxxers and far-right extremists is a lack of education. Billy is calculated in the way he stirs distrust, fear and anger among people who are not intellectually equipped to question his motives.

It is a current phenomenon to see anti-vax rhetoric alongside pro-gun activism and white supremacist slurs.

Trump is the first American president to hold an anti-vax stance, which has clearly had influence along with groups like ANZPP radicalising people on social media.

Privilege does not make you immune to a virus, but there is something inherently elitist and racist in the stance against public health measures.

Evidence shows that Maori may not have access to quality and racially-unbiased healthcare, along with barriers to accessibility like rural living and socioeconomic factors.

Maori have higher prevalence of poor health outcomes due to inequity and these disparities would be more apparent if Covid-19 were to arrive in Tairawhiti. It would be Maori who would suffer the biggest losses.

As a Pakeha, I’m embarrassed to see other Pakeha complaining that they feel oppressed by the Auckland lockdown or our Alert Level 2 situation.

Oppression is a human rights violation. Oppression is not staying in the comfort of your home, with food in the fridge and a healthy whanau during a pandemic which is killing people globally. It is uncomfortable and frustrating maybe, definitely financially stressful

. . . but oppressive?

Please, check your privilege at the door.

  1. Will Duckwood says:

    I met someone who wasn’t vaccinated and voted for Trump – this proves anti-vaxxers are also Trump supporters. I also saw a duck floating on water, wood floats on water too – this proves ducks are made of wood.

  2. Peter Jones says:

    ‘ANZPP party members openly support Trump, who is a white-supremacist, narcissistic misogynist who contributes to hate crimes by encouraging malicious discourse — much like Advance NZ co-leader Billy Te Kahika and the discourse surrounding him.’
    Well get this Aimee, both myself and Jeremy Vize who are running Jennie Brown’s campaign cannot see what Trump has done to change the road we are on.
    We believe he is controlled opposition and that Q is just a ruse to pacify the patriots who would be baring arms already if Hillary Clinton had beaten Trump.
    Trump wants American technocracy to lead the world.
    Advance NZ wants to unwind technocracy and give the power back to the people.
    As for ‘privilege’, please note that you are addressing your remarks to a pensioner, a shepherd and a kindy teacher.

    1. Aimee says:

      Peter Jones that’s great. It’s a privilege to have a government who pays a pension. It’s a privilege to have an education. And believe it or not, it’s a privilege to be pakeha. The whole system is a result of colonisaton. We brought disease when we colonised. Are we going to let that happen again? If it were up to you, we would. I’d prefer to be on the right side of history thanks.

      1. Peter Jones says:

        ‘The whole system is a result of colonisation. We brought disease when we colonised. Are we going to let that happen again? If it were up to you, we would.’
        You are the one who is willing to wear a mask and submit to mandatory medicine and detention for something less dangerous than the flu. Something that can’t even be isolated and proven to exist at all. (See footnote)
        Did it never cross your mind that there was a bit more to it than that?
        We are witnessing the wholesale destruction of small business and the emergence of a corporate/state dictatorship, engineered world wide food shortages, a cashless society, energy rationing and 24/7 surveillance.
        You are the one that is letting it happen and I am the one crying “not on my watch”.
        Can you please refrain from putting your slanderous words in my mouth because I am quite able to explain myself.
        I pruned pine trees for over thirty year of my life.
        I didn’t watch people prune pine trees. I actually did it myself day in and day out. There are some who would argue that a jail sentence would be easier.
        I’m not about to throw away a life time of hard work and put on a mask and stay home if I test positive for the common cold.
        I want to be able to live my life and see my young ones have the same opportunities in life that I enjoyed. The right to work hard and get ahead if that was what you wanted.
        Choose freedom over fear and vote for Jennie Brown Advance NZ.
        If you want to vaccinate yourself and wear a mask I’m sure that Jen will let you. LOL.

        Footnote from Ed: Evidence so far shows Covid-19 is about five to 10 times more lethal than the seasonal flu*. It’s a new virus that we had no immunity to, transmits easily and disproportionately affects poorer communities. Care for seriously-ill patients has got better, a couple of existing medicines have proved their worth as partial treatments, masks were finally understood to be important in mitigation** . . . but it is spreading fast now in countries with limited hospital and primary health resources. To say it is “less dangerous than the flu” is seriously playing down the threat of this virus and disease. Take a look around the world. Fortunately, unprecedented vaccine development will assist us in the (hopefully) near future.

        *Seasonal flu is estimated to kill up to 0.1 percent of those who catch it. See Covid-19 fatality rate consensus, which was settling around this level of 0.5-1 percent a few months ago, within this recent World Health Organisation scientific brief:
        https://www.who.int/news-room/commentaries/detail/estimating-mortality-from-covid-19
        ** Here’s an article explaining the change in recommendations around mask-wearing internationally in early June:
        https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2020/06/417906/still-confused-about-masks-heres-science-behind-how-face-masks-prevent
        See also:
        http://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-health-advice-general-public/covid-19-use-masks-community
        And here’s a picture to help explain it:
        https://twitter.com/i/status/1294363684806909952

        1. Russell McLeod says:

          Thank you Editor for your input and response with facts – too many online sites just let mistruths stand without taking responsibility for challenging what is being spread on their site. Respect.
          Many of us are fearing for the future but Billy is not the saviour you are looking for.

        2. Res Rapid says:

          Thank you for the fact check, Editor. Please continue doing so. It looks to me that, after reading through those materials, the views of the ANZPP seem to be wrong. Peter Jones, I look forward to reading your rebuttal, or maybe even your gracious admission that your stance on some of these issues is complete bullshit. One can only hope, right?

        3. Peter Jones says:

          The claim: Only 6 percent of reported COVID-19 deaths were the direct result of the coronavirus.

          A regular update of data on COVID-19 deaths by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has prompted a groundswell of claims that only a fraction of people have actually died directly from the novel coronavirus.

          The misleading and inaccurate conclusions come from recently released statistics on comorbidities data in the CDC’s weekly coronavirus update, with statistics as of Aug. 26.

          “For 6% of the deaths, COVID-19 was the only cause mentioned. For deaths with conditions or causes in addition to COVID-19, on average, there were 2.6 additional conditions or causes per death,” the report reads.

          The data, which is maintained by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, is an aggregated list of comorbidities on death certificates reported to the agency.

          President Donald Trump was among those promoting this claim.

          “This week the CDC quietly updated the Covid number to admit that only 6% of all the 153,504 deaths recorded actually died from Covid That’s 9,210 deaths The other 94% had 2-3 other serious illnesses & the overwhelming majority were of very advanced age,” a since-deleted retweet by Trump reads.

          So the president of the United States is on my side of this argument.
          You can quote as many sources of tripe as you like but the fact remains that old age and co-morbidity killed most of the US ‘covid’ cases.
          I accept that you think Trump is a conspiracy theorist but hey … He’s still the president.

          1. WindowsUser says:

            Peter Jones, did you read the entire article on the USA Today website that you have copy and pasted here? You seem to have left off all the important parts (which, of course, is standard practice for an ANZPP zealot on the copy-and-paste train). I’ll paste in the end of the article to save you having to read the whole thing:
            “Our ruling: False
            It is false and misleading to claim that only 6% of reported coronavirus deaths were the result of COVID-19. While comorbidities often exacerbate a person’s illness from the coronavirus, it is incorrect to state that they are the cause of death rather than the viral infection. We rate this claim FALSE.”

            As for high-fiving yourself for Trump being in agreement with you, that’s about as impressive as my claims that “Jeffrey Dahmer cuts chicken the same way that I do!” Not something to be be shouting from the virtual roof tops about really.

          2. Res Rapid says:

            Geez, Peter; that is incredibly funny. You guys are the party of facts, right? Well researched. Balanced. Striving for truth and knowledge. Absolutely hilarious. You copy and paste an article, but can’t even be bothered to ACTUALLY READ it. You post it here, thinking that it supports your position (and then you belittle other people?) Whereas the TRUTH is (and I know you guys are all about finding out what is true, right?) that it undermines your position, and credibility, entirely. “You can quote as many sources of tripe as you like…” what, you mean the exact same article that you quoted? ps: thanks Windows User, appreciate the fact check (again).

        4. Lisa Mahuika, Australia says:

          Thank you Editor. It is the media’s duty as the fourth estate to keep citizens FACTUALLY informed. Again and again these guys are throwing out false statistics and misinformation, preying on the disenfranchised. Advance NZ/NZPP are either con-artists, or not smart. Either way, not who we need to have a seat at the table.

          1. Janetta says:

            I don’t care about your opinion but that isn’t fair to discredit unless they get to answer. That is what you call no freedom of speech, which the government has taken away – in one of their legislations to censor the media. And on Facebook they’re censoring any truth which is a fact!

        5. Tony Lee says:

          Hey there Peter. There is one amusing note in your otherwise conspiracy laden response:

          “Can you please refrain from putting your slanderous words in my mouth because I am quite able to explain myself.
          I pruned pine trees for over thirty year of my life.”

          Are you using your pine tree pruning expertise as the explanation of why you can explain yourself? I just cut a wee bit out to make this point but that’s your go isn’t it – so no complaints please.

    2. Russell Braithwaite says:

      Good evening Peter. A request please, off-topic of this discussion but on-topic of ANZPP:- I called down to the Skate Park today to whack up a couple of posters on the poster bollard to publicise the forthcoming Te Tairawhiti Arts Festival. I noticed that your organisation had erected a billboard directly in front of the poster bollard which had the effect of shielding the public’s view of the poster bollard from Grey Street. Do you think that you could move the billboard featuring Billy and Jami-Lee a few metres to the right please so that all of our messages can be seen? Many thanks.

      1. WindowsUser says:

        “Do you think that you could move the billboard featuring Billy and Jami-Lee a few metres to the right please”
        I’m not sure this party can go any further to the right than they already have… It might do them some good to go to the left of where they currently reside, just a tad.

  3. Paul Offa, Nelson says:

    An excellent account of what is occurring.

    It is rather interesting to see how a party that calls itself public, transparent and “critical thinking” attempts to silence opposition, cannot post actual evidence or simply repeats verbatim the content found in US-based alt-right conspiracy groups. The Newshub interview was a good expose into their world view – everyone is lying, even when you show a video of the person in question saying what they denied they have said (unedited of course).

    There is very valid reason that several white nationalists allied themselves to NZPP at various stages, as they see the opportunity to promote their ideals under the guise of “freedom” and “just asking questions”.

  4. Justin Rosewarne says:

    Well it is time for change and getting rid of PC, and getting out of the UN will be a good place to start rebuilding the cherished freedoms that our forefathers fought and died for. The suppression of true free speech has been denied us for far too long and we will vote accordingly. Scary, I know, as there is no safe space to be provided for snowflakes who can’t see beyond their own selves. And as for privilege, racism, etc, etc – see, that’s the problem, if people don’t agree with you label them with such titles. Well, the left-wing, commie, globalist dribbling just doesn’t cut it and won’t shut us up either!!
    As for Mr Trump, is he running in our election? Hey, he is far better than Obama, Killary, or sleepy Joe any day of the week, year, century. I hate to remind you, but without the Yanks we could well have been speaking Japanese!! England wouldn’t/couldn’t help us, so yeah. Also, have you seen the state of the American cities that are run by the Democrats?? Nahh, your eyes remain wide shut.
    I completely and utterly reject your labels and shall vote Jen Brown proudly, as no other party comes close too sorting out this sad and truly sorry mess that our governments have been over the past 60 years. Oh, nearly forgot, Trump will win too! So let’s make New Zealand great again 2020.

  5. Donald Robson says:

    Well said Aimee.
    Critical thinking and compassion seem to be in tragically short supply for the conspiratorially afflicted. But I do console myself that despite all their bluster and indignant exuberance, the ANZPP still represent a vanishingly small section of our lovely country’s populace. And the inevitable failure of their attempt to get into Parliament means their supporters are no longer vandalising the insides of any other party’s tent. A safety valve of sorts for the rest of us, even if we have to wear earmuffs for a bit.

  6. Craig Bauld says:

    “It is a privilege to be a pakeha”. What sort of a cringing sickly white liberal juvenile racist moron says a thing like that? Grow up you stupid person. It is a privilege to be born a New Zealander, whatever your colour.

    1. Karen Morrow says:

      I have every respect for the Americans – people don’t realise this but they saved us in the war and came to rescue us. So be careful Aimee in what you say.

    2. Aimee says:

      Look at you Craig Bauld. Using your ‘freedom of speech’ wisely as ever. Name calling is an interesting way to debate a topic if you’re over the age of 5.

      Karen Morrow, I don’t have a problem with Americans. I have a problem with Trump. You and your cronies might want to take your own advice though. ‘Be careful what you say’. Which was kinda the whole point of my piece right?

      Justin, NZ is already great, comparatively speaking. We are being praised internationally for our response to COVID. How about you just chill and enjoy the safety. Suck it up for a while until it all blows over and a well-tested vaccine comes our way.

      1. Justin Rosewarne says:

        Vaccine for a death rate of less than 0.3 percent? Yeah, hell will freeze over first! Talk about a storm in a teacup. I will take my chances, and should the worst happen and I die from covid-19 well, so be it – as none of us are getting out of here alive.

    3. Skye, Auckland says:

      Oh honey, that’s not how you speak to people on the internet just because you’re unable to comprehend how systemic privilege exists.

      1. Aimee says:

        I agree Skye. It would be great to see more education around this subject. It can be hard to see systemic racism if you have internalised it as just the way things are. It was something I had to learn and had to admit that I had to change the way I thought. I hope by talking about it we can all learn to see it and acknowledge it

    4. Tanya says:

      I totally agree Craig. I hate this rubbish.

      1. Aimee says:

        Tanya. So you’re ok with racism and manipulative story telling then?

        1. Tanya says:

          Who’s being racist to who? Is NZPP racist? Is it racist to want to be able to choose if you get vaccinated? I honestly don’t understand how you have made this into a race issue.

          1. Aimee says:

            Did you read the article Tanya? Maybe you should Google Kyle Chapman. Kyle Chapman has been organising ANZPP rallies. He is a far right neo nazi who fire bombed a marae in a racist attack. Also there’s Trump. So why would you align yourself with racists and not expect to be seen as racist? I’d really like an answer to that. Tanya.

    5. Tony Lee says:

      Hey there Craig. Even you must admit that you have exercised your free speech to the greatest extent of idiocy. Note that I didn’t say you were an idiot or dumb or anything else, just what you said.

  7. Lara says:

    Here’s a quick overview that may help explain why some people in NZ are drawn to conspiratorial thinking.
    The information provided here comes from research undertaken by Douglas K.M. Robbie Mm Sutton, and Cichocka A from the University of Kent.
    1. Some amongst us believe conspiracy theories because they are trying to satisfy their need to understand something in ways that align with their ability to think. Their cognitive functions may be ‘quirky’. People like this like meaning, pattern and order in their environment and feel distressed when times seem uncertain.
    2. Conspiratorial thinkers seek to meet their need for a sense of security and control over their lives at times when certainty, security and control feel precarious. Believing in conspiracies makes people feel safe because they can reject official narratives in favour of the feeling that they alone know the truth. The truth being their alternative account. Such people also seem to be drawn to supernatural or magical thinking.
    3. People who espouse a belief in conspiracies seek to maintain a positive social standing and sense of community with the social groupings they belong to. Such people want to be seen by others like them as being competent and moral.
    4. Conspiratorial thinkers also tend to demonstrate higher levels of narcissism. A belief in their and their group’s greatness.
    5. Groups who feel alienated from mainstream society or feel disadvantaged in some way are more likely to fall for conspiratorial thinking.
    What is shameful, in my opinion, is that snake oil salesmen (and women) like Billy, Jami-Lee and Jen are preying on the fears of some of the most vulnerable amongst us.

    1. Martin Hanson, Nelson says:

      On September 11, 2001, as the North Tower at the World Trade Center collapsed, allegedly due to weakening resulting from collision with American Airlines Flight 11, and subsequent fires. We are told that the weakening led to a gravity-driven collapse. But it may come as a surprise to Lara that gravity acts in a strictly downward direction, so TV news clips showing huge girders being catapulted sideways are proof that gravity could not have been the only factor in the collapse. If a belief that gravity only acts in a downward direction makes me a conspiracy theorist, then I’m proud to wear that badge.
      Needless to say, these TV clips were never shown after September 11, and neither were dozens of eyewitness reports of explosions, but the collapse of WTC1 can be seen on YouTube at:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUDoGuLpirc&feature=emb_title
      The implications of the video are deeply disturbing, and threatening to our world view, which is why, I suspect, Lara just doesn’t want to go there.

      1. WindowsUser says:

        Somebody, somewhere, just yelled out “BINGO” as the elusive 9/11 reference was posted in this thread.
        Next round everyone! I’ve got my money on aliens building the pyramids for the win on this one *crosses fingers tightly*

  8. Hadleigh, Timaru says:

    Ha…wow. So she calls out people who follow Billy for spreading misinformation, half-truths or untruths, and then right off the bat says Trump is a white-supremacist, narcissistic misogynist who contributes to hate crimes by encouraging malicious discourse! I couldn’t even read the rest…what a weak argument, surprised The Gisborne Herald even allowed this to go through….??? Did this really just happen…?

    1. Aimee says:

      Hadleigh from Timaru

      I thought I’d help you out by sharing quotes from Trump. One mysoginist, one racist and one narcissistic. I have proof to back up my claims, unlike you. Enjoy.

      ‘And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything’

      ‘Laziness is a trait in blacks’

      ‘They all eat, they all love me, they all kiss my ass, And then they all leave and say, ‘Isn’t he horrible.’ But I’m the king.”

      Trump.

  9. Rhonda Dalliessi, Nelson says:

    Wow Aimee. You make a lot of unfounded statements and judgements. What are your credentials honey? I’m picking I have far more qualifications and life experience than you. You certainly sound naive. Or was that just the way you were taught to think? You’re a laughable journalist at best. Perhaps you should do some actual independent research before writing your next article. Shame on you little girl.

    1. Aimee says:

      Rhonda, clearly you are much cleverer than me, have far more qualifications and know more about life. As much as I’d love to know what your qualifications are I suggest being brave enough to write an opinion piece for your own local paper. I’m sure you’d find a niche. Good luck!

      1. Shelagh West says:

        touche!

  10. Lance Kelliher, Darwin, Australia says:

    I personally think the writer of this article has no clue as to what social media freedom of speech means – there are far too many examples of censorship and mainstream media interactions including false fact checking exercises – and Facebook warnings of discontent , the list goes on. Aimee sounds more like a conspiracy theorist than those tin hat wearing New Zealanders who tune into the news and believe everything they are told by media and the government without question. Hmmm, yep she fits the bill. It certainly sounds like your view is not objective but more biased and in favour of mainstream media’s views. This lacks factual backing 👎

    1. Paul Offa says:

      Don’t you think it odd that the NZPP party claims they are censored, face oppression and support free speech . . . as they post on freely on Facebook, join a registered political party which is standing in free elections and use public funds to advertise.

      Yet at the same time actively block people from their social media pages and take legal action against those highlighting the co-leaders alleged dubious business dealings. Surely, a “public party” that supports free speech would not be taking such actions?

      I’d also suggest some slightly better research for NZPP fans. This is an opinion piece written by a member of the public. The author does not work for The Gisborne Herald. I wonder why such a party, that supports free speech, has comments on its page calling for harassment of the author.

  11. Tony Lee says:

    Beautifully written opinion piece Aimee. If it were only YouTube where anti-vaxxers dwell. But when prominent people including those in government also promote this lunacy, the problem becomes more serious. Anti-science rhetoric is fuelled by those with little understanding of biochemistry or medicine to convince folks that YouTube conspiracies are fact. This is relatively harmless when it’s ‘flat earth’-like nonsense but when it impacts health this ‘free speech’ can have dire consequences. Will these folks not be content until measles, diphtheria, whooping cough and other infectious diseases again become common? Perhaps they will welcome the return of smallpox – a disease eradicated through a world vaccination programme.

  12. Adele Van Weerden, Waikato says:

    Where has respect for each other gone? This was a very opinionated and harsh report. Yes, we are all looking into our political options as we near the election, but we need journalists who will write unbiased and researched pieces to invoke the people to question and think deeply about what is important for our families’ futures here in New Zealand. What really is the point of putting down a party that is striving for people’s freedoms? I only hope you, Aimee, don’t sink deeper into the disrespectful way in which mainstream media portrays anyone who dares to question what we are told is truth!

    Footnote from Ed: Note at the top of the article the words “Opinion piece”. Please pass this on to Billy Te Kahika too who has made the same assumption, repeatedly, in a Facebook video that has prompted a flood of vitriol towards the author of this article and, to a lesser extent, The Gisborne Herald.
    Aimee has a nursing background and has every right to share her opinions and to do so forthrightly – especially because some of the lines of argument the Advance NZ Party and its supporters promote would be dangerous to public health if they were to gain wider traction.
    It’s a classic that you guys who seek more free speech rights for yourselves have been so offended and vitriolic in response to being called out by a concerned citizen.

    1. Adele says:

      I look forward to reading a rebuttal written by another concerned citizen. That’s if you will publish it?

  13. Jack says:

    Illogical at every step
    1. Please give evidence for how ANZPP are trying to shut down free speech?
    2. How have they made a straw-man argument?
    3. Jen Brown’s supporters shame you? How have they done this? Isn’t this part of free speech to shame people as you are attempting to do here?
    4. NZPP is pro-choice for vaccination NOT anti-vax (Do your due diligence)
    5. “I believe regulating the discourse may lead to a more tolerant and equal society.” Sounds good, but at what cost?
    6. Give an example of ANZPP lying and making manipulative half truths? Without evidence is this not an example of a half truth on your part?
    7. “This approach destroys trust and harms individuals and groups (particularly minorities).” So you don’t support free speech? Censorship of free speech was found in communist Russia around the gulag and in educations camps for Uyghurs today. Please enlighten us all how more censorship leads to fairer treatment of minorities?
    8. Provide evidence that Trump is anti-vax? He has just provided funding for COVID-19 vaccine development, seems strange?
    9. How is being against a public health strategies “inherently racist”. Please elaborate (i had a chuckle at this HAHAH)
    10. Do you believe all pakeha have a comfortable home, with healthy family and food in the fridge (You legitimately do not believe this right)?
    11. Yes COVID-19 kills people BUT our public health response comes with costs to people’s health too. It is called a risk benefit analysis.

    I would love to live in your simplistic world it must all be very straightforward.

    ANZPP has legitimate problems but i can assure you that you did not touch on any of them here.

    Read a history book or two!

    1. Res Rapid says:

      Hi Jack. I think I can provide an example for #6. Advance NZ has deliberately doctored video footage of MPs, then spun an ad out of it, in an attempt to back up some baseless claims they have made. Here’s a bit of a cut and paste:

      “A video claiming New Zealand’s ruling party has changed the law to ‘force’ citizens to get a coronavirus vaccine has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The claim is false. The video, which was created by a New Zealand opposition party, takes footage of ruling-party politicians speaking in Parliament and cuts key parts of their sentences to doctor the meaning of the exchange.”

      https://factcheck.afp.com/new-zealand-political-partys-misleading-campaign-video-makes-false-forced-coronavirus-vaccination

      Members of Advance NZ have railed against what they call fake media in the past. Well, really?? Who’s the fake media in this example? In this instance, at least, your party is shown to be lying and hypocritical.

  14. Ian Baxter, Auckland says:

    “Researchers have found that the commonality between anti-vaxxers and far-right extremists is a lack of education. Billy is calculated in the way he stirs distrust, fear and anger among people who are not intellectually equipped to question his motives.”

    Really? What planet are you from?
    Firstly Billy is not from the Far Right; he is a Centrist.
    Are you so Far Left that anyone who disagrees with you appears to be Far Right?

    And I find your claim that those who support Billy “are not intellectually equipped” exposes your ignorance. I will take you on in an IQ test any day.

    If you are not bright enough to recognise the fact that you are being played by the globalists that is fine, but to claim that those who are a bit smarter than you and do see it are showing a “lack of education” is just a joke.

    Please try to think a little deeper and with less bias before you show yourself up in another ill-conceived opinion article.

    1. Res Rapid says:

      “Firstly Billy is not from the Far Right; he is a Centrist.”

      That may be. I don’t want to put words in Aimee’s mouth, but I think what she is getting at is that many of the conspiracy theories that Billy TK propagates, e.g. Agenda 21, are popular in American Far Right circles. You have guys like Glenn Beck, for example, promoting these sorts of baseless claims.

      “And I find your claim that those who support Billy ‘are not intellectually equipped’ exposes your ignorance. I will take you on in an IQ test any day.”

      I don’t think it has to do with taking an IQ test. It has to do with this question: why do people believe something when there isn’t sufficient evidence to justify that belief? The time to believe a claim is when there is evidence to support it, not before; to think otherwise would be irrational, yeah?

      1. Ian Baxter says:

        Res Rapid:
        ” It has to do with this question: why do people believe something when there isn’t sufficient evidence to justify that belief?”

        If you think that UN Agenda 21 is harmless then you are obviously the most qualified to answer your own question because you would be speaking from personal experience!

        1. Res Rapid says:

          Ian, I’ve read Agenda 21. I can’t see anything wrong or nefarious about it. Please point out for myself and everyone else here the exact page number, paragraph, and sub-section of the parts that you think are bad, so we can go ahead and take a look at them. Thanks.

          1. Res Ngata says:

            Actually, just go ahead and copy and paste the sections you think are bad right here. If, indeed, they prove to be justifiable causes for concern then, like I alluded to in a previous post, I will follow the evidence and I will change my mind. But first, please provide this evidence.

  15. Ian Baxter says:

    My enquiries reveal that Kyle Chapman IS NOT associated in any way with the Advance NZ party.

    So why are you claiming that he is?
    Where is your evidence?

    1. Res Rapid says:

      That’s a good question, Ian; you are right to ask it.

    2. Aimee says:

      Do your research

  16. Derek Gray, Nelson says:

    What a terrible piece of opinion writing. Calling these critical thinkers who question the official narrative thick just goes to show what type of person you are. Well, I’m one to question this narrative and I had the best education in the word in Scotland and would bet it against the author of this article any day!
    Does she not know the recovery rate is 99.8%? The morbidity is 0.05% or less? Does she not know the rest of the world has come to realise these lockdowns do more harm than good?

    1. WindowsUser says:

      I’m confused. Where does the 99.8% recovery rate come from?
      As of today there have been 26 million Covid-19 cases worldwide and around 866,000 deaths from Covid-19. I didn’t go to a flash school in Scotland, but I did once get 5th place in my NZ school’s freestyle swimming sports, so I can work that out to be about 3% of infected people dying from Covid-19.
      Maybe I’m doing the maths wrong?

      Footnote from Ed: “Reported” Covid-19 cases are not capturing many of the people who get the infection but are asymptomatic. In several communities where there had been broad testing, research was indicating a fatality rate of about 0.5-1 percent for Covid-19 a few months ago. Serological surveys are now suggesting the same.
      Covid-19 fatality rate consensus is reported within this recent World Health Organisation scientific brief as follows: “Many such serological surveys are currently being undertaken worldwide, and some have thus far suggested substantial under-ascertainment of cases, with estimates of IFR converging at approximately 0.5 – 1%”
      https://www.who.int/news-room/commentaries/detail/estimating-mortality-from-covid-19

      1. WindowsUser says:

        Thanks for the clarification 🙂 Makes sense!

      2. Ian Baxter says:

        Just to clarify things Covid and to add some balance to this discussion.
        As I understand it the morbidity rate of Covid-19 is very similar to that of influenza but it is far more infectious.
        As a result it is hard to know whether lockdowns are warranted or not when balanced against the enormous economic damage a lockdown does to our economy.
        I don’t think we have enough evidence yet to either justify or oppose lockdowns; I think it is too close to call.

        The one thing we must be mindful of though is the enormous amount of borrowing this is forcing NZ into and, of course, whoever pays the piper calls the tune and NZ just may be forced to dance to that tune in the future.

        In the meantime it happens to suit me to comply with lockdowns and social distancing so I happily do so.

    2. Lindsay, Russell says:

      Strange how anyone questioning the narrative is a conspiracy theorist, anti-vax, white supremacist, etc.
      I agree oppression is not staying in your home while a killer virus is at large. When the lockdown first occurred back in March, I was pleased to be given that refuge. However, as time went by we learned about the virus. We watched other countries in their attempts to curtail its progress. All eyes fixed on Sweden, ears to the ground for treatments and relief.
      We watched the powers descend on Hydroxychloroquine and anything that might help, only to find hope taken away.
      Where is the journalism on this, the false data collection, the giving of this treatment at the wrong time for it to be of consequence at a higher than advised dose, and without the prescribed companionship of zinc and antibiotics. People died during these so-called methodological trials for the use of this drug against covid and it turns out that the drug was administered at levels well above recommended dosage.
      Has anyone been arrested for this? Or were these patients just classified as covid statistics?
      You see, asking these questions is not conspiracy, it does fall under freedom of speech. You do need an inquiring mind and the ability to question the mainstream narrative.
      When the mainstream narrative declines to answer, then it seems to pursue such questioning means that we are conspirators!
      When was searching for the truth ever condemned as spreading misinformation?

      1. Aimee says:

        Just asking the questions

  17. Tahu Hunter, Upper Hutt says:

    I have been openly critical of some of their statements on their Facebook page while trying to engage with some of their supporters to provide facts. I have been blocked from making comments on their page. I have sent an email to the party’s email address and have yet to get a response . . . . I only sent it yesterday to be fair, so maybe I might get a reply.

    Free speech is not something they defend at all.

    1. Aimee says:

      Very true Tahu. Since this opinion piece was published Billy TK has incited all of his cult followers to harass me. Tough Guy Billy has been irritated by my opinion. He obviously doesn’t take well to freedom of speech if it doesn’t support his unhinged narrative. I’ve kept some of the more threatening messages for the police. But mostly they’re just badly spelt insults.

  18. Alexia, Kaeo says:

    Tarring with a super wide brush here. Plenty of people who support Billy Te Kahika do not support Trump, are not neo-Nazis, are not racists and are very well educated.
    What a nonsensical Opinion piece!
    So called Anti vaxxers are in fact pro choice and self-responsibility.
    Educate yourself Ms Aimee Milne

    1. Aimee says:

      If you’re aligned with racist people making an extreme political stance, does that mean you have some tolerance for racism? I personally have zero tolerance.

      I didn’t say all anti vaxxers are racist or ‘thick’ as Billy has made it sound. I said that antivaxxers have aligned with a far right political party with white supremacist roots. I would not want to align myself with anyone who held those values.

      I believe that education is needed around systemic racism (I’m learning) the discourse around that. Immunisation has saved countless lives so needs promotion, not vilification.

      1. Tracy Jane, Tauranga says:

        Aimee, you have made a claim that vaccines have saved countless lives. Just wondering if you had any actual data to back up the claim. I’ve never managed to find any so looking forward to seeing what you have.

        1. Res Rapid says:

          Tracy Jane, it must be many millions of lives. Here’s an infographic from President Trump’s CDC; from 2011, at least 23.3 million, and that’s just in low-income countries. 17.1 million potential measel deaths averted from 2000 to 2014.

          https://www.cdc.gov/globalhealth/infographics/immunization/global_impact_of_vaccines.htm

          Also, here’s a cut and paste from Our World In Data:

          “The World Health Organisation (WHO) suggests that vaccination prevents 2-3 million deaths each year. However, while we are certain that vaccines have saved millions of lives, calculating a precise number is impossible. Also the quoted number from the WHO is in important ways a very low estimate.

          The counterfactual world, in which vaccines would have never been developed, would be so different that an estimate of the impact of vaccines is impossible. One example that makes this clear is to consider the impact of the smallpox vaccine: Smallpox was once an extremely common and deadly infectious disease, but it has been eradicated globally back in 1977 thanks to the vaccination against the disease. It is impossible to know exactly how many people would die of smallpox today if scientists had not developed the vaccine. Reasonable estimates are in the range of around 5 million lives per year, which implies that between 1980 and 2018 around 150 to 200 million lives have been saved. This makes clear why it is so difficult to estimate the number of lives saved every year and why the WHO estimate is rather low.”

          https://ourworldindata.org/vaccination

  19. Luke, Taranaki says:

    What an absolute load of rubbish. If this is investigative journalism in Gisborne, you only have yourselves to blame for the low number of subscribers you have. After three months AdvanceNZ has over 7000 paid members – how many paid supporters does your platform have? Can you gather thousands across our nation in a week to support your paper?
    Report unbiased news and read the definition of investigative journalism and reporting – your lack of this is astonishing!!