September 14, 2020
Advance Party draws together Maori fringe
Advance Party co-leader Billy Te Kahika says he’s pleased with the support his new movement is getting from Maori.
The party drew several thousand people to its “National Rally for Freedom” at Auckland’s Aotea Square where the blues guitarist turned politician rallied against the Government’s COVID-19 response.
He told Radio Waatea’s Paakiwaha programme the Government is going against World Health Organisation advice that lockdowns don’t work and that the lethality of the disease was like a nasty winter flu.
The WHO advice is in line with what is happening in New Zealand, and it says COVID-19 causes more severe disease and is far more likely to kill you than the seasonal flu.
"You should see all the He Whakaputanga supporters, Ko Huirau, we have Rātana people, we have all sorts of people, Ringatū people, we have large elements of Māori waking up to this threat and waking up to this false information.
Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare says as someone whose great grandmother died in the 1918 influenza pandemic, he was disappointed to see kaumatua and kuia he recognised in the crowd.
He says Billy Te Kahika's conspiracy theorising won’t stop the Government’s determination to stamp out the disease.
Cabinet yesterday extended current alert levels a further week in an effort to ensure there are no break-outs from the Auckland cluster.
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