A white nationalist group spreading across the country has formed a chapter in Nelson.
Action Zealandia propagates “building a community for European New Zealanders” and runs a blog spouting racist beliefs.
The blog indicates that the group has come to Nelson, with members seen boxing at Cable Bay.
Posters and stickers promoting the group have also been seen around the city, most recently plastered outside Nelson MP Nick Smith’s office.
Photos of the act were posted to Facebook and met with largely negative comments.
“I’ve already started pulling some down because you are lower than dog s*** in the political world,” one user said.
“Pulling down your posters is the fun part of my day.” “I mean, there are easier ways of saying ‘we’re racist’ but, whatever.”
Nick says this “this white supremacist rubbish” has no place in Nelson or New Zealand.
“We are seeing some of this extremist material in Europe and other countries and it’s sad that it’s rearing its ugly head in Nelson.”
Nick says the group’s ideals betray the country’s core values of respecting people regardless of ethnicity, religion or creed.
“If these values that I hold dear cause these white supremacists unease and they target my office as a result, I don’t care, they are only hardening my resolve to stand up against such racism.”
He challenges the group to come out of the shadows,
“I am happy to debate with them any place, any time, why New Zealand must always treat people equally.”
Nelson Multicultural Society manager Pablo Salas didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when he heard about the group forming a chapter in Nelson.
“I am shocked that it’s happening in 2020.”
Pablo says the group has created a platform for refugees and immigrants to report incidents of racism.
“We have had about ten per cent of incidents which is usually someone yelling in the street to ‘go home’.”
He says Nelson is generally very embracing of its minority communities.
A Nelson Weekly reporter recently attempted to arrange an interview with Action Zealandia but was denied based on his occupation.
After an online exchange including a questionnaire a Skype interview was arranged.
The reporter was asked about his political ideology, the problems in New Zealand society, people he looked up to and media he consumed.
However, on the day of the scheduled interview, the Action Zealandia member decided against the call citing “too much of a risk”.