Last year was a bit of a wild one for me, and not one I plan to repeat. Yet the path it's started me down has to continue.
Now a year on from the police raid in January, things progress slowly. While the police have overreached in recent years, I'm the only one pursuing a trespass and civil rights case. Once you get started on the mammoth task, you realise why most prefer to carry on as if nothing happened. Someone has to stand up and make sure it doesn't happen to anyone else. I'm thankful that I've got an expert team and a high chance of having the warrant invalidated, but the process is slow and arduous. Most of the details uncovered so far can't be shared yet, but I did post an update on a number of OIAs that are in the public domain.
I'm often asked how things are going with the court case De Boer v Attorney-General, so grab a cup of coffee or tea and settle in.
The story starts in April 2019 with the tabling of the Arms Amendment Bill 2019 in Parliament. Less than 72 hours were given for public submissions. It was hastily drafted legislation and one of the flaws was that it would affect most .22 lever action rifles. I took a picture of the one I owned at the time to append to the Parliamentary Select Committee submission I was writing. I posted it on Facebook with my outrage about the lack of democratic process, adding a comment to encourage people to file submissions of their own against the bill. I then posted the completed submission on the Right Minds website, and submitted it through the parliamentary website. The law passed without any real consideration given to the thousands of opposing submissions, I made sure my firearms were all compliant with the final legislation (the one in question was modified and found a new owner), and I went overseas on holiday.
Around six months later, I received a phone call from the NZSIS who invited me out to lunch for a chat because they had been told to "investigate the right-wing". I normally advise people not to talk to the police and just call a lawyer instead, but I was rather intrigued. If the government is talking to me, it means they have no idea what's going on. Lunch was delicious, and the conversation was along similar lines to the topics I go over on the blog and livestreams. I can look back at the irony of their question about my thoughts concerning those wrongly raided in connection with Operation Whakahaumanu. I commented that I was more than happy to engage with government agencies voluntarily as long as they contacted me via phone with any further questions, rather than knock down my door at 6am. That must have been transcribed incorrectly, as it wasn't an invitation for a 6pm home invasion instead. I hadn't planned on disclosing this meeting and very few people knew about it prior to my revelations here. If the government plays nice with you, you play nice with the government. That's how I've always operated.
I tried to get a copy of the information the NZSIS seem to think is worth having on me, but they played the "neither confirm or deny" card. I appealed to the Privacy Commissioner with evidence of the above account, and I now have an admission from the Director-General of the NZSIS. It's a big backtrack from the "can neither confirm nor deny" response, but still not enough. I have asked the Privacy Commissioner to investigate further, as the only valid reason to withhold my information would be if it were to "prejudice the national security" of New Zealand—a rather outlandish claim that I would certainly be interested in pursuing further. You can read the full backtrack from Ms Kitteridge here.
One of the things I've learned from my court case is that in the same week of this lunchtime meeting, someone emailed the NZ Police on their snitch line, saying that I was not going to hand in my .22. Helpfully this person also provided a picture of the .22 (the same photo I used in my Select Committee submission). This was months before the amnesty was up. Rather than ring me or even offer another lunch, the police sat on this for over three months before getting a search warrant for the .22, from a court clerk rather than a judge. The police are required to properly investigate the likelihood of finding evidence of a crime by a search and to do this they needed to assess my public comments on this issue. That presents a real problem for them, as if they did this then they must have seen that those comments and the photo of the .22 was part of my submission to the Select Committee and that may be a breach of Parliamentary Privilege. Damned if they did and damned if they didn’t.
What I do know is that somebody wanted to get rid of me, and they failed. Now we're turning the tables, however slowly they may turn.
I'm often asked if I accept (or need) donations. The court case is run rather leanly and I am well looked after, but you can donate at 12-3083-0064985-00 (RIGHTMINDS) if you want to help out. If we ever get to a stage where a crowdfunding campaign is required, you'll hear about it then. The larger topic of supporting content and causes you want to see grow is important though. New Zealand has a real dearth of right-wing content creators (and I don’t include the crazy QAnon theorists amongst the right-wing). Giving financial support to those who do put their necks out and do the hard work is something you can do if you don't have the skills or time to create content. If not me, please send a donation to another independent commentator.
I hope to provide more regular updates this year. In general, if it's an article (500 words or more) then you'll find it here on Right Minds. If you want some shorter daily thoughts on life then you can join the Telegram channel. If you know me IRL, then you can get gardening photos on Instagram. If you enjoy a weekly breakdown of the news then there's a Friday night livestream on the Youtube channel. If you want monthly updates in your inbox, then you should sign up for the newsletter.
So far, the start of this year has gone much smoother than the start of last year, and I plan to keep it going that way.
P.S. If anyone is in contact with former Police Minister Stuart Nash, could they please advise him that his response to the Privacy Commissioner is now long overdue.