They range across the spectrum. Libertarian, separatist, Christian and progressive are just a few of the labels being appropriated by these new parties.
Some of them face basic problems.
I looked for websites on Google for the parties and found several did not have one. A check of both 1 New Zealand and One New Zealand, which both have Facebook pages showed both have no functional website. The domain name for at least one of the two appears to have lapsed. The two separate Facebook pages for these parties which I think are meant to be one and the same (eventually!), have 1,300 and 1,400 likes respectively.
Another problem from experience on Facebook is that the moderators of various fledgling parties are inconsistent. That signals to me that their social media policy is still in development, but that the trigger levels for censoring content are not in place – after a couple of posts on the old Conservative Party Facebook page, including one asking what their policy on the R.M.A. was, I was blocked, when they could have for example just said “we don’t have one”.
Meet the New Conservative Party of New Zealand, born to replace the disgraced Colin Craig formed-and-destroyed Conservative Party. Unlike many of the other parties not in Parliament it has a website. Not surprisingly it has no time for abortion, euthanasia or same sex marriages; tighter criminal sentencing, no to the decriminalization of cannabis. Its environmental policy avoids mention of the Resource Management Act, but promotes withdrawing from all treatises. Notably it has an Israel policy which basically condones the destruction of Palestine.
Another party outside of Parliament is the Maori Party. It formed in 2004 when Tariana Turia walked away from the Labour Party over the foreshore and seabed legislation that was being pushed through Parliament. Mrs Turia and Dr Pita Sharples sought to bring the disparate voices of Maoridom together through one Party. Ultimately it failed to address the many social issues afflicting Maori, such as crime, education, health, social welfare and employment. Although some believe the party will revive it has to win a electorate seat or get 5% of the party vote to enter Parliament.
A South Island Independence Movement for those in the South Island who are turned off by the politics of the parties who have made it to Parliament is another one that has grown on Facebook. It espouses forming a separate nation, viewed as the Switzerland of the South Pacific in terms of neutrality. No more “globalist” trade agreements, memberships of global bodies is its foreign policy and citizen only ownership of property At 12,175 members it is one of the larger Facebook sites for non-Parliament based parties. However with no website for those who are not on Facebook, it is likely to be constrained in terms of social media.
A wad of other parties have been listed on Wikipedia, which include, but are not limited to:
- Better New Zealand, run by Daniel McCaffrey which promotes legalization of cannabis and lower tax
- Climate Party, run by a Peter Whitmore, which focuses on climate issues
- National Front – the far right, ultranationalist and ultra-white wing of the global “National Front”
- New New Zealand Party, run by one time United Future M.P. and former New Zealand First member Marc Alexander
Realistically, if the Maori Party could find a charismatic leader, it might have a chance of getting a Maori seat which would prove to be a springboard for getting into Parliament. It could also gain from the ending of its conflict with former member and leader of Mana, Hone Harawira. The pooling of their combined resources may prove to be the difference between a seat in Parliament or being consigned to the history books.