Voices for Freedom Media Statement – Local Body Elections (pdf file)
Media Statement From Voices For Freedom
We are aware of the recent media stories covering Voices for Freedom’s (VFF’s) encouragement of people to stand in local body elections.
We sent an email to our database last week reaching over 100,000 supporters. It read:
We are encouraging concerned New Zealanders (not just VFF members and supporters) who understand the issues at stake to stand as independents so as to get into these positions and start affecting positive change from within the system. (Don’t put “Voices for Freedom” or “VFF” as the affiliation or group represented when filling out the candidate paperwork (“the nomination form”). Any candidate from our community will be in a good position to gain support from their local VFF community.)
This statement has been taken out of context and misreported by the media. They portrayed it as a directive for potential candidates to keep their affiliation with VFF secret. The media’s interpretation is incorrect.
From a practical perspective, encouraging 100,000+ people to stand for local community boards and councils a week out from the nomination deadline presented an impossible scenario for screening potential candidates.
We encouraged Kiwis to stand as independents to have their voices heard on local community matters. Voices for Freedom is not running a ticket in these local body elections, and candidates receive no formal endorsement.
Candidates and supporters who have connected with us can expect to receive information on campaigning and other educational resources.
The media attention regarding VFF supporters exercising their democratic right to get involved in local body politics demonstrates the concern over the reach and influence of our movement.
While the media reports that aligning with the VFF brand would result in fewer votes, the opposite is true. Our members are spread widely across the country and are active and motivated to drive change.
Those who have engaged with our material understand that we are concerned with the erosion of freedoms in New Zealand, including, but not limited to, medical freedom. We expect everyday Kiwis who resonate with our concerns will hold a similar position and seek change in a range of areas.
Voices For Freedom Co-Founder