DNZ – Lee Smith

A Te Awamutu Local, and former New Conservative candidate (Election 2020) Lee Smith has been confirmed as the DemocracyNZ candidate for Taranaki-King Country, Party Leader Matt King, announced earlier today

Referencing the party’s biography Smith,

has lived in the King Country, for more than 20 years, and over that time has run a successful local business. She was born and raised in Taranaki. Lee’s father was a dairy farmer. Lee credits her parents for instilling in Lee a passion for farming and an unwavering drive and commitment to advocate for the rural sector. She is a wife, a mother of six and a grandmother, and in between supporting her children’s sports teams and participating in community activities, Lee is an avid gardener. Family is her number one priority.


King, is quoted as saying, “Lee, joined DemocracyNZ after becoming increasingly concerned about the downward trajectory of New Zealand’s economy and social cohesion under this Labour Government.”

Smith is quoted as saying, “I’m grateful to be the DemocracyNZ candidate for Taranaki-King Country. Putting my name up for DemocracyNZ is a responsibility and commitment that I do not take lightly. We are an emerging Party, but we are becoming a political force. There are many people who currently feel politically homeless and DemocracyNZ is the answer to that uncertainty. I will be working extremely hard to win Taranaki-King Country for DemocracyNZ.

I have always been interested in service for the community and our country. My favourite political quote is from the Athenian General, Pericles, who said ‘Just because you do not take an interest in politics, doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you’.”

Party Leader Matt King

King concluded by saying, DemocracyNZ is a growing party and will continue to carry out candidate selection over the coming months in the lead-up to the #NZElection2023.

Aside from Matt King who has already announced his Northland candidacy as a priority for DemocracyNZ, Lee Smith is the only other candidate announced to date.

King has previously been the Northland MP from 2017 – 2020 however National lost that seat to Labour’s Willow-Jean Prime by 163 votes in 2020.

Te Awamutu Launch Fri 30th September 2022

Party leader Matt King with Taranaki-King Country Candidate Lee Smith

At what can only be described as a very successful launch in Te Awamutu tonight, Lee Smith is pictured above with Matt King after addressing a full house of more than 200 locals.

Steve Cranston and Lee Smith

Lee, pictured above with Groundswell spokesman and guest speaker Steve Cranston who addressed the rural community on the complications of climate change legislation.

Steve Cranston (Groundswell) Lee Smith and Matt King

Matt King finished the evening by bringing the speakers together for a Q and A session. Smith was asked for her thoughts on Education and advocated for greater parental involvement, back to basics on numeracy and literacy, and better trades training for the boys.

DemocracyNZ Party Registration


Eyes On Europe

Giorgia Meloni

European stability was strained under the possibility of a more conservative Europe, with Italian polls suggesting, that would be the likely election result.

With the election over and Meloni’s Brothers of Italy Party winning 26% of the vote that will certainly fan the flames in Brussels and add to the established conflict that Polland and Hungary already have with European President, Ursula von der Leyen.

Ursula von der Leyen

Italian politicians accussed the EU President of trying to interfere in Italian elections with her stunning threats just days before voters went to the polls, when the EU President suggested that there were tools to deal with the wrong government.

If millions of Italians have dared to make the ‘wrong’ choice …to deviate from von der Leyen’s preferences for their own country does democracy now have an unresolvable conflict in the EU?

How long before those ‘tools’ might be used against Italy and who is the extremist here?

Samoa Human Rights

Interesting little device which I haven’t seen before which provides an analysis of human rights by country.

While the current Samoa Analysis states that there has been a deterioration in freedoms since the last change of government, the country ranks “close to average” alongside its Pacific neighbours on quality of life and safety but below average on its empowerment score.

Some information is from 2021 and other information for 2022 has been updated.

Quality of Life

Samoa scores 89.7% on Quality of Life when scored against the ‘Income adjusted’ benchmark.

Compared with the other countries in the Pacific, Samoa is performing better than average on Quality of Life rights (this comparison is calculated using the ‘Income adjusted’ benchmark).

To change the performance benchmark or assessment standard, please click on ‘Switch view’ above

Explore Details

Safety from the State

Samoa’s Safety from the State score of 8.0 out of 10 suggests that while most people are safe from government abuse, some may have experienced one or more of the following: arbitrary arrest, torture and ill-treatment, forced disappearance, execution or extrajudicial killing.

Compared with the other countries in the Pacific, Samoa is performing close to average on the right to be safe from the state.


Samoa’s Empowerment score of 5.1 out of 10 suggests that many people are not enjoying their civil liberties and political freedoms (freedom of speech, assembly and association, and democratic rights).

Compared with the other countries in the Pacific, Samoa is performing worse than average on empowerment rights.

Apologies to Italy

I’m happy to be the first to apologise to Giorgia Meloni for the behavior of New Zealand’s aberrant mainstream media. I won’t add insult by repeating anything that is already unnecessarily published.

May we extend our congratulations on your election success and wish you well in leading Italy through its continuing recovery.

That, put mildly is a daunting task, much like our own, but I rate your chances of progress much better than our own at this time.

That, something is very wrong is immediately obvious too, when a much smaller country in the South Pacific appears to place more importance on the cinema shifts of its own failing prime minister, the journies of her accompanying media, and the pretence that another country’s incumbent prime minister is little better than a far-right extremist.

Once again, I apologise, and not on their behalf but in the interests of the preservation of two country’s established and close relationship, one that has existed since WW11.

I am sure you will be aware of the significant role that New Zealand Expeditionary Forces played in the liberation of Italy.

That, we have arrived in such a place, of contemporary disorder supported by a foundation of meaningless propaganda is regrettable.

Tokelau Twist

A post “Tokelau Today” on Friday reported:

A spokesman from MFAT has confirmed that the tunoa over the family has been lifted.

Subsequent to this, and later the same day, an article was published in Pacific regional outlets reporting:

The Taupulega, or council, on the Tokelau atoll of Nukunonu, has lifted a house arrest order on a family which had refused to get vaccinated against covid-19.

And that:

A council meeting on Wednesday told family member Mahelino Patelesio that the tunoa was being lifted. However, the family would be updated on restrictions that might apply when a cargo ship drops off supplies.

While the family of four has been under tunoa since August last year the initial dispute with the former Taupalenga Elder and father of the family, Mahelino Patelesio, goes back to July last year.

Asi Pasilio

Enquiries to date have not been able to establish the relevance of the supply vessel to the pending restrictions referred to by Nukunonu General Manager, Asi Pasilio.

A social media interview with members of the family’s legal team on Thursday indicated that they understood the matter to have been resolved although they had not been able to speak with their clients since Sunday September 11th.

Communication with Nukunonu remains difficult with an ongoing fault of some description.

Tokelau General Manager Vito Vitale is expected to attend a meeting on Nukunonu Atoll this coming Wednesday.

It is not known whether the tunoa will remain in place if the pending restrictions are not accepted by the family.

An understanding of the history of tunoa is unclear and while locals say they are told by their elders it is an ancient tradition used to keep the village safe, other research suggests that tunoa development originated from the Christian philosophy of forgiveness after early missionaries reached the Pacific atolls in the 1800s.

Tokelau Today

[An update on this post in Tokelau Twist]

On Wednesday of this week, one hour before the legal division of the NZ Tokelau Support Group was to file an application in the High Court, the Nukunonu Taupalenga issued a letter regarding the tunoa over the Patelesio family who are resident on the Atoll and have been under house arrest since last year.

The Patelesio family, it is understood, had been summoned to a meeting with their Elders Council later that day regarding their tunoa.

The family have not been in touch with the outside world since Sunday September 11, due to an undisclosed issue with the Nukunonu public communications system, although the atolls remain in touch with each other via a separate government system.

A spokesman from MFAT has confirmed that the tunoa over the family has been lifted.

In similar circumstances however, with neighbouring Atafu Atoll, their tunoa had been replaced with limitations on freedom, association, and participation in religion.

The legal team is hoping to make contact with the Patelesio family today.

All three atolls remain covid free with closed borders.

The Tokelau Government will accept written media questions but don’t unfortunately respond with answers.

In other Pacific News

In a surprise move yesterday the Samoan Government removed all its Covid restrictions and returned to business as normal following a similar move by the Cook Islands this week.

It is understood Fiji waa already considering lifting its covid restrictions and will respond likewise in the near future.

Samoa which has international links with the US and NZ is the final destination for Tokelau which is accessed by boat from Samoa.

it is unclear how Tokelau will respond.

Biden’s Pacific

The United States has recently stepped up its engagement with Pacific Island nations following China’s Pacific statement of intention issued in May of this year.

The US sent several senior official delegations to the region and has announced plans to open embassies in the Solomon Islands, Kiribati, and Tonga.

President Biden will host a Pacific conference later this month.

On the guest list along with the Solomon Islands, are the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Samoa, Tonga, and Fiji, as well as the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, and Tuvalu.

12 of which Taiwan counted among its 14 diplomatic allies.

The Solomon Islands, which switched its ties to Beijing from Chinese-claimed Taiwan in 2019, is a focal point in the escalating competition between China and the United States in the strategically vital region.

It is previously reported in New Zealand at the time of the US announcement that the US has invited the 12 fully independent Pacific Island countries, but not New Zealand, Australia, Cook Islands, Niue, New Caledonia or French Polynesia.

Tokelau is described as a Non-Self-Governing territory of NZ.

A US fact sheet on its proposed Pacific engagement was issued on September 13.

Of interest to Independent Media in NZ is the following section:

The United States will provide increased funding of $180,000 for access to independent media and support for journalists and outlets operating in vulnerable information environments in the Pacific Islands. 


A TrudeauMustGo hashtag is revving to the red-line with thousands of tweets per hour as Canadians from all walks of life, rally on Twitter calling for their Prime minister to resign.

Men and women, old and young, professionals, business owners, tradies, and workers alike but notably the otherwise peaceful public have joined forces with their protesters in the call for Trudeau to go.

Medical tweets in particular along with those of prominent Canadians who have joined the ranks are attracting “activity” as Twitter describes the attention particular tweets are attracting.

Two themes stand out reading through the tweets.

While Canadians protesting for the preservation of their bodily autonomy and health choices is not new, the amount of information linking Trudeau to personal profit from the pandemic that is now visible would appear to be what has swayed others to join the protest.

Jacinda Ardern

New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern is facing a similar backlash from voters with a poll this week showing that the country’s right wing Opposition has enough support to form a government. Hardly the best position to be in while attending Queen Elizabeth’s funeral.

NZ Prime minister since 2017

While New Zealand has tended to lag behind the world with Ardern’s peculiar pandemic response her government would be in a far worse position without the parade of propaganda pumped out by the country’s main stream media.

That’s turned from an “Artfully Crafted Mirage” to international embarrassment and ridicule.

The effects are felt across the Pacific with New Zealand’s close regional ties and in particular its own dependencies.

NZ Midday Sunday 18th September 2022

The campaign has grown legs firing up a series of hastags. Not unlike a #TurnArdern campaign in New Zealand that also had activists turning Ardern’s recently released books about face in retail outlets stocking the product.

The tone of most tweets is remarkably civilised, no doubt intended to avoid censorship from Twitter with the occasional one being more direct.

Twitter statistics on volume would be interesting.

12.38 NZ time, midday Sunday 18th September corresponds with the above Canadian times as they roll into their Saturday night.

Pacific Pickle

Covid responses have left the Pacific a divided region with the most disparite responses seen within New Zealand’s Dependencies.

The Cook Islands has signaled to the world that they are ready to get back to business as normal.

Following their border restrictions being lifted in January, Prime minister Mark Brown was reported as saying, their only choice was to live with this virus.

This week any vaccination requirements were also lifted, following on from the recent removal of the requirement for a pre-depature test.

Tourist numbers have not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels and their statistics show that recent visitors are close to 100% Kiwis.

Tokelau on the otherhand still has closed borders. Its three atolls (with a combined population of around 1500) have remained covid free to date.

Fakaofa Atoll, is seldom mentioned as they achieved a 100% compliance in their covid rollout, while the Taupalenga on Atafu and Nukunonu instituted house arrests for those not accepting mandated injections.

The Atafu Taupalenga have recently apologised to those placed under tunoa and while those affected are no longer subjected to house arrest, employment mandates remain in place.

Nukunonu Atoll (which has been largely disconnected from the outside world for the past week with some form of internet disruption) has become the centre of controversy and growing international attention.

One family remain under house arrest and with no indication of any pending modification to the current tunoa are facing an uncertain future.

Looking further afield, New Zealand’s former territory of Samoa has developed a complicated compliance strategy that would deter even seasoned travellers while causing considerable angst among the nation’s significant diaspora.

It also came to light in the last week that some non-compliant travellers had entered Samoa by paying a $250wst exemption fine.

Current inquiries are yet to establish how “Official” this fee is and who might make use of that opportunity.

Apia (Samoa) is the last final destination for anyone seeking to travel to Tokelau also, which as stated above still has closed borders.

During the Tokelau lock-down, it’s main passenger and supply ship has been in Auckland undergoing maintenance.

The Samoa to Tokelau run is currently serviced by the much older and slower Kalopaga which takes an additional 16 hours one-way on a good day. The service is often disrupted by medical evacuations.

Samoa is now collecting Tokelau nurses, who having accompanied a medivac patient are unable to return to Tokelau.

Kapulaga entering Apia.

The Kapulaga arriving in Apia this morning after a 36 hour trip from Tokelau’s northern atoll, with the Atafu Dr being the patient in Tokelau’s current medical emergency, in what is being described as a recent surge of events.

Tokelau’s main ferry, Mataliki, seen above entering service in 2016 is currently undergoing maintenance in Westhaven, Auckland.