Gunning For Liz

Liz Gunn – what’s it all about?

Picture: Hiliary Barry and Liz Gunn

The majority of New Zealand minor media, alternative/new media, citizen journalists are novices and listed here. Gunn is the exception as a lawyer turned journalist with a television and radio career that started last century.

Regardless of any current events surrounding Gunn and accusations of conspiracy media and rabbit holes, STUFF News started a cancel culture attack referring to Gunn, who currently runs a minor news platform called FreeNZ, as a “former journalist.”

Jane Mander, historical figure and author of Story of a NZ River, would never be referred to as a former journalist, regardless of her controversial views – the dehumanizing process had begun.

What Gunn reports on is a direct conflict to the government propaganda that funded STUFF News during Covid … FreeNZ is self funded.

Next up was Sean Plunket who led the ongoing character assassination against Gunn. He claimed “Nutters hunt in packs” suggesting that Gunn leads some form of underworld army of the ignorant, who exist in their own echo chamber.

Looking at the subsequent onslaught from the SpinOff, Newshub and anyone else that wanted to join the hunt, one has to ask whether Plunket had the taste of liver and chianti behind his teeth.

This is the fallacy that our mainstream media live with – that if they project their thoughts everyone will agree with them. It’s an intolerable arrogance that’s been growing in size since the late 1970s to a public distrust of today’s mainstream.

Then arrived the witches on their broomsticks, Hillary Barry asking people to keep Liz in their prayers, Lizzie Marvelly and others joining in on social media in an attempt to paint Gunn as mentally unstable.

Inspite of being in the Lion’s Den, Liz Gunn obliged with a statement, as requested by Sean Plunket, to the Platform.

Plunket took great delight in reading the statement in a sarcastic voice intended to dismiss Gunn’s ramble as irrelevant nonsense and to belittle her.

Gunn has a significant audience, many of whom are among the 65,000 vaccine injuries that receive little to no recognition from mainstream media for obvious reasons, and also played a significant role in the coverage of the Tokelau House Arrests written about in the Tokelau Category.

An attempt was made by Plunket and other media to paint her work as irrational and insignificant.

Tokelau although a NZ Dependency is also a UN developing nation and was close to seeing charges of human rights abuses filed with the UN.

No insignificant matter that would have been an international embarrassment to the Ardern administration at the time and to her father the recently departed Administrator of Tokelau. 

We take this opportunity to remind Sean Plunket that when he launched The Platform News site, it was under the banner of “Resistance Media out to confront mainstream bias and incompetence – so what happened Sean?

Is that the media cesspit you’re contently wallowing in?


Tokelau Refugees

The long battle for the Patelesio family of Nukunonu Atoll in the Tokelau Group is finally nearing an end.

Their fight for their basic human rights has however deteriorated to a sad end.

Refusal to accept the Tokelau Government’s compulsory vaccination mandates led to house arrests on two of the three populated atolls.

They were the only family on Nukunono Atoll and the last to secure release.

That story can be found in the Tokelau Category.

Mahelino Patelesio and his family are currently in Samoa awaiting flights back to NZ later this month.

And grateful for the ongoing assistance of their support team to get the family back to New Zealand.

Following continuing communication difficulties and a land dispute on the site on their retirement home, the family are now travelling light, taking only what they can within their baggage limit for the transfer to New Zealand.

Mahelino, his wife, artist Anna Patelesio, and two of their children Koloi and Jypsy have left behind their dreams to escape the nightmare … while New Zealand looks back on the first anniversary of the parliamentary protest.

Hostages to Hypocrisy

As New Zealand looks at some form of post pandemic inquiry (the prospect of which is raised again and this time by the country’s compromised and conflicted prime minister) there is little to suggest that it would be anything more substantial than a self-serving institution for our “Queen of Denial” … and her imploding administration.

Temerity by the truckload, though – you have to give them that, as they are not about to admit to any errors of judgment or procedure that would jeopardise Ardern’s post prime ministersterial prospects or acknowledge at the ‘very least’ anyone else’s human falibility.

That’s a donkey in this developing global complexity that is frustrating other administrations, not only our domestic governance.

While New Zealand, along with most of our Pacific neighbours are endeavouring to find the pathway back to normality and a functional global world, our Dependency of Tokelau struggles from crisis to crisis with its resistance to their invisible plague.

The Tokelau story is canvassed in some detail here, mainly due to the expired house arrests imposed on residents who refused mandatory covid jabs.

These Pacific atolls have supposedly remained covid free to date through their isolation and strict border control but not without the numerous consequences seen in New Zealand such as a depleted health system, employment disputes, and compromised human rights.

The particular circumstances around one family, the Patelesio family on Nukunono Atoll have highlighted the necessity for everyone to be vigilant about the defence of human rights. Although their house arrests were recently resolved, access to medical care, education, and legal representation resemble circumstances more along the lines of what is currently occurring in Iran but without the obvious bloodshed.

Don Higgins

This is where it gets interesting … with our NZ Administrator to Tokelau, Don Higgins, pictured above onboard the freight boat Kalopaga, headed to Tokelau from Apia in Samoa to attend the General Fono (Tokelau’s collective government above the Atoll Taupalenga or individual village councils).

A special someone who is coming from the tainted outside world, bypassing the strict quarantine station guarded by police (similar to the NZ experience) to attend a government meeting.

It’s not the only such circumstance that’s been relayed to me recently and I’ve been hesitant to aggrevate these ongoing issues while the fledgling nation ‘supposedly’ works its way through reintergration.

But … there are residents in Tokelau still subject to what you might call antivaxer prejudice, who have been subjected to “serious long term abuse” … who want to abandon their developing nation or at least get their children out of that hostile environment, if not themselves.

They can’t. They are prisoners to their own legal emergency.

Tokelau descendants (more of whom reside in New Zealand than the 1500 or so who occupy the atolls) are after all still NZ citizens outside of Tokelau, even if their administration is working towards a greater independence similar to the free association of the Cook Islands.

This piece of hypocrisy as you can well imagine is likely to raise the ire of the most patient among them.

To be fair, they should be able to look to our example and replicate our standards of good governance. The opposite is happening. They are failing to a greater extent as their population are prisoner’s to their Pacific isolation and do not have the ability to protest their freedom.

That on the other hand, is the example we in New Zealand should look to, and realise it is a situation, we do not want to be a bigger version of.

The Dark Shadow of Kris Faafoi

Former NZ Labour MP Kris Faafoi

Tokelau descendants in their diaspora outnumber the residual population 4:1 (some 7,000 people in total) and one of the Pacific nation’s recognised success stories, has fallen from grace.

Kris Faafoi is typical of others from the New Zealand Labour Party of which he is now a former MP and Cabinet Minister following his resignation in July 2022. A political party that courted his jovial nature to use as a member of parliament.

You may think it is unfair to single out his association with Tokelau and in general I would agree. Tokelau itself places great stead on the use of their experience and the practices of tunoa and expulsion for bringing shame to the culture, such as we witnessed recently with Mahelino Patelesio and his ongoing encounter with the Nukunono Taupalenga for his dissenting views.

(One would not like to think that Tokelau supported political and elite corruption but it is possible)

Faafoi now joins the ranks of Labour’s disgraced and deplorables such as Trevor Mallard our dishonorable former Speaker who is in the process of being shipped off to Ireland as New Zealand’s next Ambassador.

New Zealand is quickly courting the dual reputations of a second world socialist failure and a dysfunctional third world disgrace.

[After 200 years of unique development and being ahead of its time in many respects]

Unless there is something more behind Faafoi’s sudden departure than the desire to spend more time with his family (and without a convicted crime to be punished by a court) what Faafoi is guilty of is breaking with our well established conventions.

In that respect he is the artist of his own dark shadow but in no way can claim ignorance or innocence of his wrongdoing.

Faafoi has made a mockery of his title (Honourable) and as an NZBS Journalism graduate must have understood some degree of ethical behavior before entering parliament.

(*Hon) Kris Faafoi was elected to be the Member for Mana in November 2010 – he’d worked for more than a decade as a “journalist” at both TVNZ and the BBC.

A former Minister for Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Civil Defence, Customs, Commerce and Consumer Affairs as well as Associate Minister of Immigration and what Faafoi started remains unfinished business as discussed by the Directors and Editors Guild.

Two months later the former-journalist/MP tells Radio New Zealand he is chief executive of the company – Dialogue22 and seemingly unconcerned about any criticism leveled at him about this.

“I don’t particularly get fussed about that, you know, people are entitled to their opinions but as I said you leave politics and you have to find yourself a career.”

Kris Faafoi

There may be a hidden truth in what Faafoi said, in that journalism is a career and parrotoxic media is a job and at worst obedience to authoritarianism.

Faafoi can have his opinion too: but that’s only about his career not about what he thinks he might be entitled to, or entitled to do now that he has moved on.

Faafoi expects us to buy the spin. Nice try, liitle boy, but you were a cabinet minister three months ago, not now.

The country’s newist lobbyist has come through what is typically referred to in politics as the revolving door between politics and the corporate world into his new role.

Does this matter? In a country that tells the world NZ is not a corrupt place to do business, it should be pointed out other countries have integrity rules about exactly this.

The day Faafoi departed parliament he left no forwarding address – gone to enjoy his peace – that I would call either a bare-faced lie or a conspiracy after the fact if his former colleagues are prepared to remain silent and not slam some immediate legislation back in his face like we know they are capable of doing.

As a cabinet minister Faafoi will have been privy to the most important political discussions, and the information that goes with that territory.

Something no other existing participants in that industry could match. What is normally confidential is not the knowledge alone but those people associated with that, both inside and outside parliament.

His flippant brush off quoted above is one of the biggest middle fingers this country has seen.

Confidentiality aside, elements of cabinet discussions do often leak but parliament has the ability to sensure those actions and any indiscretions.

Faafoi is able to use and misuse what is unpublished, possibly intimidating, threatening, commercially sensitive, anti competitive … and any other etc. not listed.

Inappropriate advantage shouldn’t exist but then the example of Mahuta is leading the way.

Confidential public information is not intended to end up in the hands of commercial interests. We do not simply sell information about cabinet to the highest bidder and what entitles Faafoi to profit in that way as opposed to the labour of his former “career”?

I’m not offended just personally but on behalf of every minimum wage media worker out there struggling to make ends met and every media student that finds this in their history lesson.

That information is intended to be used for the public good, not to advance private interests, everything Faafoi supposedly stood against, isnt it?

But there is another significant consequence that needs to be stated loud and clear and that is Faafoi’s ability from within the position he has established to orchestrate funding of the Labour Party for the 2023 election without our normal and existing checks and balances.

We all should be concerned about that.

See Also Enough of Ardern

UN Speech September 2022

More on Kris Faafoi

The new lobbying company is owned by Greg Partington, who has a number of different businesses that connect with politics and political insiders. Another of Partington’s businesses, the communications agency “Tatou NZ” is run by the partner of Cabinet Minister Peeni Henare, Skye Kimura.

Patelesio Family Liberated

After more than a year of house arrest, long months of battling New Zealand and Tokelau bureaucracy, and after three and a half weeks without internet, the Patelesio family have finally been able to re-establish contact with their New Zealand support team and confirm they are indeed free.

Artist Ana Patelesio

Mahelino Patelesio, his wife Ana, and two of their children, Koloi and Jipsy, are the last four of the Tokelau residents from Atafu and Nukunonu Atolls to be released from a tunoa imposed on anyone in Tokelau for refusing to be jabbed for Covid-19.

Coverage of that ongoing story can be found in Our Tokelau Category.

(Jipsy and Koloi receiving a support package during house arrest)

A drawn out release process for the Nukunonu family began after an internet outage on September 11 and in the face of legal action for their arbitrary detention.

MFAT NZ had issued assurances during the week following September 11, of that process being effected and messages confirming their well-being had later been sent from Tokelau.

However the Nukunonu family had not been able to make contact with relatives outside of Tokelau, their legal team or their Support Team until an anxious family member heard from them yesterday.

In a statement today, Mahelino told us he had left his family at home and attended the Taupalenga meeting alone, suspecting that it would be turned into a spectacle for the village to witness.

His immediate concern was though to extend the family’s heartfelt and sincere gratitude to all those who supported the family during their ordeal and helped in securing their release.

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.

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. 

Tokelau Tribulation

In the language of a Sunday, let it be known by all that the righteous men and women of Tokelau are distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men.

Artist Ana Patelesio

When Justice Mahon delved into the aftermath of the Erebus Crash, it was an investigation of events from a cold hell in a far away place, he would go on to describe as an “orchestrated litany of lies.”

It is a familiar tragedy in life that once the first lie is told the tale begins a life of its own determined to hide a truth.

An unwelcome light shines on the events of the past 12 months in these Pacific atolls … on a tribulation turning to a gradual unfolding of a truth … from which “they” run.

There is no mysterious “they” here, just those that will not answer and those that chose to organise deception – yes there is what we ordinarily refer to as a cover-up going on here.

The saddest part of this story, in the end, and I’ll confidently predict this now, will be, “the appropriation of their own culture for the purpose of deceit.

In the modern age of technology, Tokelau is not such a far far away place. The Far Far North of NZ (500 km north of Samoa) is connected by internet, that needs to be taken away from the persecuted, so they cannot communicate with the outside world.

In the covid world we have experienced and are familiar with, access to education, medical advice, legal assistance, support of various kinds from family, friends, of professionals and of the lay, is not taken away from even our worst offenders in NZ prisons

That was a step too far. The camel straw that set up the rebellion within. The recognition of wrong and point of “enough is enough.”

We have a string of people declining to be interviewed, answer emails and genuine enquiries, international connections turning a blind eye to avoid involvement – nothing to hide here then?

The manipulation of Radio NZ, (sincerely thanked for their genuine attempt to understand the Tokelau culture by our Dependency’s General Manager) is the delinquent contribution of our own government. The reporter involved in those events will come eventually to the realisation that she was used and gullibly participated in the ruse of the occasion.

What we are seeing now, could have and should have been resolved weeks ago had it not been for this cooperative effort.

That’s not journalism – it is parotism.

“An embarrassment, which, based on my own Investigations, I will neither tolerate nor accept with any degree of silence.”

The continuing story of Tokelau …