by Billy Bold -
After the terror attack in Christchurch many people have been seeking accurate information on the organised white supremacist movement in Aotearoa/New Zealand. A decade ago there was a network of activists who investigated the far right, providing intelligence and information to anti-racist organisers and the media. This network has faded away but some of us kept in contact with each other sporadically and continued to monitor far right groups. In recent days we have been overwhelmed with requests for information so we have decided to re-establish the network. This is a quick outline of the main far right leaders and organisations active in New Zealand in 2019.
The Old Man - Colin Ansell
Colin Ansell (aka Colin King-Ansell) was born in 1947. He joined the National Socialist Party of New Zealand in 1967. Later that year he served a prison sentence for vandalising a synagogue. He founded a number of small neo-Nazi groups but eventually joined the New Zealand National Front. In the 1990s he founded the short lived New Zealand Fascist Union, and later re-joined the National Front. He currently lives in Hawera, and has been the leader of the National Front for the last few years.
The Hate Preacher - Kerry Bolton
Kerry Raymond Bolton has been involved with nearly every fascist group in New Zealand over the past 40 years. He joined Colin Ansell’s National Socialist Party of New Zealand as a teenager. He was active in the National Front in the 1970s, and the Fascist Union in the 1990s. Bolton prefers writing to action and has published countless magazines aimed at recruiting youth into far right politics. He lives on the Kapiti Coast where he writes for a range of far right publishers around the world. Like many of the more intelligent far right intellectuals, he describes himself as “neither left nor right”. He mixes elements of right wing and left wing thought, twisting them into a confused mess of conspiracy theories about the supposed decline of western civilisation.
The common thread is the existence of a global elite of Jews and their allies conspiring to destroy the western world by promoting liberalism, Marxism, immigration and multiculturalism. Bolton sees democracy and equality as weaknesses, and instead supports authoritarianism, hierarchy, and cultural purity. His main activity now is writing. He claims to have several academic degrees but has never revealed where he earned them. He publishes constantly on a range of topics for the far right around the world, and is well connected internationally. Bolton has withdrawn from day-to-day involvement in activism but he keeps an eye on the local right wing scene and mentors anyone he thinks has potential.
The New Zealand National Front
The National Front is the most enduring far right organisation in New Zealand. Founded in the 1970s, almost all the leading fascist and neo Nazi figures in New Zealand have been involved at various times. From 2004 to 2019 they have been fairly active around the country, and became well known for holding annual marches and ‘white pride’ events. Most members are middle aged Nazi skinheads (male and female), but they have recently recruited a new generation of non-skinhead right wing youth. The current leader, Colin Ansell, is in his seventies and remains in the background. The public face of the National Front is English-born Palmerston North man, Chris McCabe.
Another important group in the white power skinhead scene is the New Zealand branch of Blood and Honour, an international white power music network. Members organise private shows for visiting white power bands.
The Right Wing Resistance was very prominent in the last few years, but are now defunct. Former leader Kyle Chapman was active in the far right for twenty five years and the Right Wing Resistance was his most recent project. Formed as a militia with black paramilitary uniforms and bizarre initiation ceremonies, it struggled to be taken seriously even within the far right. Its final meeting in Christchurch ended with a stabbing. Chapman is now taking one of his frequent breaks from right wing activism but past form suggests he may return with a new organisation and range of t-shirts and uniforms to sell to the next generation of angry young men.
The new White Nationalists
The rise of Donald Trump emboldened the old fascists and attracted a new generation of younger, internet-savvy right wing youth. While the older fascists are anti-Semitic and admire authoritarian governments, many of the new generation support free market capitalism and see Israel as a model ethno-state which restricts immigration and citizenship by religion. The primary concern of both groups is White Nationalism. They all agree that New Zealand was built by and for white Christian Europeans, and all others are ‘foreigners’ who do not belong here. They make an exception for Māori, who are expected to assimilate and be grateful for white European domination. These groups are all convinced that white Christian culture is in imminent danger of being overwhelmed by hordes of foreigners. Many subscribe to the ‘White Genocide theory’, a conspiracy theory promoted by US neo-Nazi David Lane, which claims that western liberal governments are trying to wipe out the ‘white race’ through the deliberate promotion of multiculturalism, abortion and homosexuality.
In July 2017 Timaru “youth worker” Solomon Tor-Kilsen founded an anti-Islamic Facebook group which quickly attracted a new generation of Alt-Right activists who were keen to celebrate the rise of Donald Trump and to share news and ideas. Tor-Kilsen grew up in a home-schooled conservative Christian family, and had contact with Kyle Chapman and other fascists in his youth, but had never committed to their organisations. After his Facebook groups gained popularity he made several trips around the country attempting to build a network of right wing activists. In October 2017 he and several others from his network attended the Wellington AGM of the National Front. Although his networking skills brought many far right activists together, and he has a high profile in Timaru, his influence has waned recently. Tor-Kilsen gained a reputation for promising more than he can deliver, and most of the serious far right regard him as an incompetent idiot. He still runs several right wing Facebook groups and owns a Timaru Youth club.
The Dominion Movement
In February 2018, a group of Wellington men who had been active in alt right circles formed the Dominion Movement. The group described itself as “giving white people a voice”, and opposed democracy and equality. The Dominion Movement is/was far more sophisticated than previous fascist groups in Aotearoa/NZ. Based on the new ‘identitarian’ youth groups appearing in Europe and North America, the Dominion Movement uses slick propaganda to recruit young white men and train them in fitness, fighting, and nationalist theory. They have no use for drunken skinheads, they want committed, disciplined white nationalist activists. They avoid using openly fascist imagery in their propaganda, instead adopting New Zealand nationalist symbols. Members are young, educated and very dedicated. Kerry Bolton took an early interest in the group and mentored its leaders. Earlier in 2019 they claimed fifty people had attended their first national conference. Leader Jarrad Randell-Walsh grew up in Levin and worked in a bank. At least one ex National Front member has joined but most members are/were young white men with no previous involvement in the far right.
The Far Right in Auckland
Auckland has a new and very active right wing anti-Islam movement. This movement is not fascist in itself, but is a synthesis of conservative Christians, conspiracy theorists and anti-Islamic bigots. The network includes fascists and encourages white nationalist conspiracy theories and bigotry. The movement took off when, in mid-2018, UK right-wing activist Tommy Robinson (real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) was imprisoned for contempt of court in England. Robinson became a martyr for the racist right around the world, and many of the people who had met through Tor-Kilsen’s Facebook groups began organising ‘Free Tommy’ demonstrations. 'Shitposting' alt right Trump fans met each other at protests and meetings, alongside local neo Nazis.
A month later Canadian alt right heroes Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux announced a controversial speaking tour. When this tour was cancelled, the ‘Free Tommy’ protests became a nationwide ‘Defend Free Speech’ day of action. The far right used these protests to build a real life (not online) network of activists and organisers around the country, especially in Auckland. The Auckland ‘Free Tommy’ group has evolved into a far right network that includes everyone from conservative Christians through to hard core fascists. They are united by their hatred for Islam, liberalism and ‘political correctness’. The leading figures in this network are Warren Knott and Dieuwe De Boer.
Warren Knott is an ultra-conservative Christian who was a candidate for Colin Craig’s Conservative Party in the 2017 election. Until April 2019 he ran several anti-Islamic Facebook pages with thousands of members each. He also hosts weekly meet ups for the Auckland far right and has become a fairly experienced organiser. He really dislikes Muslims.
Dutch born Dieuwe De Boer is a young articulate conservative Christian who runs the Right Minds NZ website. A professional computer programmer, he describes himself as “the first of a new breed of young gun-totin’, Bible-bashin’, conservative family men fighting against left-wing regressives. Either that or I’m making a heroic last stand for freedom as the sun sets on Christian civilisation”. The Right Minds NZ website was founded as a forum for New Zealanders inspired by the rise of Donald Trump, and the website describes itself as “a broad church right-wing movement for New Zealand conservatives, libertarians, traditionalists, capitalists, and nationalists: people who value our Judeo-Christian heritage, believe in personal responsibility, and want to see government play a lesser role in our lives”. They oppose “leftists, globalists, cronyists, fascists, communists, and SJWs (Social Justice Warriors)”. Like many modern nationalists the website uses the word fascism as a generic insult, while downplaying and minimising the white nationalist movement as merely ‘nationalist’ or ‘patriotic’.
While neither Knott nor De Boer are traditional fascists, they are seeking to build a white nationalist movement in Auckland, and are having some success. The movement is actively campaigning against Islam, non-white migration and ‘the liberal left’. They oppose the ‘progressive globalist agenda’ and believe New Zealand’s Christian identity is under threat from Islamic migration. They do not promote anti-Semitism, and they tone down the racism, but they do believe Marxists and liberals are working hand in hand to undermine sovereignty and traditions.
The members of this group are careful to avoid association with open racism or violent imagery in public, but they regularly work alongside fascists and White Nationalists around the country. Knott will happily spread the vilest online anti-Islam propaganda he can find, as long as it is not connected to his name. The Auckland network also includes ex NZ First activist Kim Koloni and her One Nation Party, 24 year old anti-UN activist Jesse Anderson, and some fringe ‘libertarians’. New Conservative Party deputy leader Elliot Ikilei has also been active in the network, and is probably unaware that several of his new friends are white Supremacists. The presence of a wide range of views in the Auckland nationalist scene allows them to pose as merely conservative Christians, but the key organisers are dedicated White Nationalists who believe New Zealand is threatened by Islam.
Very soon after the Christchurch mosque killings, the National Front website was taken down by its internet hosting company. Christchurch National Front member Philip Arps was arrested after live streaming the terror attack and has since been sentenced to 21 months in prison.
The Dominion Movement took down its website and announced its dissolution less than an hour after news broke of the terrorist attack in Christchurch. They have been lying very low ever since.
Kerry Bolton is worried that the Dominion Movement's decision to go into hiding might be seen as cowardly by other white nationalists. He is arguing on far right message boards that the terrorist attack was a mistake that has empowered the Jewish elite and provoked repression against New Zealand fascists.
Dieuwe de Boer has been very active in condemning the Christchurch massacre, which he describes as an individual act, and attacking ‘leftists’ who have ‘politicised’ the attack.
Warren Knott has argued that the Christchurch terrorist was provoked and that Muslims brought it on themselves.
The white nationalist conspiracy theories that motivated the Christchurch terrorist are promoted by all of the groups mentioned above. Some are more subtle and sophisticated than others, and they have different target audiences, but they all share the same basic ideas.