On the weekend of February 24 – 27, discussions were held in Christchurch between Messrs. Kyle Chapman and Anton Folambje of the national executive of the New Zealand National Front and Jim Saleam, secretary of the Sydney branch of the Australia First Party. These discussions were useful in defining the positions of New Zealand and Australian nationalists on a number of key questions. It is expected that closer relations will develop between the nationalists of the two countries.
Special Note of July 7 2005: developments in the NZ patriotic scene have seen leading cadres (including persons mentioned below) and much of the membership of NZNF pass over into the Kiwi registered political party Direct Democracy. This major development will not be commented upon here. The content of this interview remains relevant to the development of the overall ANZAC cause.
In view of the importance of our questions, Mr. Chapman sought the assistance of other leading members of the party in defining his answers and we accordingly thank them.
Q. The NFNZ has along history in your country. Can you give us a brief overview?
A - The National Front was first formed in 1968 by Brian Thompson ( a pro-South African activist and teacher), who had previously been the New Zealand secretary for A.K. Chesterton’s British-based League of Empire Loyalists - and Kay Hopper of Auckland. The NF gained some attention in the late 70s and early 80s, under the leadership of David Crawford, Brian Thompson, and Kerry Bolton. Its’ active membership formed the nucleus of the New Force and Nationalist Workers’ Party during the mid 80s. In 1989, Anton Foljambe of an anti-communist lobby group, the Conservative Front, merged his organization into a resurrected NF, and assumed the leadership. It has functioned largely continuously since then. Although gaining a lot of media attention in the early and mid 90s, it has only been over the last couple of years that the party, under the leadership of Kyle Chapman, has made the necessary gains in grass-roots growth to become a viable political force. For the first time, we have a genuine network of active branches around the country, and are actively engaging in street-level activity. The highlight last year was a rally in central Wellington, in which 60 NF members were abused, provoked, and ultimately physically attacked by a mob of several hundred anarchists and other left-wing misfits. We are now firmly established as a fixture on the ‘right-wing’ (as some people call it) of New Zealand politics, and have our eyes focused on the impending general election later this year. We will be running several candidates, and are looking to build on the good result (2%) gained by Kyle in the local elections last October, in which he came fifth out of ten candidates for Mayor of Christchurch. – By Anton Foljambe & Kerry Bolton
Q. All parties have public voices and you have become prominent in the NZ media. How did you enter NZ nationalist politics and what has been your course?
A - The main reason the media are very interested in us is because they can sell their stories with a sensational push. New Zealand has never seen a national street active Nationalist organization in New Zealand before. They used me as a person through whom they thought they could demonise the party because of my own well known history in New Zealand. I was interested in Right wing politics when I was 12 years old. Because of the media influence, I followed the stereotype they provided. I copied the movies I watched. I did some reading but mainly just watched things that I knew had a message for me. As I got older I read things about the National Front in England and heard that it was in New Zealand. Many of my friends also supported the British NF and wanted to join the New Zealand Branch. However, because we were only 14-15 years old, and lived in the most southern city (Invercargill), we didn’t know how to link up with anyone. We knew the NF was in Christchurch and that there might be some people in Dunedin. Our movement become localised and I realised that much of what we believed in was good, but no one was actually practising the important things. I have always been a person who hates hypocrisy, so I sought out other people like myself. I ended up leading a small group when I was 19. I became a Social Worker in Christchurch during my early twenties and had to hide my Nationalistic beliefs. That area of work has a large Left network entrenched into it. They do not allow anyone to be ‘Right’ at all, and if you showed you were, your career would be over. I ended up making the choice to leave this anyway, again after seeing how hypocritical all the Lefties are. In a way I feel the Left pushed me into being politically active in my 20’s. I saw that while they and the Greedy Capitalists had the strangle hold on our Nation we had no real National Future. That one will sell us out for money, the other will sell us out for their ideals, while condemning everyone else for disagreeing with them.
I joined a few orgs that had the Old Guard running them, those tried and tested men who had led the way for the NZ Nationalist scene for decades. I learnt from them and saw things that could be improved. I pulled the resources I had behind them as I wanted to help be part of something real. I wanted to do my part. I got a bit disillusioned with this, when one party after another would fold or splinter. I crave stability, so I decided to start putting a project together myself. I asked for permission from Anton Foljambe to set up the National Front again, (it had been in recess). After sorting out people we gathered a team together. This spread fast throughout New Zealand through my networks, and then the hard work came - the keeping it stable part. We had down times, and up times. But each time we got through a down time we came out with more people willing to work hard and stay loyal. Each time we gained more resolve to keep going. Last year the media picked up on our first demonstration and the Nation was surprised that the NF was actually on the streets. It set off a string of events. Up until this time I had stayed behind the scenes, trying to get on with my career and trying to find the right people to lead the NF.
It kept coming back to me. I don’t claim to be anyone special, I’m just willing to stay the distance, and many who have big dreams and want them fast will not stay for long. I have seen them come and go. I am still here because I know it’s the future we have to get ready for, that our efforts now will ripple to greater things and we will be part of history for our efforts.
Q. The Australian media has reported Winston Peter’s NZ First Party and our activists have heard of the League of Rights and others. What is the general pattern of NZ patriotic and nationalist politics? What is the NZNF’s place within that constellation?
A - New Zealand First is part of the big sell out I’m sorry to say. They had their chance in parliament, and they sold out what got them there. Their popularity was based on stopping the Asian invasion, but while they shared the Government, nothing was done in this area at all.
I have never had contact with the League Of Rights, however I hope to one day and see what we can do together.
Until the NF got active there was no reduction in the Asian invasion. Since we have had so much media around the world and particularly in Asia itself, they no longer see NZ as the place to go. This in itself has been of some success for us.
The Government also fears the rise of the Right and puts in place the policies that will keep the people happy, they tighten up on immigration and they try to make punishments for criminal harsher. Even though this may take away some votes in the short term from us, it will not solves the disasters that the free trade deals and other great mistakes the Government makes from hurting this Nation. The more it hurts, the more people come to us.
Q. How has the NZNF struggled for predominance? What are your strategy and tactics?
A - I tried different extremes of the right wing movement along the way, but when I was in my mid 20’s I think I finally hit the track that showed me that way, bringing together our Culture into our politics. This helped me to change my life for the better and I hoped it would give others the same options to improve their lives. I see my role as a leader to also be a person who cares for the well-being of our members, their partners, their children and their extended family. This helps us to better understand the love we have for our Nation and its safety, because our families are the Nation.
European culture is community, we have to care for each other. This has helped us to bring in the other orgs, even those that have different aims to us have come with us to street actions and have supported us. We try to keep away from elitist points and focus on family values and the NF being an extended family.
We believe in face to face meetings and team building through the street actions. We keep our people busy through new ideas and getting them out there to promote the cause. One of the biggest things is that New Zealand is now ready for the growth and the time is ripe for it.
Kerry Bolton has brought out so much literature and been a name in the movement for so long, that having him on board brought in many people straight away. Having men like him and Anton Foljambe brings legitimacy and continuity to our party. It brings the history to the present. It brings the experience and the ideas to move forward.
The New Zealand National Front rewards action. So the more people work the faster they get promoted and they are acknowledged through our systems. This is one of the things that keeps the ball rolling. All our members know that if they do the work, they can proceed to the leadership positions. This has no barriers of age or sex; it is about earning their place.
There has to be opposition, there always has to be a ‘them and us’. Without this politics has no foundation. We can not have order without there being a group who loves chaos (anarchists); we can not have right wing without left wing. The enemy helps us grow. As soon as we forget that we stagnate.
Growth needs opposition!! The one-time left-wing intellectuals used to call this a "dialectical process". I suppose it is.
Q. For the NZNF, what are the main political questions upon which organization can be built?
A - Do you love your country, your family, your culture?! If yes is the answer to all those, then Nationalism grows. We develop our points of attack around these themes.
Q. Can Australian and New Zealand nationalists develop good relations? On what basis?
A - Yes, we have a common history including the colonial period and the ANZAC heritage; we come from the same lands of Europe and our leaders are around the same ages. We face many of the same modern problems, the same enemies, and have the same potential friends.
Our common language and our common culture is also a good stable place for us to build foundations of continued Unity. The few differences we have as Nations are nothing compared to the many things we have in common.
Q. Our supporters are interested in the strength and spread of the party. Can you describe the position of the party?
A - We grow continually. Every week there are new contacts and new membership. The stability factor is now showing its rewards, we are now a household name and the people remember us. So when they have concerns about the way things are they know they can contact us.
Our strongest positions are in the largest cities, we then have branches that work with the largest cities in the smaller ones. Many small towns also have small branches.
I think we will be registered as a political party by the end of the year.
Q. How does the NZNF conceive its’ ideological position? Do you ascribe any place for any of the ideas of the Euro-nationalist discourse i.e. Third Position? New Right? Red-Brown?
A - NZ is not an ideological country. We don’t have a strong ideological tradition, but it develops. It is difficult to start virtually form scratch. Most people are motivated by instinct; by gut feeling. That’s the nature of things, and not necessarily a weakness, so long as they can be gradually shown how their gut feelings are the basis for something greater and enduring. That way there will be a life-long commitment – like a religious faith – and not just a phase in one’s life. Elements of all those European currents can be of relevance to the NF. The struggle is for the survival of our culture wherever Europeans are in the world. The NZNF sees itself as the far-flung outpost of European civilisation, and the New Right, Third Position and Red-Brown manifestations are all relevant to this struggle. In particular, the common recognition that capitalism, globalisation and US super-power hegemony – so far form being representative of "The West" – are all the foes of our true heritage and destiny.- by Kerry Bolton
Thanks for the interview Jim. I look forward to future progress and unity between the two Nations and parties. Kyle Chapman