Billy Te Kahika quits Advance NZ after election failure

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 26 Oct 2020, 11:10AM
Advance NZ co-leader Billy Te Kahika Jnr has quit the party. Photo / Peter Meecham
Advance NZ co-leader Billy Te Kahika Jnr has quit the party. Photo / Peter Meecham

Billy Te Kahika quits Advance NZ after election failure

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 26 Oct 2020, 11:10AM

Advance NZ co-leader Billy Te Kahika has severed ties with the party after it failed to make it into Parliament.

An email sent to party supporters by co-leader and former National MP Jami-Lee Ross last night said Te Kahika informed Advance NZ candidates that he has decided not to continue with the party.

"Naturally this is sad for us all," Ross said.

On election night, Advance NZ got 20,841 party votes, or 0.9 per cent of the preliminary vote, well short of the 5 per cent threshold for seats in Parliament.

Advance NZ grew a large social media following off the back of conspiracy theories and opposition to Covid-19 lockdowns.

It had more impact online than at the polls, and will be remembered for anti-lockdown protests in the lead-up to the election, and its outlandish claims and promotion of misinformation (a candidate claimed the Lake Ōhau fires were caused by a direct energy weapon, for example).

The party was co-led by blues musician Billy Te Kahika Jr, who stood in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate, and Ross.