Elected Councillor, And Political Candidate Receives Death Threats
Murray Chong, New Plymouth councillor and candidate for the New Conservative party has reported death threats he received overnight to local police.
Chong’s friends and family suggested he take a lower profile throughout the remainder of his campaign, however Chong decided he would use his platform to speak out against the death threats and blatant intimidation he’s received throughout his campaign.
“I’m standing for the people as an elected councillor, I don’t deserve to be threatened, I don’t believe my neighbours around me should be left worrying if fireworks are gunshots directed towards me.”
Mr Chong has been campaigning for the New Conservative party, who seek to disestablish New Zealand’s Maori seats, and has also been vocal against the New Plymouth district councils process around the decision to establish a Maori ward.
In September, Mr Chongs vehicle tyres were slashed following an Interview he gave on a local radio station.
The attacks are not isolated to one individual either. Mr Chong recognises that other parties have also faced vandalism of political hoardings. However, during this campaign, Mr Chong has never before experienced this level of vitriol, property damage and threats of violence.
Mr Chong says “We don’t need to live like this in New Zealand. Some people will use the excuse that parts of New Zealand are normally like that, but it's unacceptable and we need to change.”
Chong would like to see more said and done by our politicians to challenge this behaviour, and is disappointed that some political candidates from other parties have inflamed the situation by publicly calling him a racist.
Chong believes New Zealand belongs to all of us, regardless of race, that we shall have one sovereign government and enjoy the same rights, privileges, and responsibilities as fellow kiwis.
He hopes that the police would speak with the individual, and that they would positively engage in the political process rather than threatening political candidates with violence.
It’s been a challenging campaign so far, with the majority of public events being positive, however Mr Chong says he’s looking forward to taking some time off, sailing in the Bay Of Islands, and will also be making a visit to Waitangi.