Frances Cook is a Wellington based multimedia reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

'Let's take our country back': White rights poster calls for recruits at Auckland University

The "Western Guard" poster plastered up at Auckland University today. Photo / Supplied
The "Western Guard" poster plastered up at Auckland University today. Photo / Supplied

Posters for a "white rights" group believed to have been started in New Zealand were posted around Auckland University.

The posters, showing a young, fit white couple, carried the slogans "White lives matter" and "Let's take our country back".

They provided a website for a group calling itself the Western Guard, which calls for recruits who "must be physically fit or training to become so", "must be presentable" and cannot be "homosexuals, transsexual's or any other form of mental illness".

An eagle, similar to one used as the former symbol of the Nazi Party, is used on the group's website.

But the Herald has not been able to establish whether a genuine "white rights" group is behind them.

A person claiming to be a Auckland University student posted on Facebook saying she had taken down the posters today.

But the woman is not thought to be a student, there are claims her profile picture has been taken from an American woman's Instagram acocunt and that she was created as a "victim" by the group to get publicity.

The account also shows a supporter of the European Students Association as a Facebook friend.

The supposed student responded to Facebook messages but did not answer calls and said she could not talk because she was in classes all day.

The Western Guard has responded to the Herald's questions via email and Facebook.

When asked for evidence that the group genuinely believed what it says, the response was: "We want physically fit members because being physically fit is proof that someone has discipline and willpower, not whatever you're apparently implying - Western Guard does not condone violence of any kind, as is clearly stated on our website."

The email was sent from an encrypted address.

In a follow-up message, an unnamed spokesperson said that the group hadn't used hate speech, and anyone who saw it as such had "illegitimate concerns".

When asked about the use of Nazi imagery on their Facebook page and website, the spokesperson said that wasn't an issue.

"We aren't German national socialists but in any case, all of the outrage over the posters wasn't directed at the eagle - in fact you're the first person to ask about it, believe it or not."

The spokesperson said around 40 people had tried to sign up to the group, but that it was unlikely all of them would be accepted.

The posters follow the establishment of two European groups linked to Auckland's two universities.

The Auckland University's European Students Association was allowed to have a stall included in orientation week, despite objections from students.

But it announced it would shut down following controversy.

The AUT New Zealand European Association was then established but the university said it wasn't sanctioned by them. It announced yesterday it would be independent and changed it named to the NZ European Association.

Juan-Pierre Aucamp, who runs the second association, said his group had nothing to do with the Western Guard, which he described as "utterly disrespectful".

Aucamp had heard who was behind the group, but declined to name them, as it wasn't his place to publicly out them.

He confirmed the founder was based in New Zealand, but wasn't sure if they attended Auckland University.

"I understand that some people might find our group in the same sense, but as you know my group is purely about educating on European cultures.

"The Western Guard is purely about excluding other races, that aren't white. It's completely different."

Aucamp said he had posted on their Facebook page to tell them what they were doing was "inexcusable".

The president of the disbanded Auckland University European group, who asked for his name to be withheld because of threats he's received, said he believed the group had been inspired by his association.

An Auckland University spokesman said the university had received complaints about Western Guard and was investigating the posters and associated material and whether they breached university policies.

"We have zero tolerance for discrimination. Our university is committed to being safe, inclusive and equitable."

A police spokesperson said the poster fell under the Bill of Rights and freedom of expression.

"They don't appear to be inciting violence and crime and so at this stage this is not something we would comment further on."

Auckland University Students Association president Will Matthews said the posters appeared in Symonds St this morning and students had helped remove them.

"As far as we are aware, it seems to be one or two angry people [behind it] rather than any organised movement on campus."

The Western Guard website credits "special thanks to our brothers in the USA - Vanguard America".

Vanguard America says on its website: "Our religion, our traditions, and our identity are dragged through the mud by the globalist establishment while millions of nonwhites flood our nation every year. If current trends continue, White Americans will be a minority by 2044."

- NZ Herald

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