On a supermarket bread rack, pasted across that day's deal for Molenberg toast, a bright pink Post-it note warned: "Tanked Economies Ruin Lives". A few aisles over, amid bottles of chardonnay, a similar note appeared without explanation. "Heath debate is good for society", it said.
At another supermarket, a similar note popped up at the front of the store, plastered below the QR code that shoppers use to register their presence on the Government's Covid-19 tracking app.
If a puzzled shopper followed the web address scribbled at the bottom of these notes, they would have reached the campaign group Voices For Freedom and its several thousands of social media followers. Its questioning stance on Covid-19 and opposition to the vaccine, make it one of a broad range of groups with diverse interests whose members have found the pandemic to be a unifying issue.
Their campaign - which one supermarket owner called "very concerning" and "something we will not tolerate in our stores" - is an example of how those questioning or opposed to the Government's pandemic response are spreading their messages ahead of an unprecedented national immunisation programme.
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Officials leading the fight against the pandemic are concerned that the promotion of disinformation (falsehoods) and misinformation (manipulated facts) could undermine their attempts to persuade the New Zealand public that the vaccinations are effective and safe.
But a movement questioning accepted Covid-19 advice has been growing since the pandemic began, uniting groups ranging from white supremacists to "yoga mums" who advocate alternative medicine in opposition to the Government's response to Covid-19 - and to Jacinda Ardern personally. The rollout of vaccines has elevated their resistance to a new level.
"This is a very live and relevant area of interest ... with a number of potentially harmful effects," said Cheryl Barnes, head of the Covid-19 response as deputy chief executive of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.
At least some of those effects are being monitored by the NZ Security Intelligence Service. Director-general Rebecca Kitteridge told the Herald there had been an increase across the world in extremist content and conspiracy theories, prompted by the pressures brought on by Covid-19.
"People engaging with this material are often exposed to multiple ideologies or conspiracy theories. These people may believe in multiple ideological subsets or conspiracy theories and view issues in their own life or country through this lens.
"While many of the extreme views and conspiracy theories are not inherently violent, they can lead some people 'down a rabbit hole' towards more extreme material or violent views online," Kitteridge said.
"Where individuals follow these pathways and engage with extreme material and views without modifying influences, over time some can become radicalised."
There is no suggestion that Voices For Freedom or its founders are themselves supportive of extremist ideologies. Kitteridge's concern is wider: That a noisy, mistrustful information environment in which public health messages are constantly attacked from a platform of free speech could tilt those vulnerable to radical views to extreme positions.
More broadly, alternative Covid-19 narratives - and most recently the vaccine programme - have become a focal point for other protest groups, including some on the far right and fringe groups with a history of promoting conspiracy theories about the Christchurch mosque attack, 5G communications networks and 1080 pesticides.
A statement from Voices for Freedom described the group as campaigning "for an alternative strategy for Covid-19 than that employed by the New Zealand Government".
It claimed to be "concerned about the heightened levels of anxiety" that followed "misinformation and disinformation being spread by mainstream media over the past year" which created the possibility of "irrational responses", and "ill-informed, rushed health-related decision-making".
The Herald found similar opposition in other groups. One activist not connected to Voices For Freedom claims the coronavirus and the March 15 massacre are part of a wider global conspiracy in which the Prime Minister and other global elites are "trying to make the next 9/11 happen".
"Jacinda Ardern should be in jail," he said.
Another activist, also not connected to Voices For Freedom, drew connections between the Christchurch massacre, Covid-19 and Ardern, suggesting there was a far-reaching Government plot to control the population.
"Tyrants across history try to suppress free speech," he said in an interview. "You've got to do something. You've got to say something."
This month, the Herald revealed that Voices For Freedom had worked with the fringe political movement Advance NZ to distribute "The Real News", a magazine accused of promoting Covid-19 falsehoods and conspiracy theories, to letterboxes around the country. The groups raised around $10,000 for 60,000 copies of the 48-page publication.
On its website, Voices for Freedom describes itself as a non-political organisation founded by "three passionate Kiwi mums" to provide a "safe space" for people to have an open debate about the trade-offs between protecting public health and human rights. Described by one sceptic as the "yoga mums wing of Advance NZ", it was co-founded by the fringe political party's former candidate Claire Deeks, a lawyer-turned-food blogger.
The group's Facebook page, which has about 4700 followers, publishes memes and campaign materials challenging the safety and efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines, including templates for the Post-it notes-style handouts that were placed by supporters in various supermarkets.
Voices for Freedom's website also provides "mask exemption" certificates for people who cannot wear face masks to produce when they are using public transport.
"Shortness of breath, anxiety or critical thinking are examples of conditions that many people consider makes the wearing [of] a face covering unsuitable for them," the group advises its supporters.
As major social media platforms have cracked down on the sharing of Covid-19 falsehoods, groups like Voices For Freedom have been migrating to lesser-used services such as GAB and Telegram. In a Facebook live broadcast in January, Deeks instructed her followers about how to access those platforms.
"We really think that [our] days here are numbered," Deeks said of her group's presence on Facebook.
The groups actively opposed to the vaccines are small, but experts worry they could have an outsized influence on the rollout given the potential reach of social media and the underlying scepticism in certain communities, particularly those that have not historically been well treated by public health services.
Professor Paul Spoonley, an academic at Massey University, said he was concerned by the increase in vitriol around New Zealand politics over the past year as those disparate groups have coalesced.
It happened with such speed that Spoonley rewrote a chapter on the alt-right in an upcoming book. Spoonley and his co-author, Professor Paul Morris, of Victoria University, trace the origins of the anti-vaccine movement to the rise of Identitarian politics, a far-right ideology asserting European primacy over culture and land; Donald Trump's successful 2016 Presidential campaign; and the emergence of the QAnon conspiracy.
"The pandemic appears to have increased the willingness to search for, and believe, alternative conspiracy theories and to mobilise new groups, activists and online activity," the academics write in the chapter, which has not yet been published but that they shared with the Herald.
Morris and Spoonley point to the rise of Billy Te Kahika's protest movement as the pandemic took hold. Te Kahika's messaging drew together elements of Covid-19 falsehoods - including claims that it was a planned event to enslave the world's population - with fringe Christianity and conspiracy theories about 1080, 5G and fluoridated water.
In the run-up to the general election in October last year, Te Kahika's NZ Public Party was joined by others pushing conspiracy theories and nationalist-style politics. Embracing the power of social media to reach new followers and echoing Trump, these groups attacked Ardern as the embodiment of the "liberal, urban, multiculturalist, multilateralist" forces they stand against.
"I was staggered by the way the politics of opposition and conspiracy had come together," Spoonley said.
Helen Petousis-Harris, an associate professor in primary health at the University of Auckland, said she was also struck by the convergence of opposition groups.
The anti-vaccination movement "exploded" as social media increased in popularity over the past decade, Petousis-Harris said, elevating it beyond its traditional "hippie" base and aligning it with conservative political groups.
Vaccine sceptics scoured the US Government's Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, an online tool designed to flag possible safety issues with American-approved vaccines. It inadvertently became a gold mine for those seeking evidence that raised doubts about vaccines.
Petousis-Harris told the Herald questionable evidence and so-called experts pushing claims of dubious scientific validity could spread confusion in certain communities in New Zealand, making them less reluctant to agree to be vaccinated against Covid-19 and threatening the wider push to protect the public from the coronavirus.
New Zealand's ability to immunise the entire population was already compromised because of a weakened "vaccination culture", Petousis-Harris said.
The Herald interviewed a woman from one left-leaning alternative community whose core beliefs about healthy living - including opposition to 1080 pesticide and genetic modification - have melded with Covid-19 conspiracy theories.
"Most of them started out as Green Party supporters or had converted to Jacinda fans and then something happened to them after the first lockdown," the woman said of her colleagues.
"In a downward spiral, they became Covid-deniers, Trump supporters, QAnon believers and wannabe Sovereign Citizens, members of Advance NZ and groups like Voices For Freedom and Mothers Who Stand For Freedom."
So-called "sovereign citizens" disavow state control and in Australia were listed as a potential domestic terror threat.
In an attempt to combat the spread of Covid-19 misinformation, an action group called Fight Against Conspiracy Theories (Fact) formed out of an online group numbering about 1000 people. The original group monitors false claims and gives advice on how to talk to family and friends who have fallen down conspiracist rabbit holes.
FACT has taken a more aggressive stance and recently organised an open letter from more than 100 academics calling on the Covid Plan B group, a coalition of academics who have opposed the Government's lockdowns, to distance itself from Voices For Freedom.
Inside the Government, a formal operation is underway to monitor and respond to misinformation around Covid-19.
Barnes, in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, told the Herald the Government's approach when the vaccine is rolled out to the general public will be to focus on providing simple, factual messages, with the help of people who are trusted in vaccine-resistant communities.
The difficulty in promoting responsible public health messages were highlighted by previous attempts by the Ministry of Health to provide advice in Facebook posts. The posts were monitored lightly, and not overnight, which allowed the comments underneath to become battlegrounds in which falsehoods were spread rather than countered.
This time, the Government is aiming to build relationships with respected community institutions like iwi health providers in areas where vaccine update is low. It is also expected they will use prominent New Zealanders such as All Blacks to encourage the public to get vaccinated.
But the voices of opposition have their champions, too. Recently, the rugby great Zinzan Brooke began circulating anti-vaccine material on Twitter. "This Covid vaccine threatens humanity," he said in one post.
Brooke's outspoken support was a boost for New Zealand's anti-vaccine movement. "He has significantly more credibility than anyone fronting for the Government," one Voices For Freedom supporter said of Brooke.
By 10am one day in March, the group had published five posts attacking the Pfizer vaccine. The posts contained several dubious claims about Covid-19 but the group said: "We stand with the New Zealand academics, health workers and professionals who want to stop the spread of dangerous misinformation about C-19 and [vaccination]."
Over at the Ministry of Health's Facebook page, however, there seemed less urgency to promote the official narrative. The ministry's page had not been updated for 16 hours.
• This article was updated on March 27 with comment from Voices for Freedom.