Former TV presenter turned anti-vaccination campaigner Liz Gunn has launched a new political party, asking people to donate up to $1 million.
Gunn has been a familiar face on Kiwi television in years past. She began presenting magazine show Sunday for TVNZ in the early 1990s. She launched long-running magazine show Good Morning, and was a newsreader on weekend bulletins. She was the first newsreader on Breakfast and became a co-host of the TVNZ programme in 2001, quitting that year.
In recent years she became a fringe media identity with a special focus on anti-vaccination causes.
Her prominence was bolstered by her support for the family in the Baby W case, where two parents who objected to the use of vaccinated blood in transfusions unsuccessfully opposed court action by health authorities seeking temporary guardianship to allow life-saving surgery to go ahead.
This week she posted a video announcing she was hoping to launch the New Zealand Loyal party.
In the 22-minute video, she says she needs 500 people to sign up - political parties are required to have a membership of 500 eligible members to be able to register.
On her website, she is asking for monthly, annual or one-time donations as high as $1m. People can also enter a custom amount.
In the video, dated June 28, Gunn begins by saying she was giving a message to all her fellow New Zealanders voting in this year’s election.
“And it’s a message for everybody who loves this country and loves what this country has offered us in the past and could offer us in the future.”
She asks viewers to imagine a country where there was “very little state interference in your life”.
“No mandates, no masks, no bullying,” she says.
“Imagine a country where you could create whatever your imagination and your community want because power has gone back to the communities …”
She also takes swipes at Prime Minister Chris Hipkins, National leader Christopher Luxon, Act Party leader David Seymour and “the head of the Greens, I can’t remember who they are”.
“None of you should be in after this election.”
Gunn also takes a dig at the “little glove puppets in our mainstream media” and says it’s a “compliment” to be referred to as a conspiracy theorist.
“It means all of us had the critical thinking skills combined with the inordinate courage to maintain the willingness to ask questions,” she says.
“To be a conspiracy theorist to be an anti-vaxer means we ask questions.”
“I don’t want to work with any star people, I want to work with real Kiwis.”
Gunn said she needed 500 people to sign up within a week to launch the party.
“I want to do politics in full consultation with the people of New Zealand.”
Gunn’s suggested $1m donation is ambitious. An Auckland businessman’s $500,000 to the National Party this week was one of the largest individual donations in the country’s recent history, exceeding all large donations the Labour Party has received this year combined.