I have been giving NZ First and Act a bit of stick because of the extremist candidate problems they have been having.
It looks like National has its own particular problem to deal with. And this one is in a winnable seat.
From Radio New Zealand:
National’s candidate for Hamilton East, under fire for previous anti-fluoride and anti-mandate comments, has told RNZ his comments in the past were “rash” but would not say when he had changed his mind.
RNZ revealed Ryan Hamilton had voiced support for groups that spread misinformation about fluoridation.
In social media posts, Hamilton claimed Covid-19 deaths data had been inflated and once said poverty was not a reason to fluoridate water because “most lower socio economics filled their tap water with Raro”.
RNZ has put multiple interview requests to Ryan Hamilton since the beginning of last week. In a brief interview on Monday, Hamilton he said he had apologised for the remarks and now stated a clear position.
“Look, I made this comment nearly a decade ago, and it was a rash comment, and I apologise for it.
“Our focus right now is on the economy, cost of living, law and order, and improving health and education outcomes. That’s really all my focus is on at the moment – and winning, winning the election and improving our party vote position.”
In another post, Hamilton praised ‘Fluoride Free Hamilton and NZ’, a group that has published extensive misinformation about fluoride. In 2016, he said he was “with the minority” in opposition to fluoride and had been for 22 years.
It is not only social media where he got himself into trouble. And you have to wonder about National’s vetting given this report from June of this year where fringe elements took over a public meeting and caused Hamilton’s deputy mayor to leave following threats of an attempted citizen’s arrest. And Hamilton sided with the extremists.
As the councillors departed a man from the audience of about 400 issued what he called a “writ” declaring a citizen’s arrest of the councillors.
Once the invited councillors had left, the floor was ceded to Counterspin’s Samantha Edwards, who, speaking off the cuff as her slide show failed, only briefly mentioned 20-minute cities before seguing to “seismic generating ships” off the coast, “weaponry in street lights” and claims the government was attempting to legalise sex with children.
One would think that a National Party candidate would leave quickly but this did not happen.
[Ryan] Hamilton failed to admonish the crowd’s behaviour and instead reminded them that he was the sole councillor to vote against vaccine mandates during the last council term.
“Look, I sympathise with a lot of what you said tonight regarding traffic, I was the only councillor to stand up against council’s imposed mandates,” he said to rapturous applause.
After explaining that the council had been the recipient of $37 million dollars worth of Climate Emergency Relief Funding (CERF) to aid the installation of pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, he implored the “passionate” crowd to show up to speak at council meetings on the topic. This came directly after witnessing members of the audience attempt to conduct a citizens arrest on his colleagues.
“You’ve got the manpower, I just encourage you to channel it.”
The venn diagram of someone who is passionately against cycleways as well as vaccination shows very little difference.
The meeting was reviewed in this youtube video.
To top things off Ryan Hamilton is against flouridation, and thinks that poor people drink mostly Raro.
The Labour candidate for Hamilton East is Georgie Dansey. If you live in the electorate vote for her. Hamilton East deserves better.