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What does Luxon do about Hipango?

Written By: - Date published: 9:31 am, January 11th, 2022 - 49 comments
Categories: Christopher Luxon, covid-19, health, national, same old national - Tags:

Harete Hipango is in the news again, this time for posing with a group of anti vaxxers and posting a photo and making some pretty way out there comments on social media.

As reported by David Fisher in the Herald in this paywalled article Hipango on social media has accused the Government of cover-ups in pursuit of “sinister” objectives and that “treasure freedoms of movement, choice and speech”.  She also said “I’ll probably get roasted for this” as she took a selfie at a anti vax protest.

National leader Chris Luxon has stated that Hipango will not make further posts that could be construed as anti-vax.

But you have to wonder if she is now at strike two in terms of attending anti vax rallies.  Because last November she attended another anti vax rally in Whanganui, one aimed at Jacinda Ardern.  When asked by media at the time she said that she thought the rally was a protest against something else.  She must have missed all those signs and chanting.

Hipango and Luxon have both made statements.  From Radio New Zealand:

Harete Hipango said: “I have taken down the Facebook post I made earlier today – it has been pointed out to me that it could convey an anti-vaccination message which was never my intention.

“I am vaccinated, and like the rest of the National Party I strongly support vaccination for our whānau and communities.”

National Party leader Christopher Luxon said he had had a word with Hipango.

“I have talked to Harete and she has taken her post down. The views of the group she was with do not align with those of the National Party.

“I am strongly supportive of vaccination, as is the National party. I encourage everyone to take that step as the best protection, for themselves and their family, against Covid.”

She is National’s and Luxon’s problem.  I suspect next strike she will be out.

49 comments on “What does Luxon do about Hipango? ”

  1. Visubversa 1

    She is almost terminally stupid and as she has now said the quiet part out loud, the Nats will have to shut her up. She is only there because Collins decided she had had enough of Nick Smith.

  2. miravox 2

    She is only there because Collins decided she had had enough of Nick Smith.

    A bit of a double-down – Collins also needed an extra supporter in caucus. She must get some satisfaction at the mess she left for Luxon to sort. I wonder if she and Hipango still talk.

  3. Patricia Bremner 3

    At the next election she will be deselected?
    Or their list will place her safely in an unelectable number through the list position. No-one National cares about will complain. They will place two ethnic women on the list at a suitable position to look more credible. It will be for talent of course as Luxon previously said, not for balance/sarc.
    All past friends of Judith best look to their futures.

    • woodart 3.1

      yes patricia, expect to see her list ranking dive . she will join the looong list of nat m.p.'s that shouldnt have been selected .usually they are young white males from the sth , so I guess you could say that the nats ARE diversifying .

      • Matiri 3.1.1

        Not all young white males from the south on that looong list – look at Maureen Pugh. Older white female from the south, old friend of Judith Collins, absolute last MP to get vaccinated.

  4. Robert Guyton 4

    She's Eftpostle Tamaki's wife, right?

    • roy cartland 4.1

      Eftpostle, that's great. Isn't Hannah his wife, or has the world moved on again?

      • Robert Guyton 4.1.1

        Monogamy is for us sinners – the Eftpostle doubtless has an exemption froths Big Bud, God, to that rule.

        If fact, I was making a joke re: the look-alike Harete/Hannah.

        • roy cartland

          An exemption… Does he still need that? I thought he just tells God what to do now, (and it better be right my "lord").

          • Robert Guyton

            Yep, it seems the two have brokered a deal; God won't smite Tamaki for his un-Christian behaviour and in return, Tamaki reminds all but the gullible just what a charlatan looks like.

            Seems fair.

        • Ross

          Monogamy is for us sinners

          If you want to have several wives, I believe Mormonism might be the religion for you, Robert. It’s never too late to convert! 🙂

    • ghostwhowalksnz 4.2

      No….She has a far more interesting background in Maori issues than you think

      Then, in 1995, there was the Pākaitore land occupation for 79 days. I was part of that, although at that time, I was a young lawyer working in the court. For me, that was a period fraught with conflict. And I got knocked around physically by the police, by the courts, during my time as an officer of the court. But what has come from that, of course, is resilience in staying steadfast in the pursuit of making things better.

      Then, in 2004, I came down to Wellington for the Takutai Moana foreshore and seabed protest march. That was shortly after Tariana had crossed the floor.


      • Robert Guyton 4.2.1

        Interesting…she said this:

        "I’ve lived five, coming up almost six, generations of this Whanganui environment. But, on the positive side, we now have a society where there are many more liberal people. I think the new term being bandied around is that they’re “woke”. And they’ve come to be aware of the need for helping Māori and seeing us as a Treaty partner. "

      • Shanreagh 4.2.2

        Yes she comes from an interesting and progressive family albeit Nat party supporters. A family where education is valued. She was a person with views and values that are/were valued in Maoridom, and elsewhere!

        She seems to have 'gone off the boil' especially being caught with all this anti vaxx stuff. Hopefully she will be a little more circumspect in the future about whose public meetings she appears at.

        Perhaps Luxon has given her warning 1 of ? many. He may also be looking at her staff, or possibly putting an experienced Nat in to act as a sounding board.

        The ability of staff in MPs offices is crucial. Far better to appoint staff with the understanding that they are free to express their opinion without fear about the wisdom of responding/warning to or about various issues. The other alternative is to appoint a sycophant and that is ego massaging but not much else.

  5. Jenny how to get there 5

    Between the ‘Devil and the Deep Blue Sea.

    Luxon is in a bind, National's natural constituency in business are pressing for all covid restrictions to be lifted.

    On the other side of the equation; the majority of the voting public are fully behind the government's response to the pandemic. Any sign from Luxon that a National led administration will chart a more liberal approach to the pandemic would be electoral suicide.

    Caught between these two opposing forces, Luxon will do nothing. Because he can do nothing.

    Luxon's only other alternative to doing, (and saying), nothing, is to follow Harete Hipango, down the conspiracy theorist rabbit hole. And openly denouncing the government approach to the pandemic and fully embracing the whole far right grubby Trumpian style of politics.


    • tc 5.1

      Ah yes just what do national do when the incumbent labour govt is a nicer version of themselves.

      The top/middle doing just fine under labour which will continue so why change out for the haters and wreckers.

      He doesn’t need to do anything as form suggests hipango will do it for him.

  6. Stuart Munro 6

    I'm sure Luxon will demonstrate strong dynamic leadership by following Wittgenstein's 7th Proposition "Whereof One Cannot Speak, Thereof One Must Be Silent." If he's really bold he'll say as much to Harete Hipango.

    • Jenny how to get there 6.1

      Evil succeeds when good men do nothing.

      Stuart Munro

      11 January 2022 at 11:39 am

      "…..One Must Be Silent." If he's really bold he'll say as much to Harete Hipango.

      Time will tell whether Luxon will is bold enough to muzzle Hipango.

      Luxon has very little political capital to spend.

      With a shrinking constituency, Luxon won't want to silence Hipango at risk of pissing off the far right fringe voter.

      And Harete Hipango will be left to openly espouse her views.

      I could be wrong. Inaction carries it's own dangers;
      If Luxon doesn't speak out against the far right, just as happened to the Republicans in the US. As crazy and self destructive as it would be, If Luxon fails to act, his party could be captured by the far right. Especially if they get organised.

      • Stuart Munro 6.1.1

        National have shown themselves to be hollow for a long time now – there is no principled course for Luxon to rule on Harete's utterances. So he will probably do nothing – Nothing being what National does best.

        He would not resist capture by the far right – anyone with a few voters in support would be pretty welcome about now – but National's dwindling fortunes have sent most of those scuttling off to seek power through ACT.

        This is likely to be ineffectual until both those parties realize that the Covid response is more popular than anything they've come up with in the last thirty years – but even a vaguely a self-critical stance is not their strong point.

        As for good men – National is not the obvious place to look for them.

  7. gsays 7

    A couple of observations.

    To paint Hipango as anti-vax is disingenuous.

    It would seem, from the evidence here, Hipango is making an issue of the mandates as opposed to the vaccinations. The placards in the selfie all look anti-mandate, including "Kiwis United Vaxxed and Unvaxxed".

    In the body of the OP there is a quote from Hipango

    "Harete Hipango said: “I have taken down the Facebook post I made earlier today – it has been pointed out to me that it could convey an anti-vaccination message which was never my intention.

    “I am vaccinated, and like the rest of the National Party I strongly support vaccination for our whānau and communities.”"

    Also, the views of Hipango have a constituency. One that will continue to grow as the passport restrictions impact on those who choose to opt out of the seemingly eternal booster regime.

    • observer 7.1

      No, your comment is disingenuous.

      The placards are from Voices For Freedom, and you know who they are. So does Hipango. (So does Luxon, which is why he wants nothing to do with them).

      They have a website and are quite explicit about their real agenda. No excuse for ignorance, and still less for feigning ignorance.

      • gsays 7.1.1

        I was not aware of a Voices for freedom link. My comment can be taken at face value. No feigning here.

        Now you raise it, if the image is enlarged I can make that out from the bottom of the placards.

        The larger point stands, with info from the OP Hipango appears anti-mandate rather than anti-vaxx.

        • observer

          You don't know the placards, that have been prominent at every protest, in all the news coverage, always the same colours, same messages?

          You don't know that an MP has to say what her leader has instructed her to say?


          • gsays

            TV news is a rarity in this house.

            Nothing to say about the point anti-vax/antimandate nor numbers growing who don't like the passports?

            • coge

              I gave up on TV news close to 20 years ago. The vax passport is troubling for many. These folk are jabbed and unjabbed, mask wearing, checking in, conformed to lockdown types etc. Have in the main done what was asked of them. Hospitality takings down 20 to 30% under the passport. This will be ongoing month by month. Margins are thin enough, without limiting who wants to come in. Hospitality relies on groups of people going out together, under the passport these groups are becoming rarer. Bad for business and bad for the tax take. Possible the vax passport creates a larger problem than it purports to solve. Whether you're heavily invested in that system or not.

              • gsays

                All of that plus hospo owners having to pay out staff and then big struggle to replace them.

              • observer

                Hospitality takings down 20 to 30% under the passport.

                Hospitality takings are down because of Covid. Look across the Tasman. It's right there, the alternative, spelled out for us in neon signs. They have the worst of all worlds: explosion of cases, many deaths and therefore people not going out. e.g.

                "Restaurant owners say the current NSW Covid-19 situation is worse than the lockdowns — and that this time there’s no financial relief or customers in sight" (Sydney Daily Telegraph, paywalled).

                There is no fantasy option, where the unvaccinated mingle and spread the virus AND this has no effect on the businesses they frequent.

                There is the smart option (some restrictions and people staying out of hospital) or the stupid option (end up with an even worse result, because of the virus, and then bring in the restrictions after it's too late).

    • Tricledrown 7.2

      Gsays so you are on Hipangos and the antivax brigade.

      This is a pandemic your leader has put hipango in her place your undermining your leader Luxon by defending her actions after she has backtracked.

      Looks like National haven't fixed the Unified problem .

      • tc 7.2.1

        Nationals unity comes from having power or the likelihood of power being divvied up to appease the factions.

        Its a rabble in opposition as that's not happening anytime soon so luxon has his work cut out.
        Pretty ideal conditions for luxon imo after the bridges/muller/Collins trifecta.

      • coge 7.2.2

        Personally I think Luxon's history. Half of the National party base doesn't support him. Too much division there, and he ain't the guy to fix that. He's copping a lot of flack right now.

  8. Lukas 8

    Will Labour have the same problem with MPs leaving NZ against official Government advice to have a holiday in a Covid hotspot?

    • Patricia Bremner 8.1

      It is not a Police State, though a few would say that. If someone chooses to visit family and got MIQ that is their choice. Joining in a display that goes against Health Orders is another level.

    • Bg 8.2

      Mate Covid can't be that serious, if it were why would a govt take a six week holiday?

      • Shanreagh 8.2.1

        You're telling the story.

        No doubt you have a reference or two to confirm this.

        No …….I didn't think so

        Government works with a series of duty ministers over the break, hence being able to call on Chris Hipkins about the DJ with Omicron.

        I think you will find that many/most Ministers will be back either this week or next. Many MPs come back at those time with many also coming back week beginning 24/1. I for one do not begrudge MPs from all sides having a break.

        The House sitting dates are usually worked out so as to give MPs who have young children or school aged children the chance to have some family time together.

        In this time of the instant ability to contact we don't need people to be in the same room as us all the time. You might have heard of Zoom, email, texts etc etc.

        Not sre you you are calling mate but I don't know you, do you come here often…..asking for a friend.

  9. Ross 9

    Treasure freedoms of movement, choice and speech? Yeah I can see how some might see that as a way out idea. One day the hysteria has to subside.

    • observer 9.1

      Tell us where it has.

      If you think NZ is getting it wrong, list the places getting it right. "Somewhere else" won't cut it.

  10. Peter 10

    Hipango has intimated she wasn't supporting anti-vaxx notions at the event. She was supporting Voices for Freedom.

    How ironic is that when the clearest thing to come out of the affair is that she doesn't have the freedom to say what she wants? And of course her freedom to mix with whom she wants is under question and attack.

    • Robert Guyton 10.1

      Hipango must be a bit dull then, to fail to see how being at the event would be construed as supporting the messages broadcast there. Stretched believability quite a bit, docha think?

      Her freedom to say what she thinks is being taken from her…by Luxon, on behalf of the National Party.

      Her freedom to mix with whom she wants, likewise.

      She'll feel torn and will doubtless resign.

  11. Well if she is saying that then she is trying the old tactic of trying to count the angels on the top of a pinhead or splitting hairs, in other words being a tricky dicky.

    Voices for Freedom is an anti vax, anti mandate group. It is widely known for this, particularly the anti vax side.

    If you can bear it here is the website to look at.


    Here is some more info about Voices for Freedom from David Farrier.



    That group has 'politician beware' writ large all over them.

    She has done this several times now and Luxon's patience will be running thin. Hence the idea that he may put support into her office or a mentor. An argument with a flavour of anti vax (which is Voices for Freedom's main claim to fame) is the last thing that National will want.

    • Robert Guyton 11.1

      Edit: Oops – I see Shangreagh has beaten me to it 🙂
      David Farrier covers this here:

      "It was her explanation for that incident that stood out to me (because of course it caught reporters’ attention): She later blamed it on “someone else”. “I shall try to address and sort,” she wrote. “She later blamed it on someone else”. I think it’s fair to say you can see a pattern emerging here…

    • Robert Guyton 11.2

      From the Voices for Freedom site:

      "Has your letterbox breathed a sigh of relief to finally see some commonsense slide into its chamber?"


      • Shanreagh 11.2.1

        On behalf of my letterbox

        'I am really glad to have a 'No junk mail' on my lid as it saves me having to digest and hold, mail from groups such as Voices for freedom'

        As the owner of the letterbox I think that is a great statement and I agree with it. wink

        • Anne

          I have a 'No junk mail' on the front of my letter box but it hasn't stopped the Voices of Freedom mob. Have quite a collection now. Unfortunately I'm behind the front house so have little chance of catching the twats. If I did, there's a good chance they would never go near my letter box again. 😉

  12. Christopher Randal 12

    Luxon won't do anything about Hipango because he is incapable of doing anything.

    Although, as with most politicians, the Politician's Syllogism applies


  13. millsy 13

    Most of the National caucus probably share the same view as Hipango and are letting her take the heat for it.

  14. fender 14

    "What does Luxon do about…"

    It's a fair question to ask, but there's one similar that's much closer to home that also needs addressing.

  15. she reeks of arrogance and entitlement and has all the character traits of a full blown bully.

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