Today I want to speak to New Zealanders who are fed up with what is happening down in our national Capital. I want to speak the New Zealanders who are tired of the conspiracy theories, the harassment of everyday citizens and children either going about their business or going to school. I want to speak to our army of front line health workers who have faced abuse and nonsense for just keeping us safe. I want to speak to the army of our retail workers who have stocked those shelves and have kept the country ticking over. Our truckies and public transportation workers, the men and women who work in our factories and our ports, our borders and on our frontlines. Our teachers across our schools and Kura, our universities and polytechnics. To our public servants and to our small business operators. And to our media operators whether I agree with your content or not - I want you to know that the vast majority of New Zealanders are with you and while the last two years has been tough for us all what is happening down at the National Parliament is not the majority of this nation. I want you to know you are valued and appreciated.
Now is not the time for protests down in Wellington or marches on the street because to the state the obvious we are in the most critical part of this pandemic – the fight against Omicron. That is why I am launching a counter protest that is online that everyone can share in no matter where you are or who you are.
This protest is not going to be down at Parliament waving foreign flags or peddling messages from America – this protest will be online and designed to enable every day New Zealanders to have their say – without confrontation, without intimidation, without the abuse or the threatening behaviour and most importantly, safely. Right now this country is fighting Omicron and there is no way I want to put the health of anyone at risk. So this campaign is simple, its online and its something each of us can do right now.
The campaign is called #endtheprotest and I am asking New Zealanders to do three simple things:
I know there are many New Zealanders across this great nation of ours who want to do something but feel helpless. So across each and every social media platform whether it be Facebook or LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram, TikTok or Snapchat here is your opportunity.
At some point there will inevitably be a Royal Commission or Inquiry into New Zealands COVID19 response and I would expect all New Zealanders on all sides of the debate to have their say and for people to be questioned about the role they played. But now is not that time – right now its about getting through this next phase and opening up to the world – and each other. Families reconnecting with families, friends with friends.
Its time to #endtheprotest