National Party shuns supporters' 'offensive' online page

The National Party has contacted Facebook to see if its party name can be removed from the page....
The National Party has contacted Facebook to see if its party name can be removed from the page. Photo: Facebook
National has shunned a Facebook page claiming to be in support of the party, saying it doesn't condone the racist and sexist comments being posted.

Screenshots from the private New Zealand National Party Voters and Supporters Facebook page - which has more than 3,400 members - show hate speech, racism and sexist comments from the so-called diehard right wing supporters.

A National Party spokesperson told the New Zealand Herald it only became aware of some offensive comments on the page today and its digital team was now asking Facebook if there was a way for the group to stop using the National Party's name.

"This is a Facebook page that is not supported or condoned by the National Party. We became aware earlier today of some offensive comments on it which is the first we have heard of it."

The group is closed, but the disclaimer on the public holding page says the group is not affiliated with or endorsed by the New Zealand National Party and that views shared by members do not necessarily reflect on those of the National Party.

Among the eight group rules - which appear to have been breached in the posts - are to be kind and courteous, that no labour, leftist or anti-National trolls are allowed, the posts must relate to New Zealand politics and no racist slurs are offensive terms are allowed and will result in members being blocked.

However screenshots sighted by the Herald show a number of extremely racist and highly offensive comments by members in relation to Māori, immigrants and an opposition MP.

One of the group's administrators, in a post put up this afternoon, apologised for any offence the group had caused and vowed to crack down on anything it deemed to be racist, xenophobic or unfairly discriminatory against a group of people.

"We will make more of an effort to censor posts, which we haven't been doing in the past, I think we can all agree that some of these comments are unacceptable and won't be tolerated in the future."

A reader alerted the Herald to the page, saying they were appalled the comments had not been removed by the group's admins.

"Racism definitely exists in NZ and people need to know and be called out for their actions."



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