The Dominion: A Glimpse at an Alternate New Zealand

New Zealand is a fundamentally liberal country.

That much should be obvious to everyone. That is not unique to New Zealand. Australia is also a fundamentally liberal country as well, though its variety is slightly different due to its (New South Wales’, at least) origin as a continent-sized Alcatraz. The United States as we know it is a fundamentally liberal country, the oligarchs founding fathers having all been liberals of the Enlightenment variety. That said, underneath the liberalism is something older, perhaps more traditional, though to touch it is to destroy the America we know & (at least I) hate. Canada, alone of the British New World, has a conservative heritage, whether of French Canada with its roots in the pre-revolutionary French Ancien Régime, or English Canada with its roots in the Loyalist refugees who fled the American Treason Revolution. However, even there the light has been snuffed out, between an America that views Canada as something to be dominated & absorbed into the Imperium Americanum & a Britain that was fast forgetting its roots & becoming the engine room of liberal democracy & globalism.

Before I continue, let me say outright that The Dominion is not in any way linked to my story An Unlikely Future. The idea for The Dominion came as a thought experiment inspired by some reading. Whereas AUF deals with New Zealand (& the world) as it is, & adds in people to drive New Zealand in a more conservative direction, it still has to deal with the indisputable fact that New Zealand is still a fundamentally liberal country, & in fact the conflict between Michael’s reformers & the New Zealand establishment & history that they essentially seek to uproot is one of the main conflicts.

The Dominion goes much further than that; here I try to imagine, more or less, a fundamentally conservative New Zealand, one without the progressive rhetoric, without the obsession with egalitarianism, one where the British New Zealanders retained more of their heritage than overly compensatory British patriotism & where Maori were able to preserve far more of their own heritage than they have.

In short, The Dominion is my attempt to imagine a fundamentally different New Zealand.

In the course of this world building exercise you will be introduced to a country far different from our own & even far different from what our country was. I will show you a fundamentally different society, a more conservative & even vaguely traditional one with a healthy national identity, the by-product of generations of strong leadership & centuries (millennia even) of history. The New Zealand I’d like to introduce is one with colourful personalities, with leaders who forge a nation instead of administering it on behalf of outside interests, one where the people, both British & Maori, work together to forge a common destiny, not one where the heritages of both peoples are absorbed into a monster that would end up destroying both, one where there is a spirit of cooperation & solidarity instead of conflict & selfishness.


Politics in The Dominion – a look at some of the political personalities that bring NZ politics to life, from Edward Somerville to the present.

Valletort – a short biography of Sir William Valletort, New Zealand’s longest serving Prime Minister, a man who more than anyone forged New Zealand’s identity during the zenith of the Conservative Party’s era of political hegemony.

The New Scotland Party – a brief history of one of New Zealand’s first organised political parties, the legacy it forged in Otago & its important influence on wider New Zealand conservatism.

Our Lady’s Dowry Under the Southern Cross – the story of the Walsingham Company & their settlement in Wairarapa, east of Wellington, & how, freed from the perceived taint of recusancy, they created in New Zealand an almost Catholic society.

Of Tories & Whigs – a brief history of Canterbury politics, dominated since the 1870s by oligarchies consisting of noble cadet settlers, industrialists, & ambitious politicians.

Maori Politics – a brief overview of different Maori political figures, from Wiremu Keepa & Henare Kohuru to Hemi Mahuika onwards.

More will be added over time.

What Makes Me Cry

I: The Predicament

Zealandia may be a daughter of Britannia but she is a child of the modern age

Born in the Dark Satanic Mills of Industrial England, she is no heir of Christendom

The English were broken by the Mills, the Irish by the Famine & the Scots by the Clearances. By the time they came to this land on the other side of the world, their heritage, their culture, their tradition was all gone.

In civilising Maori they made them as broken as themselves, even moreso, as Maori adopted their worst traits.

As all the thinkers & natural leaders left New Zealand for other shores, this already disadvantaged shepherdless flock, bereft of leadership & vision, became & is now a nothing people in a nothing nation.

We have no tradition to return to.

We have no anchor in this storm.

We have a boat that leaks because it was never fixed.

We are adrift & alone.

II: Where Are They?

It pained me to say this.

I love my country because it is my own, which means I cry because she is being whored out to Uncle Sam & The Emperor.

Where is Britannia? She married Uncle Sam.

Where is her brother? He doesn’t care; he’s more loyal to Sam than to her.

They all shove her around

They all use her

They all abuse her

And they all still expect her loyalty.

Where were they all when Marianne threatened her? Nowhere to be seen.

Where were her mother & brother when Uncle Sam chastised her? Too busy sucking him off.

Where is anyone when she stands up for herself? Nowhere to be seen.

What have they done to earn her loyalty?

What have they done to earn her trust?

III: What She Deserves

They will always do what they’ve always done.

She will always get what she’s always got: to be the Omega Wolf, to be the punching bag, to be ignored, shoved around, dismissed, & shot down for standing up for herself for daring to question them.

She deserves better.

She deserves a far greater destiny than what she’s stuck with.

She deserves more than to have her brother collect a tithe from her already small income.

She deserves to make up her own mind, not just to blindly follow her brother because he expects it.

She deserves to control her own destiny

IV: Holding Her Back

If her brother wants to control her, he can go to Hell.

If her mother wants to control her, she can go to Hell.

If Uncle Sam wants to control her, he can go to Hell.

If the Emperor wants to control her, he can go to Hell.

If anyone else seeks to control her, they too can go to Hell.

V: A New World

Even if she wants to be free, it’ll be hard; that’s the reality

Her brother is so used to her subservience that he won’t be able to tolerate her independence, & will thwart it

Despite seeing her as worthless & puisne, Sam won’t let her be independent, let alone successful, lest anyone else be tempted to follow Zealandia

Britannia will oppose her daughter’s independence, but that old crone can’t see her own infirmity

The Emperor, he will use this opportunity to enslave Zealandia, & standing alone, well…

VI: Our Destiny

We have a destiny to forge, a world to win, a story to write; a story that started in isles far away, both in the Pacific & in Britain.

Our story is one of explorers, of settlers, of pioneers, who found in these isles a home.

Britain & her people connected our isles to the world, for much good & much ill.

Generations of our men died in lands they’d’ve never known for God, King & Country like no-one would today.

And for what? America is rotten, Britain is infected with America’s pox, as are Canada, Australia & even sadly dear Zealandia too.

The Dragon wakes & all are now afraid; friendless, he feels he can subdue all through force & guile to extract the tribute to which he feels entitled.

And in all of this Zealandia is caught between the Dragon & the Eagle; they both hate her & want to enslave her, & she is told to choose between them.

Is this where her story ends? In final servitude? Or can she cast off all her Masters & fulfil her destiny?

The “Hospital Bed Address”

Note: The so-called “Hospital Bed Address” was given by Michael Freeman from his bed at Wellington Hospital at Midday on 18 November 2030, a week after the attempt on his life at the Armistice Day commemorations & after days of political rallying & point scoring on everyone’s part. Acting Prime Minister Alfred Williams made several speeches updating the media on various aspects of the investigation; on his 16 November update he confirmed that the arrested alleged offender was ASIS agent Joe Mason, which shocked many, who believed that Australia would never sanction such a thing. Some, however, especially those close to Michael & even Michael himself, were not surprised at all; they saw this coming.

Even so, a torrent of rage was unleashed against the erstwhile ally, & after Mason pleaded guilty, Australian PM Douglas Smith came clean, admitted that he had ordered the assassination, attempted a half-baked defence of his actions, & was swiftly replaced by Foreign Minister Grant Ellison. On becoming Prime Minister he apologised in writing to Alfred Williams, then later to Michael.

At 9am on 18 November, the Prime Minister’s Office announced that Michael would speak from his hospital bed in a address to be broadcast on TVNZ & RNZ at midday, where he would respond publicly to the events of the week.

Good afternoon, New Zealand.

I guess the first thing I should say is that I am happy to be alive. In that I am extremely grateful to the doctors, nurses & everyone else here at Wellington Hospital who helped me pull through. I am extremely thankful to those who prayed for me & even those who simply provided their thoughts, especially from those who heavily dislike me. It all helped. I have pulled through, & God willing, my doctors have told me that I will make a full recovery. I am also thankful to my wife Sofia, our seven children, including my one-month-old son James, my parents & parents-in-law, who have kept a vigil here the whole week, especially during the hours early on when it wasn’t known how I would fare. I would like to thank Alfred Williams for stepping up to the plate as Acting Prime Minister, & all our ministers for carrying on with the business of government.

I am thankful to you all.

Naturally, I have been receiving regular updates on the investigation, & I was disturbed to hear that the alleged offender, Joseph Mason, was an agent of the Australian Security Intelligence Service. Naturally, this was an extremely disturbing development, but as the fruits of the investigation came in, this was proven to be the case. I believe that, on the orders of the Acting Prime Minister The Rt. Hon. Alfred Williams, Foreign Minister The Rt. Hon. Irina Alexander travelled to Canberra & delivered two copies of the Police file: one to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade, & the other to the then-Australian Prime Minister, Douglas Smith. Within hours, Smith would resign, replaced with the erstwhile Foreign Minister, Grant Ellison, with whom I did speak only an hour ago, offering an apology on behalf of the Australian government for this attempt on my life. I will not relate to you my reply:

Mr. Ellison, I thank you for your apology. Although I do not doubt your sincerity in making the apology, I acknowledge that, as a member of the Australian National Security Committee, you would have been informed of this action, & judging from the commission of the act, you at the very least gave tacit approval for this attempted assassination of the Prime Minister of New Zealand.

Allies don’t try & kill each other’s Prime Ministers, Mr. Ellison.

As much as I would like to accept your apology I cannot, not while I still feel the pain caused by the bullet that at one point nearly killed me, not while I know that those who ordered my assassination cannot face justice for their actions (that unfortunately includes you, Mr. Ellison), not while Australia continues to do the dirty work for the American Leviathan & continues to attempt to subvert the New Zealand Government.

As much as you want to put this behind us & go back to how things were, I’m afraid that is not possible here, Mr. Ellison. I can understand your motivation – our countries do share a certain bond. If the acts committed by your nation against New Zealand were not this serious, we might be able to salvage our extremely important relationship.

Again, I don’t think that will be possible, Mr. Ellison.

The Rubicon was crossed the moment the bullet entered my chest. You are awfully mistaken if you think that we can go back now, or possibly ever, to the way things were. Even if this action is forgiven, this can never be forgotten, & the trust between our governments, I dare say even the bond between our nations, is now broken, & the trust that was broken cannot be regained, certainly not while I’m Prime Minister. The bond, on the other hand, that so-called Anzac Spirit, I’m not sure if that can ever be repaired.

That could be broken forever.

After what has happened here, I am afraid to say that we are no longer allies. In fact, Australia is now seen as a threat to New Zealand.

I am afraid to admit this truth, Mr. Ellison, but I must, & that truth is simply:

New Zealand, at least for the time being, stands alone.

The Last Loyalist: The Call

Michael & the kids returned to Ashwell House to be greeted by his wife, trying to get Mary to sleep.

“Hi, Mum!” Victoria shouted loudly as she ran up the steps inside, before trailing quieter as she noticed her baby sister in Mum’s arms.
“Hi, Vic. Where did Dad take you two?”
“Dad took us into the crypt then he took us to Waikawau…”

Sofia raised her eyebrow. “Not to the beach, I take it?”
Alexander shook his head. “No, Mum. Dad took us to Tamati House.”
Michael finally came inside, having finally finished parking the Dodge back into the garage. He looked at Sofia, holding Mary in her arms, talking to Alex & Vic.
“The laptop is on the table & set up.”
“Wonderful. I’ll get up there now.” With that, Michael ran through the great hall atAshwell into the family room then up the stairs through the private living room into the study, where the laptop was set up on the desk.

Michael called at the webcam. “James?”

Michael called at the webcam again, not seeing his chief of staff. “James?”
“There you are, Michael. You’re late.”
“I was having a morning walk with my children. I’m sorry.”
“It’s fine, Michael. I was with my children when I was told about this.”
“Yes, so what’s this about His Majesty?”
“Well, His Majesty the King would like to speak to you. We have been given no indication by the Palace as to the subject matter, but I’m sure we already have a broad idea. I’ll tell the Palace we’re ready.”
Michael waited patiently at his desk for the connections to be made. After a few minutes where he grabbed a glass of water & returned to his seat, he bowed his head to the King as he came into view.
“Michael Freeman, are you there?”
George the Seventh, by the Grace of God King of New Zealand and Her Other Realms andTerritories, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.
“Yes I am, Your Majesty. How are you?”

“I’m well, or about as well as I can be.”
Michael nodded. “I assume Your Majesty has heard about the New Zealand Government’s position regarding what’s happening?”
The King nodded. “Yes I have, Michael. I believe New Zealand is the only realm thathas supported me & not Parliament, although from the remarks of yours that I
have heard, Michael, I must say that some of them may have been, if I may say, unnecessarily inflammatory. Did you really need to call the Canadian Prime Minister a traitor?”

Michael smiled & nodded. “I have been told that, Sir, that my words can exhibit an extremely abrasive quality. I must try & temper it somewhat.”
“I think it would be beneficial to do that, Michael.”
“Sir, have you received any communication from the Prince of Wales? I have tried to open a channel of communications between us & Kensington Palace via the High Commission, & we’ve been quite unsuccessful so far.”
The King shook his head. “I’m afraid that even I have been unsuccessful in contacting my son; either of them. I have been able to speak to my grandchildren, but not their fathers. All communications we’ve had with Kensington Palace has been through press releases.”
Crap, Michael thought to himself, if father & son are not even talking, or at the most talking through grandchildren, this cannot be good. “I heard that the Prince of Wales was offering to mediate between Your Majesty & Parliament. Have there been any updates on that matter?”
The King shook his head again. “May I be honest here, Michael?”

Michael nodded. “Of course, Sir.”
“My son wouldn’t be of much help in this matter. I can see the writing on the wall –Parliament wants me gone. If I’m going to be brutally honest, I think Daniel Evans has always hated me. Seeing what has happened, I do not regret refusing to sign the Abdication Bill. I do hate seeing the country divided, seeing the destruction, the anger, the outright hatred in some circles. I do believe that I am in the right with this Press Regulation Bill, however, & I do not
regret refusing to sign it. I do not understand how a government could pass legislation like this. Would you have proposed a bill like this one, Michael?” Michael shook his head. “From the perspective, Sir, of a lawyer with an extensive knowledge of public law, I would never introduce a bill like this, & if I did, it would rightly be criticised from all quarters, & had the previous government introduced a bill like this one, I would be shredding it to pieces with my criticism.”
The King nodded. “I expected as much. Can we discuss something?”
“Of course, Sir.”
“In the perhaps more than hypothetical situation that it is no longer tenable for me to stay here in the United Kingdom, would it be possible for me to continue to reign from New Zealand?”
The King? In New Zealand? “Of course, Sir. It would be our great honour to welcome Your Majesties to New Zealand.”
“Wonderful. I just thought that, being in the aftermath of last year’s referendum, there may be people who may not be as…enthusiastic as, perhaps, you are, Michael.”
“It’s alright, Sir. They won’t be a problem.”
The King nodded, satisfied with the conversation. “Good. I must go now, there’s a Royal Household meeting that I’m actually late for. We will continue talking soon. I’ll discuss on my end about trying to get you lot in contact with Kensington House.”
“That’s wonderful, Sir. Well, goodbye until then, Your Majesty.” With that & one last bow of the head, the video call with the King finished. Sofia then came up holding Mary in her arms.
“Michael, Sergey is here.”

3am had just passed, & it was heralded by the buzz of the phone. Michael spent Sunday afternoon on his phone talking to different ministers becoming more anxious about the international situation. Thankfully for Michael, none of them were wavering in their support for the King, but still it was a position they never thought would ever happen. Tautoru had even come over with James Creswell even came to Ashwell House in person to talk about it. He told them (& everyone else) about his meeting with the King, & promised to inform them about any further developments.
Such a development came at 4am on Monday.
Michael was woken by his loud ringtone.
Please don’t tell me it is who I think it is. It had better not be Dunn.
He fumbled his way to his phone, still half asleep. Having picked it up, he peered at the screen to see who was calling him at such an hour.
Shit. It’s Dunn.
“Jack, this had better be really important to wake me up at such an hour. Do you even know what the time is?” Michael told his chief of staff with some anger.
“It’s important, Michael – really important. Read the news.” Michael, still on the phone, took five seconds to check the news to see what Jack was talking about. The first headline woke him up completely:
Prince of Wales sides with Parliament, agrees to overthrow his father
“This had better be fake news, Jack,” Michael continued, “This had better be a joke.”
“I don’t joke around with stuff like this, Michael,” Jack replied, “not when I’m waking you up ten minutes after I woke up myself.”
Shit, Michael thought to himself, why would His Royal Highness betray his father?
“I’m preparing for an emergency meeting scheduled for 10am this morning. Is thatgood for you, Michael?”
Still slightly groggy, he could nod. “Yeah, Jack. That should be good. The only one who might not be able to make it is Luke. I remember from the campaign that Hokitika can be notoriously unreliable for him with time pressure…”
“I’m already well ahead of you. I’m calling him straight after I’m finished with you. I’m booking him on a flight from Nelson next to Andy.”
What a lifesaver, Michael thought to himself.
“I’ve booked you, Tautoru & James on a flight departing Kerikeri at 6am & arriving in Auckland before 7am. I’m also booking you three, the six Auckland ministers & Rachel on the same flight from Auckland. You all should be seated together; I’ll at least try. You all should be here by 10. Oh, &before I go, should I organise for the Chief of Defence Force to attend? I know we only talked about it briefly & as a hypothetical…”
Well, it’s not really a hypothetical anymore, is it, Jack? “Yes, Jack. Please invite Admiral Samuels along. He at least needs to be informed. I think that Air Marshal Richards should be there as well; I’m guessing that any extraction mission will be mainly an Air Force mission. Hopefully he’ll provide us at least a general picture of the logistics involved or point us to someone who can. I also hope they can tell us whether we can actually do it.”
Jack nodded on his end. “Good. That should be all. I’ll see you in Wellington.”
Having done his usual Monday morning routine an hour earlier than usual, at 4am he kissed a still half asleep Sofia goodbye when he saw a car stop outside the gate.
“Michael! I hope I’m not too early.”
He shook his head. “No, Tautoru. Your timing was perfect, actually.” Michael hopped into his cousin’s car, “Jack woke you up as well?”
Tautoru nodded. “Yeah. He told me. I can’t believe that the Prince actually betrayedthe King; it’s unbelievable. You know that I’m not as big a royalist as you are, Michael, but you’re right – what Parliament has done here borders on treason, & with the heir to the throne joining in the treason, well, I’ll
just say that I wouldn’t be the biggest fan of having a traitor on the Throne once His Majesty dies, hopefully many years hence. You got any idea of how to solve that, Michael? You were always the constitution whizz.”

Michael shook his head. “Not now I don’t, Tautoru. I guess we’ll deal with it as it comes.” They went quiet as they made their way up the driveway to Amberdale House,where they saw the lights on.
“Mr C must be up as well,” Michael observed.
They got out of their cars & proceeded to the front door. Just as they were about to knock, the door opened.
“Michael, Tautoru,” Mrs Creswell greeted them, “Come in. Jim is having his breakfast. Are the two of you hungry?”
“We both ate before we arrived, Mrs C.” Tautoru answered, following along the hallway into the kitchen.
Michael looked along the hallway. Isn’t that funny? I can walk the hallway here at Amberdale as an adult, but yet I still feel like a child playing hide and seek with Monica & her sisters.
When they entered the kitchen, they found James Frederick Creswell standing at thecounter eating toast with marmalade, having already eaten a bowl of muesli in

“Mr Creswell,” Michael blurted out unthinkingly.
James turned to the Prime Minister and smiled. “We’ve been colleagues for six years, Michael, but I guess old habits die hard, don’t they, Tautoru?”
Tautoru nodded. “Yes, Mr C.”
“Have you seen the news?”
James nodded. “Yes, Michael. I’ve seen the news. It’s worse than I’ve feared.”
“What do you think we should do?”
“The only thing we can do: bring Their Majesties here.”
Michael nodded. “I more or less came to the same conclusion.”
“Ah, good,” James replied, “at least we are on the same page. Now, I know this is more in the Foreign Affairs & Defence portfolio, but should we get the Air Force to bring Their Majesties here?”
Michael nodded. “I’ve more or less come to that conclusion as well. We will discuss itin Wellington. Our meeting will be joined by Admiral Samuels & Air Marshal Richards.”
“Good. Should we be off now, boys?”
With that, the three ministers left the kitchen to walk back to the front door. James kissed his wife goodbye. “See you, love. Tell Dad I’ve already left.”
Mrs Creswell nodded. “I will. See you.” She turned to the other two. “See you, boys.”
Michael & Tautoru replied together. “Bye, Mrs Creswell.”
This is going to be a long day.
Despite having eaten at home, Michael, Tautoru & James were hungry by the time they arrived together at Auckland Airport, so they decided to have a second breakfast together in one of the cafés while they wait for their colleagues to arrive.
The three of them were glued to the TV screen:

“With the Prince of Wales now accepting Parliament’s offer to reign as King, his father’s position is becoming less & less tenable. Prime Minister Evans is expected to speak very soon, & is expected to call for the King’s abdication…”

Traitorous scum, Michael thought to himself as he watched the speech, he was dismissed; the first in nearly 200 years to be dismissed. Yet he persists to lead; instead of bowing out gracefully & resigning he still calls himself Prime Minister, claiming that he is such solely because he holds the confidence of the House of Commons. Never mind that the warrant has been withdrawn; to him it doesn’t matter:

“…I continue to be the legitimately elected Prime Minister, for I can’t be dismissed by a monarch that Parliament views as illegitimate. For that reason,
I hereby call on the Chiefs of the Armed Forces to defend Parliament, our
democracy, our values & our way of life by evicting, through force if necessary,
the former monarch George VII from Buckingham Palace..”

The mouths of all three ministers dropped open. Their silence was broken by a female voice.
“Did Evans seriously call for a military overthrow?”
They turned around & saw Rachel, her sandy blonde hair obscuring her face. Michael spoke first to the Attorney-General. “You’re up & active.”
Rachel looked back. “I hope this is our last early morning wake-up.”
Tautoru laughed. “Sadly, Rachel, I get the feeling this is only the beginning.”
Rachel rolled her eyes. “I’ll just go & order some breakfast.”
“Shit,” Michael said, “Evans is going full dictator. We really need to get this going.”
“Do you think the King will abdicate?” James asked.
“Alone? He probably would have, a while ago. With our support? No. Instead of abdicating, he’ll continue to the bitter end.”
Tautoru spoke up. “It’s all very well & good backing the King, but what if this doesn’t end well? How will this impact on our relationship with London?”
“I’m guessing the impact will be massive. They were angry with us the moment we came out backing the King. Not just them, Canada too, & the other realms.”
“Well, Michael,” James replied, “you calling Prime Minister Bennett a traitor didn’t exactly help things.”
Michael nodded. “I accept that. I also accept that it’s something that needed to be said.”
“You know, Michael, that one day your mouth will cause a massive diplomatic incident. I hope that you & Irina have a plan for that.”
Michael grinned. “Rest assured, Mr Creswell, I will try to temper my tongue – I promised His Majesty as much when we talked.”
Rachel arrived at the table with her croissant & coffee, placing them on the tablewhile she took the fourth seat. “So guys, what’s the plan?

The Provincial Mindset & Its Consequences: The Legacy of the British & American Empires on the New Zealand Identity & How it Discourages the Formation of a New Zealand Natio

I believe that one of the major problems with New Zealand is that New Zealand’s elite (such as it is) does not care for New Zealand, & has no loyalty to New Zealand, but elsewhere, whether to the Anglosphere
in matters of defence & security, to China in matters of economics, or to the United Nations in terms of foreign policy. In my view, The New Zealand elite views this country as two things:

  1. An economic zone; &
  2. A backwater imperial province

Because of this mindset, they do not view New Zealand as a unique nation with its own identity, let alone one that ought to be
preserved. As an economic zone, the main concern is that New Zealand’s Gross
Domestic Product is continuing to grow, which it is, due to factors that in the
long run will destroy any conception of New Zealand as anything other than an
economic zone (let alone a nation), such as allowing rampant immigration with
the effect of straining public services as well as whatever societal cohesion exists here. As a backwater province, the New Zealand elite’s conception of New Zealand’s place in the world is one not of submission, but outright subservience to the point that we can’t even make up our own mind on our own interests; our economic interests are dictated to us by Beijing, our security
interests are dictated to us by Washington & reinforced by Canberra, & London expects our loyalty while not really being loyal to us in return. This, I believe, has put New Zealand into debasing itself by being a Lisa Simpson, a whiny little b****, a desperate cry for attention from a minnow increasingly ignored & marginalised by those who claim to be her allies. Let me explain:

New Zealand: An Economic Zone

Because New Zealand is seen as just an economic zone, they don’t want to foster the image of New Zealand as a nation, so they don’t foster solidarity between different sections of society, & fosters instead
a form of political warfare through partisan liberal democracy. This can be clearly seen through the nature of partisan politics: Labour (nominally representing the proletariat) & the erroneously-named National (nominally representing the bourgeoisie, but mostly representing the globalist corporates who fund them) for starters, before we even get to the plethora of minor parties that seem to have no other discernible purpose than to serve as an
adjunct for the major party of their choice. Because of this, no effort is made in politics to encourage any kind of national solidarity; to the contrary, they instead seek division in a sort of divide et impera, which is mad,
unless you see their vision of New Zealand as an economic zone of humans as
economic units. This quite gross & frankly inhuman & monstrous vision for New Zealand (as a small part of a likewise world) is something I greatly fear.

New Zealand: An Imperial Backwater

Since 1840, NZ has been a backwater province of the British (now American) Empire, & as such with generations of egalitarian propaganda, New Zealanders have been deluded into believing that social class is an evil that has been eradicated here in New Zealand. The reality is much
worse, of course; the elite have not been eradicated, far from it. What has been created is an elite that is, in many ways, detached from New Zealand; they are loyal to the Empire, not to New Zealand. Due to their very close links & bonds to the rest of the Anglosphere, many of them are increasingly detached from New Zealand to the point that they are simply ignorant to New Zealand’s interests at best, & traitorous at worst.

The numbers of New Zealanders leaving overseas, especially for Australia & the United Kingdom, proves this. As the New Zealand elite, the very people that would, in a healthy New Zealand, be personally invested in the welfare & the national interest of New Zealand, the very people the New Zealand nation needs, are plucked away from here & are scattered overseas
& inculcated with the values of the Anglo-American Liberal Democratic Empire that shackles New Zealand to itself. They will mostly stay abroad, & those that do return, return not with any real love for New Zealand, but many return to their nominal homeland with a revulsion at the parochial, provincial character of their nominal compatriots, oblivious to the glaring fact that New Zealand is sinking further into irrelevance & decay through neglect by the
very people who could attempt to turn things around, but when their country
needed them most, they vanished.

Their actions stunt New Zealand’s national development, as such an elite ends up seeing themselves not as a national elite, with a duty to their country & their people, but as a provincial elite whose loyalty is to the Empire, not to New Zealand, & not only view the people of New Zealand as unwashed plebeians who must never be allowed to control their own destiny, but also see themselves merely as a branch office for the Empire, whose purpose is not to articulate New Zealand’s national interest, but to manufacture New Zealand’s consent (& dare I say, subservience) to the
policies of the Empire, no matter how detrimental to New Zealand’s own interests such policy may be. Naturally, this leads to a mentality where our “leaders” don’t factor in New Zealand’s interests at all into their
decision making, but act as good little toadies of the Empire. It also leads to
a situation that, between the elite leaving for Imperial Service & many others leaving because of the neglect, stupidity & incompetence of the policies of the New Zealand provincial leadership meaning that they struggle to live their best life here, where so many people are leaving New Zealand that the government solves this problem through “Other Means”, notably
through an immigration Ponzi scheme where the government decides to import
massive numbers of people to not only stave off the significant population losses incurred as a result of the exodus from New Zealand but to supposedly fill gaps in our economy. Of course, no-one ever thinks about the impact such rapid importation of people has on the environment, on infrastructure, on New Zealand’s natural resources (some of which are, frankly, pretty stretched as it is).

New Zealand’s Stunted Nationhood

The main effect of these measures is that New Zealand essentially undergoes a demographic churn effect, where different groups of people are brought here in wave after wave, constantly, without respite, where they are expected to live together in harmony. Of course I’m not going to
discount entirely the possibility that some live in “harmony”; many do, of course. However, human nature never changes, & when the demographics of an area is in constant flux it is hard to create a community spirit, let alone community solidarity that comes with high social trust, & without that community spirit, it is extremely difficult to knit these communities together into a self-confident national spirit that doesn’t rely heavily on the consumerist hype of international sports.

Without solidarity, there is no nationhood. Simple as that. Here’s an example:

New Zealand as we know it is less than two centuries old. The New Zealand of 1820 is nothing like the New Zealand of 1920, which in turn is nothing like the New Zealand of 2020. The last two centuries have been
nothing short of demographic flux for New Zealand. I want to reiterate this point because I believe it’s really important, as it is the key to unlocking not only New Zealand’s history, but also New Zealand’s future – demographic flux is not conducive to the formation of a healthy national identity. It’s a very good way to destroy social cohesion, & thus not a good way to create it. In many ways, we are still undergoing the consequences of the last demographic upheaval, that of the mid 19th century as the various Maori tribes were fast being demographically replaced & spent that time creating the seeds of Maori nationalism, which of course ended up being buried under the weight of British settlement. I maintain this point: most of New Zealand’s Wars were caused not simply by land sales or land disputes, but by fast demographic change & the inability of Maori to resist such change politically.

I know it was a bit of a tangent, but I hope it proved my point – people don’t like being demographically replaced, & those who
ignore the lessons of history do so at their peril.

Even considering the rather short timeframe that New Zealand’s identity has had to develop in less than two centuries, in less than ten generations, what has developed is a rather embryonic form which, naturally, is heavily informed by the British, but due varying degrees of Maori
influence is not a 1:1 British carbon copy.

That’s to be expected, of course.

However, there are still many Maori who have a negative view of the events that have happened over the last two centuries, especially the consequences of their demographic replacement. This, of course, makes it difficult for them to see the descendants of those who replaced them as fellow countrymen. This means that such Maori (who probably make up the bulk of the constituency of the Maori Party as well as that of the Green Party & a good-sized chunk of that of the Labour Party as well) thus see mass immigration not as a threat
to their position in this country (which they foolishly think will be upheld by the Treaty of Waitangi forever & a day no matter the demographic makeup of the country), but as “revenge against Whitey”.

Like I said, foolish.

One of the main products of this is that New Zealand has a stunted sense of nationhood, not based on an organically-developed history & identity but on consumerism, decadent liberal democratic values & other
varieties of the rot that afflicts the English speaking people for several centuries to the point that they are doomed to destruction.

Slavish Loyalty & its Consequences

As the New Zealand we know is a creation of British imperialism, naturally New Zealand has developed a loyalty to Britain, which was good as long as the British Empire was in existence. However, as the
British Empire has decayed over the last century (in earnest over the last half century) into an Anglo-American Empire, New Zealand has matured from a backwater
province of the British Empire to a backwater province of this Anglo-American
monstrosity. As the United States has, since World War 2, taken the lead in this
relationship, Britain has taken a progressively more submissive role in the
relationship, & the so-called “special relationship” between the United States & the United Kingdom resembles less an alliance & more that of a master & servant duo. It matters not how much America abuses the relationship in their drives to drum up support among their European vassals (oops, I mean allies) for one of their hare-brained imperialistic wars for democracy, where some countries have the courage to tell the Americans where to shove it, the British never seem to have the guts to do so. In this, the British not only function as a sycophant, but as has been witnessed several times during the Trump administration, the British can be seen trying to keep America on the track of leadership of the Liberal Democratic Empire, especially now as powers such as Russia & China question the fundamentals of the said Empire & attempt to “cause chaos” by undermining confidence in the Empire.

Not that it’s required. The Empire is doing that fine
all on its own.

Britain’s subservience is bad news for Canada, who otherwise has no leg to stand on in its Quarter-of-a-Millennium-long struggle with the United States for the soul of British North America; one which the Traitors (sorry, Patriots) mostly won in 1783, but with the Loyalists fleeing to Canada & founding Anglo-Canada with what they salvaged from America, they would always be a threat to America’s Manifest Destiny & to its liberal republican identity. America would spend the next two centuries
undermining & ultimately expunging Canada’s conservative heritage & corrupt Canada into an America clone, thus completing the work begun in 1775.

With the loss of the North American colonies, Britain spent the next century founding colonies in what we know as Australia & (reluctantly) coming to rule New Zealand as well as fighting the Dutch in
southern Africa. By the beginning of the 20th century, with the federation of six colonies into the Commonwealth of Australia & the South African colonies into the Union of South Africa, New Zealand found itself one of the smallest members of the British imperial family (except for Newfoundland, the British Caribbean colonies, & perhaps some of the smaller colonies). Being such a relative minnow among the increasingly larger members of the British Empire, New Zealand’s policy was that of loyalty to Britain.

With that said, in recent decades New Zealand has found itself caught in a very tight position. For standing up to the Americans in the 1980s on a rather trivial matter that could have been solved very easily with a little information, the NZ/USA portion of the ANZUS Treaty was suspended. Over the last few decades, more & more trade has occurred with China, & is now getting to the point where New Zealand is becoming dependent economically on trade with China. This development is, of course, extremely concerning, as it is this dependence on China that replicates New Zealand’s previous dependence on trade with the United Kingdom that came unstuck when the latter entered the European Economic Community in the 1970s. This dependence on Chinese trade is also a concern as New Zealand is also an apparently loyal minion of the American-led Liberal Democratic Empire, an empire that seems like it has seized upon the People’s Republic of China to play the role of the
Soviet Union in a new Cold War.

These developments, of course, make it difficult for New Zealand, as in a rather servile fashion it is attempting to balance loyalty to two empires: an American Empire (by then not even an Anglo-American Empire, as the United Kingdom had by then completely submitted to America, since then
being America’s most loyal vassal) & a Chinese Empire. One is rotten, decadent & decaying, & the other is certainly rising, but is also fundamentally rotten to its core as
well, papered over by constant & frankly cancerous economic growth. In addition it’s surrounded by enemies, even if they need American support to not be absorbed into the Imperium Sinarum. We find ourselves having to choose to pledge allegiance to either Satan or Lucifer, neither of whom care about us, neither of whom would ever do anything for us. This frustrates me, as it seems that New Zealand (& indeed everyone in the Pacific) is forced to be a vassal of either the Imperium Americanum or the Imperium Sinarum.

Being an idealist & a romantic, I’m really
frustrated that there is no “none of the above” option. For people like me, who
oppose both Chinese decadence & arrogant entitlement as well as American
decadence & rot, people believe the choice to be so binary, that there
isn’t & never can be a third option.

I say we’re not trying hard enough.

The Elephant Across the Tasman

All the while we may not even make our own choice, as Australia may end up making our decision for us, based on their interests,
which may not necessarily be ours. This is what naturally happens when you are
overshadowed by a country larger than yourself. For the last century or more, certainly since Australian federation, New Zealand has functioned as Australia’s
sidekick; a loyal minion that might grumble at their position & sometime treatment but ultimately would remain loyal. All of this happens while Australian banks take control of our financial sector, while Australian companies leech billions of dollars in profits from New Zealanders (along with other multinational companies), while Australia (& the UK, USA & Canada,
among others) leeches our best & brightest away to their shores, thus stunting New Zealand’s development, retarding New Zealand’s opportunities to grow, to be better, to improve as a nation, & making it harder for New Zealand to improve its lot. They leech from our economy to the point where they hold far more control over New Zealand than even the bogeyman China, but
because they’re Australia, our friendly trans-Tasman big brother of a neighbour, it’s alright for them to hold us by the balls. Such is New Zealand’s relationship with Australia where even if we avoid putting our lot in with the great powers, Australia will never let us diverge too far from them, lest they find their eastern flank anything but totally secure.

A Final Rant

Because of this, I believe New Zealand will never be truly sovereign within the context of the current international order, for I
fear that if New Zealand, the minnow, increasingly ignored & expected to continue
to be a loyal minion, expected to serve The Club gratefully as the Omega Wolf of Orwell’s Oceania, suddenly grew the guts (or perhaps was mad enough to grow such guts) to stand up to America & its minions, to truly stand up to them, not just over some trivial matter that could be solved easily but over
something more fundamental, I fear that in such a position New Zealand would be
standing alone. In such a position, America would not give New Zealand (or indeed any other member of the Anglophone Axis that stands at the core of the Liberal Democratic Empire) the chance to be independent. No, not at all; I fear that the full force of the Anglophone powers would be upon us in New Zealand, to force us back into line, to force us back into the pack, to put us back in our place, & I fear that Australia would lead that charge. New Zealand would be subjected to an assault such as it never has before (mainly because it hasn’t),
economically, diplomatically, politically. Such a New Zealand would, in such an
event, be fighting those nations which had been its closest allies. It would be scarring for New Zealand to be fighting such nations, for such leaders to be constantly fighting an endless barrage of propaganda, of pressure, political, economic, diplomatic & otherwise. I would even entertain the not-entirely-unthinkable notion that Australia would in such a situation carry out in the name of the Empire acts of political subversion against New Zealand if the New Zealand leadership
proved to be especially obstinate. This, of course, would occur with the full cooperation of the New Zealand “elite”, the provincial elite they are, for the most part they would happily betray their nation in the service of the Empire, especially those in intelligence & the bureaucrats, perhaps even the military. They would not be traitors, they would be loyalists defending the interests of the Empire against the mad ravings of a populist insurgent who dared entertain such madness.

It would take an extraordinary leader to stand up to them, & one with great fortitude (let alone great power) to not be destroyed
by their assault. They’d be mad, completely mad, but extraordinary.

The Last Loyalist: Home

The country sea breeze always does good after a long, hard week in the Capital.

Michael spent Saturday morning standing on the veranda gazing toward the sea, trying at once to temporarily forget the events of the week & attempt to make sense of the said events with the end of charting a course of action going forward.

A rather delicate balancing act.

Michael saw from the corner of his eye Pagos, the elderly white Labrador.
“Good morning, old mate.” Michael patted the old dog, remembering the ways the old dog had saved his life. While he was patting Pagos, Sofia came out to join him.
“My parents are staying in Wellington, but Sergey will be here tonight. He said he’ll serve at the chapel tomorrow.”
“Wonderful. After the week I’ve had, I need a bit of help from God.” Michael patted Pagos again. “I think I need to take a walk.”
Sofia nodded & started to make her way indoors when Alex & Victoria came out onto the veranda, finding their parents.
Alex spoke up first. “Where are you going, Dad?”
“Off for a walk. You two want to come?”
They both nodded. “Yeah, we’ll come!” The two of them joined their father as he started walking to the veranda at the back of the house, leaving Sofia & Pagos behind.
This has been a hard week, Sofia thought to herself, & it won’t be getting any easier.
As she readied herself to go back inside, the three year-old twins came out. Nicholas, with his black hair & brown eyes, was a deep contrast to his sister Elizabeth, with her long blonde hair & eyes green as grass.
Then again, they were fraternal twins.
“Mum, where is Dad?”
“Dad’s gone with your brother & sister.”
Nicholas furrowed his brow. “Can we go?”
Sofia shook her head. “I’m afraid not. We’ve got to get ready for Uncle Sergey.”
Their eyes lit up in excitement. “Yay! Uncle Sergey!” With that, the twins ran back inside, excited at the arrival of their favourite uncle.
That’ll do it.

Having walked the garden paths & gone down the steps, Michael, Alexander & Victoria entered the Freeman family crypt that lay under the chapel.
Alex spoke up first. “What’s under here, Dad?”
“This, kids, is the Freeman crypt.”
“Crypt? Why are you taking us down into a crypt, Dad? Aren’t crypts creepy places, with dead people?”
Michael smiled. Ah, a child’s imagination. “Well, the dead people are buried underneath like in every other grave. Anyway, you kids need to see this – I’ve been coming down here since I was a little boy. In fact, Vic, I was about your age when I came down here for the first time. My Grandad brought me down here & over the years started to tell me all about the people buried down here.”
Victoria realised the identity of these people. “Are these the people in the paintings in the Great Hall?”
Michael nodded. “Yes, Vic. They are.” They stopped at the first pair of graves:


“Who are they?” Alex asked.
“These are your great-great-great-great-great-grandparents. Edward is the guy in the painting wearing the red uniform, & Anne is the lady in the painting across from him.” Michael remembered what his grandfather told him:
He was the second son from a landed gentry family with a long history of military service. His older brother died in Australia, which put him in line to inherit the estate. He served for fifteen years as an officer in the 58th Regiment, mostly stationed here in New Zealand. He fought up here; it was while he was fighting up here that he fell in love with the place. After retirement, he like many in the 58th Regiment decided to settle, but had to go back to England first to sort out his affairs. He sold the Estate to a cousin & returned to New Zealand with £20000, & when he found that land was being sold in the Bay of Islands near where he’d fought, he bought the place in a heartbeat. Near the end of 1863 he, his wife Anne & their young son came here & founded the Ashwell Estate.
“Moving on.” They moved on to the next pair of graves:


“Which ones are they?”
“James is Edward’s son, & Victoria here is his wife. James is the one wearing the slouch hat turned up on the left, & Victoria is the lady in the blue dress opposite.”
A cavalry officer who served in the Boer War. Tried to serve in World War I but was too old. One of the proprietors that set up Prince of Wales College for Boys & Queen Mary’s College for Girls in 1920, alongside Sir James Creswell, Sir George Linton, Henry Valletort, Lord Tulsk, & others.
Victoria looked puzzled. “Dad, am I named after her?”
Michael smiled. “She’s one of them, Vic. You are also named after your great-grandmother. Moving on,” he said as they moved on to the next pair of graves:


“Michael?” Victoria noticed the name. “Like you, Dad?”
Michael nodded. “Yes, Vic. My grandfather named me after his grandfather.”
“Which one is he?”
“You know the painting with the man wearing the lemon-squeezer hat, the mountain shaped hat?”
They both nodded. “That’s him. Diane is the red-haired lady on the other side who looks Scottish, with the tartan & all.”
He served as a Captain with the Auckland Mounted Rifles Regiment in World War I. After his best friend & immediate superior Tim Dormer was killed during the Battle of Gaza, he was promoted to Major. He retired after the end of the war; Tim’s death affected him for the rest of his life, all 48 years of it. He dedicated the rest of his life to the Estate; he started work on what is now the orchard.
She was the daughter of the 12th Chief of Clan Stewart of Balquhidder, whose father had become one of Edward Freeman’s neighbours & friends. She was the first in the Stewart family not to marry a fellow Scot; her uncle was furious when he found out, & her father agreed, until he found she was marrying James Freeman’s son.
Even today, the Stewarts mostly marry other Scots, Michael thought to himself.
They moved on:


“George?” Victoria looked at the names. “Like our little brother?”
Their father nodded. “Yes. He’s named after your Grandad who was named after his Grandad. Your sister Mary has Felicity as one of her middle names.”
He was the second son of Michael Freeman (his older brother James died of Spanish flu in 1918). A long-time army officer. Served in World War 2, then later in Korea, retiring with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. After his retirement from the Army in 1960, he took over operations at Ashwell Orchard from his elderly father.
She was the only child of Brigadier General John Stanley Wycliffe, a British Army officer who emigrated here after World War I. When she died, her house in Remuera was passed down through the family, eventually ending up with Aunt Felicity. I should remember; I lived with her as a teenager.
They moved on to the last pair of graves:


“William? Like our cousin?”
Michael nodded again. “Yes, Vic. Your cousin William was named after him. Your brother Nicholas also has William as a middle name, as in fact do I. Your sister Lisa is actually named Elizabeth, & she’s named after my Grandma here.”
Grandad died when I was nine. I remember when we still lived in town, Mum & Dad would send us to our grandparents for the school holidays, both Mum’s parents at Waikawau & to Dad’s parents here at Ashwell. Grandad introduced Charlie & me to Kriegsspiel, playing war against each other in the Great Hall. Despite beating him every time, I never served in the Army & Charlie is doing it for real.
Grandma, on the other hand, was there throughout my childhood. When she died, it really shook me, to the point I nearly dropped out of university.
Such dark days.

My heritage is one of service, Michael thought to himself, of service to God, King, Country & my fellow man.
Over the generations, many of my ancestors have served in the Army, right down to my Dad. They have fought for Kings & Queens in almost every war in the last four centuries.
They fought the French numerous times.
They fought the Jacobites, & a few of them were Jacobites.
They fought Napoleon.
They fought the Ashanti & the Xhosa.
They fought the Chinese.
And then they came here, to New Zealand, the so-called “Britain of the South Seas”. Even here in New Zealand, my ancestors have continued to uphold the values & the heritage of the gentry families of which we are the scions, a task which can be difficult in a country like New Zealand, which is hostile to anything that “reeks of class”. Especially as an eldest son & heir to Ashwell, to me duty & service drives me in everything I do; it’s why I entered politics. Nevertheless, I am still dismayed by how New Zealand is still treading water, the inertia built up by layer upon layer of incompetent management & government upon government that simply didn’t care; in fact many of them (& I count the last government among them) had no care for New Zealand’s interests at all, & had the mentality of provincial administrators for their Imperial masters, whether they be in London, Washington, Beijing or all of the above. They don’t view New Zealand as a nation; in fact I don’t think they even want New Zealand to be viewed as such. They’re despicable; they don’t care for New Zealand’s sovereignty at all. The lack of control New Zealand has over its destiny is no concern to them; they are resigned to that consensus, that our Destiny will always be out of our hands.
The mindset is almost impossible to dislodge.
It’s an extremely difficult task to undo the damage of almost 200 years when I have a civil service & bureaucracy that hates me & all I stand for, & seeks to sabotage our efforts to actually make something of New Zealand.
This issue with His Majesty the King is emblematic of it all.
The fair-weather monarchists have deserted the King as the traitorous republican scum have brought out their knives in the very time the Monarchy needs their support. The arrogant, stupid, entitled politicians resent that His Majesty is not their puppet; the moment he tries to ask any questions about their affairs they take the opportunity to overthrow him. The worst part is the fact that they engage in treason, patent treason, in the open, & they can’t tolerate dissent from their position; they can’t comprehend that people can be loyal to the King. In fact, it’s been astounding for me how Britain expected me to join them in their treason. Even when Canada joined in, they expected me to somehow be afraid of standing against the rest of the Commonwealth Realms in continuing to be loyal to the King.
If I’m going to be honest, this has diminished Britain’s standing in my eyes. No matter what happens, New Zealand will no longer be an unthinking drone, a mere province of a rotten, degenerate, decaying Britain that is clearly dying, & expects us to follow them to our death.
New Zealand must live; even if we stand alone for the time being.

“Who wants to come with Dad to Waikawau?”
“I do! I do! I do!” With both Alexander & Victoria enthusiastic to go, Michael walked out of the crypt with his children, each holding one of their father’s hands, & walked together on the footpath around the corner to the garage where Michael kept each of his cars in good condition. As they entered the garage to choose the cars, Michael started to narrow the choices in his head.
There’s three of us, so that’s the Aston & the Ferrari out.
Alexander ran over to the black Dodge Challenger in the middle of the line-up. “Dad, can we go in the Dodge?”
“Sure can, little man,” Michael answered. “I’ll just grab your car seats first.” He opened the Range Rover beside the Challenger to grab the car seats, then opened the Dodge to install them. With the car seats firmly in place, Alex & Vic entered the car, both of them waiting patiently for their father to buckle their seatbelts. With his children both secure, Michael opened the front door & got going.
Michael drove along Freeman’s Road past the orchards of Ashwell Farm. Looking at the fields, they could see the sprawling orchards before them. Michael could see the bulk of the workers in the avocado orchard.
Avocado season. My favourite.
As he passed by, he sounded his horn to the workers. He saw the workers as they turned their heads to see the black Dodge Challenger as it drove past them. They all waved at Michael & his children.
What a beautiful day.
In no time they came down the last few hills & were on the stretch overlooking Waikawau Beach. The kids both looked out the window toward the sapphire blue sea & the white sand of the beach itself.
“Can we go to the beach, Dad?” Alexander asked.
“We might on the way back,” Michael replied, “but if we do, don’t tell your mum.”
“We won’t.” They both promised their father, index fingers in front of their mouths.
The car continued toward the farms, Freeman’s Road now no longer parallel to the beach, now turning away from the beach & toward one last hill. Michael, ever the careful driver when with his children, gently crested over the hill & came down on the other side of the last hill, now able to see the vegetable fields that made up Waikawau Farm. Before long, Michael passed Te Arikirangi Marae & the adjoining cemetery. As they were passing by, Michael could see cars outside the cemetery & an open gate.
It’s probably some cousins. It’s probably fine, Michael thought to himself as he pulled into the driveway of Tamati House.
“Here we are kids, Tamati House.”

Having brought the kids out of the car, Michael guided them onto the footpath then onto the front veranda.
Alex spoke first. “Dad, this house looks empty.”
Victoria spoke up next. “Yeah, Dad. Does anyone even live here?”
Michael shook his head. “Not since my grandparents died.”
“How long ago was that?” Victoria asked.
“My nan died not long after your mum & I got married. My old papa, on the other hand, died while I was at school in Auckland.”
I still remember hearing the news from Ashleigh at school. Being called out of school the week before the Ball, hurrying up north to Waikawau, only to see Mum in tears & Dad struggling, nay, failing to console her.
It was heart-breaking.
Michael reached for the keys. “Let’s go inside, kids.”
The door opened up. “Shoes off.” His children, naturally good listeners, took their shoes off & followed their dad inside.
Having followed him through the vestibule, they came across a central hallway that seemed to branch off into all corners of the house. Spoilt for choice, the kids decided to take the closest entrance into the living room, a room they found rather sparsely furnished, with a few sofas, a bookshelf filled with books, & a fireplace with a painting of two old men.
Michael found them. “I see the two of you have found The Two Chiefs.”
“Who are they?” Alex asked.
“They are Tamati Te Arikirangi & James Stewart of Balquhidder, the ancestor of the Stewarts, like Hamish & them.”
“Te Arikirangi,” Alex realised, “like me?”
Michael nodded. “Yes, Alex. I named you after him, your other grandfather & me, hence Alexander Michael Thomas Te Arikirangi. In fact, we are descended from both Tamati & James.”
“Both of them? How?”
“You know the Scottish lady in the Great Hall?”
“That Diane lady?”
“Yes. Well, James here is her grandfather. Next time you look at her painting, look at her tartan, it’s the same as his.”
“Wow.” Both children gasped in amazement.
“In fact, children, let me show you something,” Michael led his children back out into the hallway & up to the door of the old study.
Just as he was about to open the door, Michael’s phone rang.
“Sorry, kids. I should take this.” He picked up the phone. “It’s Michael.”
“Michael, it’s Dunn. You got your Government laptop near you?”
Michael nodded. “Yes. It’s at Ashwell House. Is there something I need to see?”
“His Majesty the King would like to speak to you.”
“I’ll be there in five minutes.” He turned to his children. “I’m afraid we have to go. Something has come up. Come on, kids. Let’s go.”
“What about that thing you were going to show us?”
“I’ll show you guys one day. It’s not going anywhere.”

The Last Loyalist: Thursday

Saturday, 20 October 2029.

Michael was out in the garden looking at the cornflowers Sofia had planted yesterday, desperately trying to think of anything except the negotiations with Lewis Burton & the Conservatives.
So, Lewis doesn’t want to join the Government, they don’t want ministerial positions, they don’t want a coalition, & they’re not even demanding an arm & a leg to back us on confidence & supply. Their only bottom lines are some free speech laws, gun laws that look like they’ve had some thought put into them, & simplified taxes.
I thought they’d drive a harder bargain than that. I would have.
Foreign Policy will be a sticking point between us, I’m sure. They’re very much into kissing American ass, when I’m not even sure how long they’ll last. Personally, I was surprised that last year’s election even went ahead, after the chaos & mayhem since President Spencer’s impeachment, President Gonzalez’ assassination, President Perez’ removal, & the lame duck that has been the Miller presidency. I’m not sure how long they’ll last, & frankly, we shouldn’t be relying on them, or Australia for that matter.
We need to stand up for ourselves.
Thankfully the Conservatives are no slouch in the Defence department; I think Fraser will have a lot of common ground with them, even if Irina doesn’t.
Michael followed the path past the cornflowers into the old family chapel to check the Freeman banners.
It’s really weird, Michael thought to himself as he entered the chapel, I’ve hardly been in here since I converted. I think the last service I attended here was Grand-Uncle James’ funeral. I remembered that one because Dad got me to handle the banners.
Michael arrived at the banners encased in glass on the wall.
There were four of them, the oldest one, tatty, ragged, the colours faded, was the original banner, commissioned for Sir Henry Freeman after he was made a Knight Banneret by King Charles I.
Even as it is, it must be the only banner of its kind in New Zealand, perhaps in the whole of the Southern Hemisphere.
The second, two centuries younger & almost two centuries old, was made for retired Major Edward Freeman while Ashwell House was being built. One could tell it was a recreation, but it was still good, still able to fly.
We still use it sometimes, when the distant cousins like Mickey are here. I definitely remember it flying at the 150th Anniversary Reunion.
The other two banners were different though; two of Michael’s ancestors had married heraldic heiresses (of which one of them was Grandma), & as such different banners had to be commissioned for each. The third banner was for his grandfather, Captain William Freeman, an army officer & Vietnam War veteran whose mother Felicity Wycliffe had settled in New Zealand after World War I, & whose father had been a British Army colonel, & bought a home in Auckland, which eventually passed to his grand-aunt Diane, who needed it more as a judge. .
That banner was the one I used at Grand-Uncle James’ funeral.
The fourth banner combined Grandad’s arms with the five roses of the Holroyds of Westfield to make the arms of Dr George Freeman.
Dad’s banner. That reminds me: when I inherit, I’ll need to make my own banner to quarter Dad’s arms with Mum’s arms. I’d probably keep it in the House, though. It’d be weird to have it here.
Alex walked into the chapel to find his father. “Dad, they’ve announced the results.”

Michael entered the dining room to the whole Cabinet sitting there, as always led by Alfred & Irina.
This must be serious.
Alfred spoke up. “What are Lewis’ bottom lines?”
“Some better defined laws on free speech, gun reform & tax reform, all of the type of stuff they’ve been going on about for months, you know the stuff…”
“No more taxes on taxes,”
“Well, the Party Council & Caucus have received the offer, & have both agreed to support it.”
Really? I’m surprised, Michael thought, I know not everyone in the caucus like the Conservatives, but I guess no-one else is reaching out to us. “In that case, I believe we’ve got a government: our 56 plus their 10. How about the referendum?”
Alfred answered the question excitedly. “We won it 54%-46%. There won’t be a republic.”
What a relief. I still have a political career. “Awesome!”
Fraser interrupted Michael’s reserved attempt at jubilation. “Australia, on the other hand, will become a republic. A 59% majority for, with close votes in favour in Western Australia & South Australia. Queensland & Tasmania voted against.”
“That’s not surprising.” Not surprising at all, Michael thought to himself as he turned his eye to the painting of Sir Henry Freeman of Ashwell, the one that had been brought here from England.
We pulled it off. We defended the Monarchy.
And we won.

Present day (14 February 2030)

Michael had just walked into his office on Thursday morning, hot chocolate in hand & croissant in mouth. He entered the office to see several ministers standing in front of Michael’s desk. Alfred, Irina, Fraser & Rachel Cross, the Attorney-General, standing in front of the desk.
This isn’t a standard morning greeting. Then again, there haven’t been any this week.
Michael looked at them all, their expressions all concerned. “What’s happened?”
Alfred replied. “The King has dismissed Prime Minister Evans. The House of Commons has voted to recognise the Prince of Wales as King William V.”
Oh, crap. Westminster pushed the big red button. “And the Lords?”
Irina replied this time. “Expected to back it too, with a similar vote breakdown to the Abdication Bill.”
Fraser spoke up. “Worse yet, Andrew Marshall & Jennifer Anderson are co-sponsoring an Abdication Bill, & they want to force it into the House.”
Oh, crap. “Can they do it?”
Rachel answered. “They can, but only if they can get the Conservatives to back the bill. However, considering your statement from last night, you’d want them to oppose the bill, considering this a matter of confidence. Legally (& constitutionally) this matter is quite tricky. However, I think we can make it work.”
Michael looked over to Rachel. “I’m guessing that’s why you’re here, Rachel.”
Rachel nodded. “Far be it for me to question the legal reasoning of the legendary public law ace Michael Freeman, but yes, I’m here providing a legal opinion as Attorney-General.”
Michael smiled, remembering his university days. “You heard of me way back then?”
She nodded. “The partners at Morgan Connor were all thrilled at the prospect of the public law genius Michael Freeman joining their Wellington Office, & then you didn’t.”
That’s a very long & very complicated story. “Yes, well, that’s fine, Rachel. I could do with a second opinion. Everyone, please sit down. Don’t mind me & my breakfast.” The gathered ministers found places to sit down for their discussion.
“Where’s James?” Alfred asked.
“He’s a bit sick, I’m afraid. He’s still following this & he’s working from home.” Having answered his deputy, Michael turned to Irina. “Irina, would you please update us on the events? Things are moving fast, & honestly I’m a bit confused.”
Irina nodded. “Of course, Michael. A few days ago, Parliament passed an Abdication Bill after the King refused assent to a Press Regulation Bill. His Majesty refused assent, & so Parliament & the King have been caught in a stalemate that won’t be pretty. Among the Commonwealth Realms, most have taken Canada’s lead & passed acts recognising the Prince of Wales as their king. In that, our position of standing with the King is unique. After his dismissal as Prime Minister, Daniel Evans essentially stormed into Parliament & got them to instead pass resolutions recognising the Prince of Wales as King William V. This is not only creating a standoff between King & Parliament, but now also one between father & son.”
This could get grisly, Michael thought to himself. “Any news concerning the Prince?”
Irina shook her head. “The Prince of Wales is keeping quiet, but we are hearing reports that Parliament blindsided him in recognising him as King.”
“Any news about the military? I saw some of the protests yesterday, & I’m guessing they’re only getting worse.”
Fraser replied this time. “The entire Household Division is assembled outside Buckingham Palace. They’re guarding it & everyone inside around the clock on high alert…”
Alfred now took his turn. “…which is justified, considering that there are now massive protests, not only in London but throughout the United Kingdom: Birmingham, Manchester, York, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, even in Belfast & Bristol. You name it, that place is experiencing some level of street protests. So far, 56 have died, 210 injured & thousands have been arrested. Most are calling for the King’s abdication, but a significant minority are supportive of His Majesty.”
“This isn’t going to be resolved easily, will it?”
Everyone shook their heads. Crap, Michael thought as he buried his head in his hands, this won’t end well.
If His Majesty stays, Parliament will continue to be hostile to him; in fact, they’ll just ignore him entirely. With most of the British press supporting Parliament, the King will soon stink of illegitimacy. On the other hand, if His Majesty abdicates, that dolt Daniel Evans & his cronies will have essentially pulled off treason against the King, such that I can’t ever imagine supporting.
I can’t be complicit in treason. I just can’t.
“Grab Lewis Burton. We need to kill the Opposition’s Abdication Bill.”

Every day this week, Parliament had been must watch television, & today was no different, especially now with Andrew Marshall & Jennifer Anderson both tag-teaming Michael on his support for the King. They even dedicated an urgent debate on the matter.
“Mr Speaker,” Andrew started the end of his speech, “The Prime Minister has made no secret of his support for the King against Parliament in the matters before us today, as King George VII tries to upend British democracy, & by extension New Zealand democracy, something that seems to be a secondary concern to the leader of the Democratic Party. Even as Parliament recognises the Prince of Wales as King & his father holds desperately to power with the help of the military, who are brutally suppressing thousands of protesters, the Prime Minister continues to stand firmly behind the King. This to me, Mr Speaker, raises a question, in fact it raises three: Firstly, just what will it take for the Prime Minister to come out against the King & uphold not only democracy, but the entire parliamentary system, secondly, what effect will the Prime Minister’s stubborn support of the King have on New Zealand’s relationship with the United Kingdom that has more or less overthrown him, & lastly, but certainly not least, are these actions giving the Prime Minister any ideas on how to deal with his own opposition?” With that, the Leader of the Opposition sat down to applause from his side.
Interesting speech, Michael thought to himself, He’s trying to box me in as a wannabe dictator supporting the overthrow of democracy. That, of course, is the fundamental divide between us. He holds up democracy as if it’s an end in & of itself, whereas I see it only as a tool, as a means to achieve an end.
Michael stood to speak. “Mr Speaker, I would like to open my speech by answering the three questions posed by the honourable gentleman opposite. To the first question, my loyalty lies with, & has always lain with, to say in Latin, Deus, Rex, et Patria – in illo ordine, that is of course, God, King & Country – in that order. All other loyalties I have, even that which I have as Leader of the Democratic Party, are subject to these three loyalties, including my loyalty to values such as ‘democracy’ & to Parliaments, whether in Westminster or, indeed, here. I have been open about this the whole time; the members of the Opposition shouldn’t now try & paint me as some wannabe Mussolini because I don’t worship systems or abstracts like they do, because my loyalties are a lot simpler than theirs &, dare I say, old-fashioned.
“To the honourable leader’s second question, I have received reports from our High Commissioner in London that the Prime Minister, Daniel Evans, has increasingly become frustrated with New Zealand’s refusal to join his angry mob. In fact, he has accused me of having a personal vendetta against him for the United Kingdom’s involvement in last year’s spying scandal, a premise I find dubious, if not hilarious. In any case, my British counterpart is accusing me of essentially the same things that the honourable members opposite are accusing me of, & it seems that the British Prime Minister can’t grasp that we on the other side of the world can not only be loyal to the King in the face of opposition in the British Parliament, but I believe that he is furious at us Ministers of His Majesty’s Government in New Zealand & at me especially because we, alone of all the fifteen-or-so Commonwealth Realms, have stood up to him. I’m guessing that this won’t bode well for relations with the United Kingdom, but if I’m going to be honest I don’t care, as to me truth has always mattered exponentially more than expedience & pragmatism, & in this situation the truth is that standing in support of not only the King himself against would-be revolutionaries but also in support of the principles of legitimate government represented by the Crown. To me, this matters more than the expedience & pragmatism represented by standing in solidarity with a British Parliament that recognises the Prince of Wales as King.
“Finally, to answer the honourable member’s final question, I will say no, I do not derive any sort of inspiration from actions taken in the United Kingdom against the protestors. To that, I have noticed the rather mediocre nature of their counterparts here in New Zealand, the usual protestor types. I do however find it awfully sad that His Majesty is in the position that he’s relying on the military to maintain not only order but also the King’s Peace, something they should never be relied upon to preserve except as a last resort. I guess this speaks to the desperate state the United Kingdom is in.
“In conclusion, going forward a lot of our future relationship with the United Kingdom relies on the outcome of events in London. We have made our position clear, abundantly clear; we will, like everyone else, wait on events to play out. There has been speculation, naturally, on the actions of the Prince of Wales in regard to these events, what reaction His Royal Highness will make to his recognition as King by the Parliaments of all the Realms except New Zealand. I would not give this Government’s position now, but I personally would hold the Prince of Wales in a dim light if His Royal Highness were to join Parliament in overthrowing his father. In such a light, giving sanction to unthinkable acts, it will force us to confront things we don’t want to confront.”
“Like becoming a republic?” Jennifer Anderson interjected, in a heckling manner.
No, you idiot. “No, Ms Anderson. I can guarantee the honourable member for Mount Albert that in nowise will we on this side of the House ever contemplate the overthrow of His Majesty King George VII of New Zealand, let alone become a republic, something I opposed tooth & nail only last year against the likes of the honourable leaders opposite & was willing to end my political career opposing. To us, such actions are unthinkable.” With that, he sat down.
This will be a long week. I’m so lucky it’s Thursday. I really need to go home.

“Are you ready, Sofia?”
Sofia appeared at the entrance of the Bolton in a sunhat & a white day dress with daffodils on the front, the hat covering her auburn hair & shielding her sky blue eyes from the glare of the summer afternoon Sun.
Sofia has a lot of dresses with flowers, Michael thought to himself, knowing her, this is awfully casual. Of course, her ‘casual’ is most people’s ‘outrageously formal’.
Not that I mind, of course; it’s really beautiful.
“We’ll be taking the government car to the airport, darling. Your parents will be borrowing my car for the weekend.”
She nodded. “That’s fine. I have something to tell you, Michael. I’m pregnant.”
Pregnant? Did I hear that correctly? “You’re pregnant?”
Sofia nodded, as he could see the government car come into view.
That’s wonderful, that’s amazing. Our seventh child. The ultimate Valentine’s Day gift. “That’s wonderful! That’s amazing!” With that, Michael kissed his wife outside the hotel entrance as the government car pulled up to take them to the airport.

The “National” Party: A Brief Autopsy & More Questions About “The Right” in General

The 2020 election was, to put it mildly, a massive disaster for National.

The comprehensive hiding they received at the hands of the Jacinda Ardern-led Labour Party is their second worst result ever, only outdone by their horrendous 2002 result. What makes this defeat particularly spectacular is their (admittedly narrow) loss in both of Northland’s General Electorates, Whangarei & Northland, both seats that are such safe National seats that Whangarei hasn’t been lost to them since a one-term defeat in 1972, & Northland (which happens to be my electorate), an area whose electorates have a storied tradition of voting for minor non-Labour parties such as New Zealand First, Social Credit & even the old Country Party, has returned a Labour MP for the first time since 1938, when Charles Boswell was elected MP for Bay of Islands (coincidentally also with a margin of 163 votes). In both cases this is only the second time ever that Labour has won these seats. Even Rangitata was not a surprise to this extent; containing Timaru (a notorious Labour stronghold) & being an electorate prone to swings (its predecessor electorate Aoraki was held by Labour between 1996 & 2005). In addition, their majorities in Invercargill & Rotorua were each less than 1000 (224 & 825 votes respectively), both seats that I personally would have expected to flip, & may have been saved by the recent boundary changes (at least Invercargill, anyway. I fully expected Invercargill to flip to Labour as it would be much easier at least theoretically to take it with no National incumbent to defend it. I’ve put their retention of the seat down to Invercargill gaining probable National-friendly bits of western Southland around Tuatapere).

All in all, it’s an embarrassing result for them. Even compared to the relatively recent standards set by the Labour Party of the last decade, this result is horrible. It’s worse than Labour’s 2011 result under Phil Goff & only 0.45% better than Labour’s 2014 result under David Cunliffe. Of course it’s made all the worse facing a Labour Party that received the first absolute majority of the vote in 69 years, an utterly demoralising sight.

It’s at this point that I would like to say that this is just National hitting their rock bottom, & that with the right amount of soul searching & making of amends, they can begin to travel the road to redemption. We all know they need it – they need the arrogance smashed out of them, & if this wasn’t it, I don’t know what is. The thing is, & I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I think they don’t deserve to return. As I see it, National, like Labour, is a rotten corpse kept alive by political inertia, except at least Labour has had some life galvanised into it for a time, until they come to the autumn of their governmental life cycle.

And that’s the problem, or one for another time.

Another thing that is brought up by many, especially on the conservative end of what qualifies as The Right in this country, is the apparent infiltration of liberals & progressives into the National Party, thus drifting it more to the left with each election. They’re probably right. What is not understood, however, is that such tension has always been the case within the National Party; after all, it is but a merger of the former United (itself formerly the old Liberal Party) & Reform parties. One can still see the tensions between them today, of course. I empathise of course with the folks who claim that National is a conservative party, or at least ought to be so, but that is a claim that I dispute, for there may be conservatives within National, but I believe that National is not a conservative party & in fact never has been. Here’s an illustration of such, National’s founding principles:

“To promote good citizenship and self-reliance; to combat communism and socialism; to maintain freedom of contract; to encourage private enterprise; to safeguard individual rights and the privilege of ownership; to oppose interference by the State in business, and State control of industry”

Now, I don’t find much particularly reprehensible here, especially not in the realm of an anti-Labour, anti-socialist ideology. However, as a conservative ideology, it just simply isn’t one. Even looking at National’s political ancestors, you will not find anything remotely conservative:

  • The United Party: the former Liberal Party, ie by its very definition you won’t find conservatism there
  • The Reform Party: also not conservatives at all, but individualist classical liberals who are in fact the ancestors of the “individual responsibility, small government” folks. Reform was also differentiated by being more stridently anti-socialist than the Liberals, who in their eyes were becoming too friendly with the nascent Labour Party.

I say again: as a conservative party with a conservative ideology, it leaves so much to be desired that it is basically nothing. In fact, I would argue that not only is this, defined as such, not conservatism, but I would argue that real historic conservatism has never existed in New Zealand, the child of the Victorian era, & shaped by liberal individualism in the most part since the beginning, & that such conditions are basically stony ground for real conservatism. In fact, even the New Conservative Party fits comfortably into this sort of “conservatism”, of what I like to call “refried classical liberalism”, further confirming the foreignness of historic, more traditional conservatism to New Zealand.

I find it rather sad.

I find it sad because I find myself becoming more of a traditional conservative & I know that I will never have a political home in this country, as the so-called “Right” in New Zealand is a repudiation of my views. In fact, I honestly feel that in embracing more traditional conservatism, I am essentially rejecting the overwhelmingly liberal history & even identity of New Zealand.

To some extent, it tears me up.

I believe that traditional conservatism of the kind that I embrace, is fundamentally foreign to New Zealand:

  • Traditional conservatism is generally underpinned by a deep religious faith, which is basically impossible in one of the most irreligious societies on Earth.
  • Tradition & custom of the kind that supports a traditional conservative worldview simply don’t exist here in New Zealand, & whatever survived the journey here from Britain was purged out through generations of liberal indoctrination.
  • Even the mention of hierarchy is heavily frowned upon in New Zealand, supposedly from the beginning a bastion of egalitarianism. This blinds us to the reality that the elite is present in all human societies, & what has happened instead is that in the place of priests, warriors & people we have academics, oligarchs & the brainwashed masses. This, combined with the partisanship that serves as a proxy for class conflict, ensures the division that prevents the community from coming together as a whole.
  • Even in a romanticised form, it is impossible for people to have a proper attachment to the countryside when only around 1 in 10 lives there, & especially when around 1 in 3 lives in one city particularly unsuited for reasons of its geography for massive expansion (Auckland).
  • A New Zealander with an education even resembling anything classical has always been extremely rare, & is increasingly so nowadays, & anyone who has been educated in such a manner is considered a snob by the mass of degenerates who have never known anything else but the rotten so-called “culture” they & their ancestors have consumed for generations. Even a New Zealander who somewhat appreciates high culture will find slim pickings here, & will also be subject to merciless ridicule.
  • The nature of fluid population movements mean that it is a rare New Zealander who is able to have roots in an area & genuinely love their community. I guess that’s pretty difficult when New Zealand has one of the most centralised governments in the world, where essentially all important decisions are made in Wellington, meaning we are all in many ways dependent on the capital.

To be honest, it makes me cry sometimes to know how hostile New Zealand’s very identity is to traditional conservatism (ie real conservatism) & essentially how impossible it is for such to even take root here. That, I believe, is one of the fundamental problems of New Zealand politics: with the entire political spectrum lodged firmly within different shades of liberalism, to the point where even the so-called “conservatives” are in fact liberals, I’ve essentially found myself holding two thoughts simultaneously:

  1. New Zealand is too rotten; it can’t be “saved” because it was born rotten & decadent, &
  2. New Zealand is my home; despite its faults, despite its fundamental errors, it’s my home. I can’t leave for anywhere else; it’s not only my home, but also for all my ancestors for at least 6 generations. I can’t go back to Britain & say I’m home; I won’t be. New Zealand is my home, & I will defend her with all that I am.

I don’t know a way out. Maybe you might.

NATIONAL PARTY’, from An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock, originally published in 1966.
Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand
URL: (accessed 07 Nov 2020)

The Next Election Day: A Story from the World of An Unlikely Future

It had been a long 18 months.

Michael Freeman had left Zealandia Media behind to set up the Democratic Party, that band of political outcasts. He’d taken a massive gamble, of course, by going into politics; challenging the establishment always is. Michael, however, felt that it was necessary, as he said when he launched the party in the winter of the year before:

“I can no longer stand idly by while both National & Labour destroy New Zealand, & I know I can’t do much from the commentator’s box. If I want to make the change I seek, I’ve got to get on the field”

It had been a very lively campaign; the Democrats’ mere presence ensured that. Michael decided very early on that he would not contest an electorate. Instead, James Creswell, a friend of Michael’s father, contested Northland for the Democrats while Michael toured the country attempting to get enough votes to enter Parliament as a list MP. The Leaders’ Debates were a big controversy, as TVNZ would not allow Michael to take part in them alongside Prime Minister Jennifer Anderson & Leader of the Opposition Andrew Marshall but TV3 did let Michael participate in their Decision ’23: The Contenders debate, leading to some rumours in corners of social media about Michael continuing to control Zealandia Media from the shadows, something he continued to deny.

Some Democrat candidates attracted controversy, especially some of the more nationalist-minded ones, such as Jordan Michaels, Hunter Wallace & Rachel Cross, with TVNZ & the Herald leading the charge against them. Facing pressure against them, however, Michael stood firm, & in fact defended them:

“You have called the Democratic Party a ‘band of political outcasts’. I happen to take a similar view. I acknowledge that we in the Democrats are an ideologically diverse bunch, & that some members have views that I don’t agree with. I’ll say this – if I was to purge every party member I had disagreements with, I’d be the only member left.
That said, I know what you’re trying to do here. You in the media are engaging in gutter journalism, dredging up irrelevant details of our candidates’ private lives to use against me & against the Democratic Party because you, like Labour & National, are scared of us, you are scared that we are coming to the level where we won’t be like every other ‘minor’ party, that we won’t stand being marginalised by the two major parties, & that we are actually growing to a point where we will be able to challenge both Labour & National, a goal we’ve been aiming for since the beginning. You are scared, & you’re trying to stop us.
You won’t.”

They didn’t. The last poll put the election in a virtual dead heat, with Labour, National & the Democrats all on 26%, the Greens on 8%, the Conservatives on 7%, ACT on 5% & Mana Maori on 2% & on track to win several of the Maori Electorates off Labour. That result alone would ensure that everyone would be waiting with baited breath for the election result.

Not that it mattered too much to Michael.

Michael saw the energy wherever he went, from packed town hall to packed town hall, from Kaitaia to Kaitangata, & from Bluff back to the Bay of Islands. He saw the energy, the restlessness, the mood for change. He saw the desire for change, especially after folks realised Jennifer Anderson’s promises of transformation were exactly that, promises, & after the Labour Party continued to neglect their nominal base of working-class folk & National continued to neglect the provinces in pursuit of their donors’ interests, the Democrats found an opportunity.

He spent the last day of the campaign in Northland, helping out James Creswell & his cousin Tautoru Arapeta squeeze out every single supporter they could. He spent Friday morning in Whangarei with Tautoru, where they had lunch together with their Whangarei candidate, Ben Thompson. After lunch, Michael & Tautoru travelled north to spend the afternoon campaigning together in the Bay of Islands, where they met James for their last meeting, in a park in Paihia. The three men knew each other well; both Michael & Tautoru had gone to school with James’ daughters, & both were friends of his eldest daughter Monica, & their personal relationship came across really well politically. As expected, the meeting went well, & they conducted their last walkabout later in Kerikeri before heading home, each one stopping in Westfield to grab a meal before parting ways, James departing for Amberdale & the winery, Tautoru for his grandparents’ place in Waikawau & Michael for Ashwell, where his wife Sofia & his parents were waiting.
I’m satisfied, Michael thought as he drove home, I gave my all, we gave our all. It’s all up to the people.

A press pool of four journalists followed Michael the whole campaign: Courtney Pearce with TVNZ, Isaac Lawrence with the Herald, Hayley Duncan with TV3 & Angus Scott with the Auckland Star. They all had followed him the whole way through, the ups & downs, the attacks, his berations of the media (of which, curiously enough, Courtney & Isaac made a big deal); they’d seen it all.
And now they were called in to an election morning breakfast in the kitchen at Ashwell House: hash browns, baked beans, French toast, bacon, sausages, eggs fried, scrambled & poached, pancakes, assorted cereals, & various jugs of different types of juice, water & milk, all laid out on the table with plates & cutlery at one end & the cups on the other end beside the jugs, laid out as if Michael (in reality Sofia & Michael’s mum Martha) had the bright idea to just make a ridiculously large breakfast in the hope that everything would be of someone’s liking.
This idea, of course, was correct.
When the journalists entered the kitchen, they found Michael, his wife Sofia, his parents, his sister, her husband Andrew & their twin sons Ronald & William, & Michael’s brother Charles, his wife Dana & their young daughter Isabelle.
They always did say Michael was a family man, Hayley thought to herself, briefly glancing at the heavily pregnant Sofia, then to the table, I guess he had to bring the whole family along; otherwise all this would never be eaten.
“Before we eat,” Michael began, “I would like to thank each of you, Courtney, Isaac, Hayley & Angus, for being here throughout these last few weeks. Having previously run a media company, I know all too well how important the media is to help a well-informed populace make well-informed decisions. I can’t say that I’ve made your job particularly easy; between the dustup in Wellington, the debate boycotts & all the craziness I’ve engaged in throughout the campaign, I at least hope that your experience has been somewhat memorable.
“Before we eat, let me quickly talk about what we’re doing today. Our local booth is at Westfield School, in town. I’ll vote there, along with my parents, siblings & in-laws…” he turned to his wife, “…I believe Sofia will stay here & set up the great hall for tonight. After that, I’ll head off for a while to clear my head,” he pointed to the clear blue sky outside, “today looks like good weather for a drive. In any case, I’ll make sure to be back before 5pm, as folks will start showing up by then. Any questions?”
Silence. “None? Good. Let’s eat.”

With that, everyone grabbed a plate, helped themselves to whatever they wanted, grabbed the drink of their choice, & filed out rather orderly (except the kids, of course) onto the deck to eat their breakfast.
Naturally, Michael & Sofia were last. Michael heaped French toast, several hash browns, two sausages & bacon onto his plate while Sofia went for cornflakes & yoghurt in a bowl.
Michael turned to his wife. “Would you like some orange juice, love?”
Sofia smiled, then shook her head. “I think apple juice would be better.”
Michael smiled back. “Wonderful.” He promptly filled the second cup with apple juice, then carried both cups & his plate outside.
Michael turned back while standing in the entrance to the kitchen. “You’ll be alright?”
Sofia nodded. With that, Michael left for the deck.

Everyone had sat down outside to eat on the metre-high stone blocks that ringed the deck. Naturally, Michael’s family & the journalists seated themselves separately, with the kids seated near each other.
Isaac looked at Michael’s brother. “Charles over there is an army officer.”
Courtney nodded, having just finished a mouthful of bacon. “I know. He served under Fraser Tremont, before he went into politics.”
“Did you manage to find out why he resigned from the army? I’ve been trying to find out for ages, but could never get an answer.”
“No. Every time we’ve asked, we just got the usual ‘he left for personal reasons’ nonsense. I tried to ask Charles before, he wouldn’t answer. He did tell me that he liked Fraser.”
“Interesting.” They both turned to Hayley & Angus. “What about you two? Did you get anything more?”
They both shook their heads, & Hayley spoke up. “I keep telling you, the Freemans are all very private people. Remember that magazine article about Michael & Sofia when they got married?”
They all shook their heads. “Exactly. These people do not open up at all about their private lives. Coming here, I can sort of see why.”
Isaac nodded. “Yeah, I can see why. I mean, Ashwell isn’t exactly an average family home, is it? This looks like an old English country house – it’s got a great hall, a servants hall, even two chapels, for crying out loud. And to think that all the big farmhouses around here are like this. No wonder we’ve never been allowed here before.”
Angus smiled. “You forgot the cars.”
Isaac continued. “Oh, yeah. The cars. A small collection of supercars, gas guzzlers all of them, a Land Rover & a Mercedes. I remember the Autocar article.”

The press pool & camera crew lined up outside Westfield Primary School, waiting for the Democratic Party leader to arrive. Unlike the other party leaders, he refused to vote early, explaining his reasoning while on a campaign stop in Christchurch:

“ Ever since we were children, Election Day has always been a family day for us. My parents have always voted together, & have usually been able to vote alongside their parents, siblings, & us, once we were old enough. Even as children, we always went along with them. I distinctly remember Mum handing me her ballot paper to drop into the ballot box in 2005, while Dad did the same thing with my brother Charlie. Having been raised this way, naturally we take voting seriously. Even when I was in university, I was still registered to vote up north, & six years ago I drove up north on the Friday night to continue our family’s tradition of voting together – if my sister could fly up from Dunedin to vote, then a drive from Auckland was no excuse.
Because of that, I will wait until the big day itself to cast my vote.”

First to arrive were Hannah & Andrew, without their twins. They exited their cars & proceeded to wait for the rest of their family, notably at some distance from the cameras. Next were Charlie & Dana, also without Isabelle. As Charlie got out of the car, his mate William Stewart left the polling booth.
“Charlie! Long time no see.”
“Hey, Bill. Yeah, it’s been a while. You just finished voting?”
He nodded. “Yeah, I have. Voted for Mr C, of course. How long are you up here?”
“Army’s given me leave until Monday. We should catch up tomorrow.”
William nodded. “Yeah, we should. Swing around at Balquhidder tomorrow morning, Dad will love seeing you. See you then, Charlie.”
Charlie smiled. “See you then, Bill.”
The journalists looked around & saw Dr & Mrs Freeman arrive in their Mercedes. They left the car & walked over to their children who were waiting outside the front of the school.
“When should Michael be here?” Hannah asked.
“He should be here soon,” Dr Freeman answered, “I guess he’ll want to make an entrance for the cameras over there.”
Michael, ever the Showman.
Charlie goes up to his sister. “$10 says Michael’s in the Aston.”
Hannah smirked at her baby brother. “$10 says he’s in the Dodge.”
“You’re on.” Having shaken on their impromptu wager, their spouses could only shake their heads in bemusement, while their parents looked on in non surprise.
“Those kids never change, do they, George?”
He shook his head. “No. No, they don’t.”
The relative tranquil early afternoon was shattered by the roar of an engine. The journalists got into place & the cameras started rolling as Michael pulled up in his British racing green Aston Martin, top down of course. In the spring sunshine, Michael looked every inch the billionaire playboy people had made him out to be before he married Sofia, an image Michael kept up because he found it hilarious.
Charlie tapped his sister’s shoulder. “Pay up, sis.”
She reluctantly reached into her wallet & pulled out a $10 note to place into his hand.
“There. Happy?”
Charlie smiled. “Oh, yeah. You know that Aston is his favourite car.”
“Shut up.”
As the Aston came to a stop, Michael swapped his sunglasses for his normal reading glasses. He then unbuckled, opened the door & exited the car to walk over to his family, all of them waiting.
Mum spoke up. “You didn’t have to show off, Michael.”
“Trust me, Mum, if I wanted to show off, I’d show up in the Ferrari.”

As the Freeman family started to make their way inside, Charlie’s ex girlfriend Lisa Creswell left the booth & came across the Freeman family making their way inside.
“Lisa, Hi!”
Lisa smiled back at him, then to the rest of his family. “Hey, Michael.”
“Has your Dad already voted?”
She nodded. “Yeah. My parents came along this morning, & Monica & Archie should be coming later on.” She looked over to the cameras. “I’m guessing they’re for you.”
Michael nodded. “Yes. Yes they are. Well, we’d best get in & vote.”
Lisa nodded back. “Yeah. I’d best get back home. Good luck.”
Michael smiled. “Thanks. Tell your dad to swing around tonight. We’ve got an Election Night function at Ashwell. You’re all welcome.”
“I will.” With that, she gently walked past the cameras as they started to follow them inside.

The hall of Westfield Primary School was more than enough space to fit enough polling booths for all the Freemans to vote at once, but respecting their privacy, only Michael was filmed. After performing the obligatory smile & pose at the ballot box, Michael dropped his ballot paper inside & left the hall to go back to his car while waiting for his family to cast their votes, the cameras & journalists leaving with him.
While getting ready to leave the hall, Michael heard some kids hanging around outside.
“Check it out, it’s Michael’s Aston Martin.”
“Wow,” the other kids replied.
That sounds like young Noah & his mates.
Michael came outside & found Noah with a few of his friends. “Hi, Mr. Freeman.”
“Hi, Noah. Have your parents voted?”
He nodded. “Good. Have a good day.”
“You too, Mr Freeman.” Michael jumped into his car as his parents left the polling booth.
“You off now, Michael?” Mum called out.
“Yep. I need to clear my head before tonight.” With that, Michael started the Aston Martin & drove out of the school parking lot, in full view of the cameras.
It’s a bright, sunny day, Michael thought to himself, time to go & drive.

Michael could have driven anywhere; the Bay of Islands certainly has good roads for driving, & Michael certainly drove them when he could get away with it.
That, however, wasn’t the point of this drive.
I’m meant to clear my head, while I still can, & there are only two place places I can still do that – Ashwell, & Waikawau.
The dust of Freeman’s Road didn’t faze Michael in the slightest as he drove from Ashwell down the bay to Waikawau. As he came onto the straight before Waikawau Bridge, he looked out to the beach & the sapphire ocean beyond.
A good day for it. Truly a good day.

You know what? Let’s take the beach road.
Michael turned the car left to take the beach road; well, not a road exactly, more like a gravel track off the properly-done Freeman’s Road. In no time, he was at the entrance of Waikawau Beach on the Freeman end. Michael got out of the car & walked onto the beach itself, & the memories started flooding back as he walked along.
There’s where I kissed Katty when Selena wasn’t looking…there’s where I built sandcastles with Paris…there’s where us boys played war-games along the beach…there’s where all us cousins raced along the beach in summer…
Michael had walked halfway along to the large sandy area of the Waikawau “Delta”. Here was where we’d practice for the Holroyd Cup. I remember hitting the ball into the sea when I was 12 – Charlie managed to retrieve it.
He could see several figures on the Tamati end of the beach.
One, two, three, four adults, & a baby. Is that…
He headed over to his cousins standing in the middle of the beach. He saw them all: Tautoru & his baby boy Taramainuku, Frankie, Ash, Electra, all dressed weirdly casual & together on the beach.
“Hi, guys,” Michael turned to Tautoru, “I see you’ve got the same idea, Tautoru. You already voted?”
Tautoru nodded. “Yeah. I voted this morning, & came across these three at the booth. We’ve been here the whole day. You?”
“I just voted with my folks at the school, then I just drove off. Boy, are those cameras annoying. The journalists aren’t so bad, but the cameras,” he rolled his eyes, “I’m just lucky it’s all over.”
Ashleigh shook her head. “Not quite. There’s still tonight.”
“Oh, that’s right. You all voted?”
Everyone nodded. “Good. I hope the media didn’t give you too much trouble, Frankie.”
“They’ve been after me since I started doing The Showman’s Hour. Me being your cousin just made the scrutiny more intense. I mean honestly, my political opinions are not for the whole world to know.”
Michael remembered the intense response Frankie gave when a whole bunch of “celebrities” came out against the Democrats, & actually called on Frankie to come out against his cousin & repudiate his views & policies:

“I am not going to talk politics, my political views or opinions, or respond to these overly precious idiots who want me to join their mob. My political views are none of anyone else’s business, & I have no duty to disclose them to anyone. In any case, if I did oppose Michael Freeman’s policies, I would do the honourable thing & bring it up privately & in person, as you do with family.”

“Curiously, the hoopla has mostly been out of TVNZ & the Herald. Would you know anything about that, Ash?”
Ashleigh shook her head. “News is Katty’s department. I know I oversee all of Zealandia TV, but operational matters like that usually stop with her.” She turned to Michael. “I hope that was allowed?”
Michael rolled his eyes. “It’s only us here. It’s fine. Selena’s like that around me as well.”
Tautoru spoke up as he picked his son up off the beach. “I can’t believe it’s been a year since your Nan died.”
Michael looked down. “I can’t either. Especially with baby coming, I know she would’ve loved him. When Sofia & I got married, during her speech at our reception in Russia she basically told me I was a disappointment for not having a kid before Charlie…”
Everyone laughed hard at that one
“That’s Nanny Vic for you, no filter.” Ashleigh said, as the laughter was dying down.
Michael continued. “Sofia’s friends got a really good laugh out of that one, as well as her grandparents.”
Electra spoke. “You remember our Masterchef competition?”
Everybody nodded, then laughed. “Yeah,” Ashleigh replied, “and by the way, boys, all your meals were crap. Michael only ‘won’ because we had to choose someone.” Everybody laughed again at that.
Tautoru felt his son’s nappy. “Oh, time for a change.”

It was 9pm, & Michael hadn’t had dinner that night; he simply wasn’t hungry. Between his wife, now in her last month of pregnancy & tired, his parents, staying down the road at Westfield House, & the party members now starting to arrive, Michael was on the edge.
Irina walked up the steps into Michael’s private living room.
“Michael? You alright?”
He nodded. “Yeah. Just watching the result. You seen this?” He pointed to the screen:

LABOUR 25.3%

“We’re in front of Labour?”
“Yeah. It’s been hovering like that for an hour. Also, Fraser is in front in Rotorua, while Rachel is pulling ahead in Tauranga & John Young in Otaki.”
Hayley & her cameraman stepped up into the living room to set up for the interview, & Alfred walked up the steps as well.
“Fraser is on track to win Rotorua, & Rachel is on track to win Tauranga.”
Michael smiled. “Great.” He headed over to the other side of the room, to the counter, to open the wine bottle. “Amberdale’s Finest – Mr Creswell’s treat. Don’t tell Sofia.”
Alfred looked around. “Where is she, anyway?”
Michael pointed to the master bedroom. “In there. She’ll be out in about half an hour.”
Irina looked over to the bedroom door. “How’s baby doing?”
“He’s fine. We’re setting up this room over here as a nursery.”
Hayley looked at them from her seat on the other side of the room. “Michael, we’ll be ready in two minutes.”
Michael turned to the two of them. “Hurry, let’s get the wine out of the way. We don’t want to look like drunkards on television.” Alfred & Irina laughed as they moved the wine bottle & the glasses out of view of the camera as they left the living room for the stairs.

TV3 crossed to Hayley. “We are now live with Democratic Party leader Michael Freeman. How are you feeling right now, looking at the result?”
Michael lit up, in a slightly drunk way. “It looks like an amazing result, & we hope it continues.”
“Yes. Well, if this result continues, you & the Democrats would storm your way into Parliament. Have you given consideration to supporting Labour or National?”
Michael emphatically shook his head. “Absolutely not, Hayley. I have made our party’s policy concerning the formation of a government abundantly clear. We will not sell our soul to prop up Jennifer Anderson, & neither will we let ourselves be screwed by a National Party that, at the moment at least, has hardly earned a mandate. Before we move on, I must say that tonight is a victory for MMP & a defeat for both the two main parties. Two years ago I, as owner of Zealandia Media, took the fight to the media establishment, in the process dealing a black eye to TVNZ & a bloody nose to the Herald. Now, as leader of the Democratic Party, the good people of New Zealand have given us an opportunity to do the same thing to Labour & National. For that, I am exceedingly grateful. Now, if you’ll excuse me I’ve got a speech to prepare for in about 15 minutes, after which I’ll be happy to talk further. Thank you, & see you soon.”
With that, the camera stopped rolling. Hayley & the cameraman started to pack up to go downstairs. After the cameraman left, Hayley lingered a bit longer to engage a bit further with Michael.
“How old is this place?” Hayley asked, while adjusting her hair.
“Ashwell was built in the mid 1860s, about the time Major Freeman moved here. Over the generations, we’ve modernised the house while still retaining its heritage value.”
“Interesting. One more question: holding an election night party at your own home is a very unusual, perhaps even unique, choice for a party leader, even one with a sizable house like this one. Why here? I know you have a home in Epsom; you could’ve voted here in the morning, travelled down, & spent the evening there. Even if you wanted to stay up here in Northland, you could’ve held it at the Turner Centre, or even Westfield Town Hall. Why here?”
“You want to know why?” Michael pointed to his bedroom door. “Sofia wanted to be here with me, but being heavily pregnant it’s a bit of a mission. I’m just lucky the great hall can fit everyone. Now, you really should be off. I’m about to check in with Sofia before I come down.”
“Alright. See you, Michael.” With that, Hayley left to climb down the steps, but not before she met his eyes for another quick gaze.

“I won’t be able to do it, Michael,” Sofia said, lying down on the bed, “it’s too much to walk all the way down & around, especially at this time of night.”
“That’s fine, I expected that. Would you at least be able to stand at the balcony of the living room? I think that would brighten their spirits, or at least mine.”
Sofia smiled. “If I can’t stand there with you, you can at least see me.”
Sofia nodded. “I can do that. Let’s go.” Within a few minutes, Sofia was dressed & tidied up, with her rather long auburn hair tied into a bun.
They walked out of their bedroom through the study into their private living room on the way to the balcony.
Michael went ahead. “I’ll just quickly push the seat over to the railing.” Naturally, the people gathered below heard the couch being pushed, & in seconds the room was silent as everyone stared to the curtain as it opened up, revealing Michael, wearing the same navy blue suit & white shirt he’d worn all day with the same blue & ochre tie he’d worn at almost all his political meetings, with the heavily pregnant Sofia. They both waved at the gathered crowd, who were so happy to see them they started cheering.
Michael could observe everyone from his vantage point, & he saw them as he waved.
Mr Creswell, Lisa, even Monica & Archie. Even Mum & Dad made it up from Westfield House. Alfred, Irina, Tautoru, & all the rest.
I’m amazed they all could fit. Maybe Hayley had a point.
After a minute of cheering, Michael spoke briefly. “I’m on my way down, folks!” he then promptly left their sight while Sofia sat down.

With both TV cameras still pointed at the balcony, Courtney commented for the folks watching TVNZ 1’s Election Night coverage.

“This is it, everyone. Michael Freeman is about to speak. He is making his way down from his living room where he has seen the results coming in all evening, & what a result it is. 25.7% & 31 seats for a party that didn’t exist just two years ago. The Democrats have done it, they have stormed their way into Parliament & will cause chaos as they have denied both Jennifer Anderson & Andrew Marshall the numbers to form a government in an election that is truly one for the ages.”

The crowd roared in applause as Michael entered the Great Hall from the back.
“MICHAEL! MICHAEL! MICHAEL! MICHAEL!” The chanting continued as Michael walked along the blue carpet to the dais at the front, where the podium had been laid out & was ready for him.
Having made it to the front, he climbed the steps onto the dais & proceeded to the podium. When he made it, the mood in the room changed from celebration to euphoria. Michael could only smile as the cheering revved up another gear before starting to die down. As it died down, Michael felt the TV cameras in the corner pointing straight at him.
The eyes of the country are on me.
Don’t screw this up.

“Good evening friends, & what a good evening this is!

“I would like to take this moment to thank the good people of New Zealand who have become so sick & tired of politics as usual, who are fed up with Labour & National over promising change but never delivering, who have like me been banging their heads against the wall as governments come & go but things stay the same, who have become frustrated at how narrow political debate has become, who found themselves thinking the so-called unthinkable, & see in us an opportunity to hit the major parties where it hurts. As usual, & unlike everyone else, I make no promises to make everything better – even with a mind-blowing result like this, the reality is that we will not be forming the next government of New Zealand; in fact, a cursory glance at the electoral maths before I came down shows that neither Labour nor National have the numbers to form a government with a majority in the next House of Representatives. That means that, thanks to everyone who voted for us, we are about to enter some very interesting times.
“But more on that soon. Before I talk about that, let me just speak a little about how wonderful it was to travel around New Zealand campaigning. From town halls to farmers markets, from marae to speedways, from cafés & eateries to Saturday sports games & even public libraries, having in the course of the campaign met people from North to South, from East to West, life on the campaign trail has not only confirmed my eternal love for New Zealand & New Zealanders, but also confirms that I have made the right decision in putting myself forward to serve New Zealand & New Zealanders as I am able, & I am sad to say that such service is needed in a time such as this.
“Before I entered politics, I grew increasingly sad at what has happened to our country. Governments, dominated by both Labour & National, seemingly adopted a position of silence on important matters such as geopolitics, defence, national security, the continuing decline of our economy about which they both do nothing, & the slow but sure transformation of New Zealand into a nation which not only isn’t one, but has no sense of national dignity, such is the nature of our servility towards everyone, from the United Nations to the United States, to China, even Australia. They don’t treat us like an ally or even a partner; they treat us like a dog, like a slave. They expect us to blindly follow them into their madness, & both Labour & National eagerly push us into serving these masters gratefully.
“Well, I say no more. I say tonight, we start our road out of this mess. Tonight, we will start standing up for New Zealand’s interests, even where they conflict with those of our trading partners, our friends, even our allies. Tonight, we begin our march to Wellington from all over the country, to go to Parliament, to take our seats in the House, & cast fire upon the floor of the House against whichever government manages to be formed.
“That statement almost gives away the position the Democratic Party will take after the election in the new House. We see that, on the current numbers, neither Labour nor National have the numbers to put together a government that possesses the confidence of the new House. I know that one of the main questions, probably the question more people have asked me than any other, is about what we would do in exactly this position.
Here is the Democratic position – we will not sell out to Satan or Lucifer.
“We know what the major parties do – they will say they are cooperating with us in a coalition, but the reality is that, given the chance, they would screw us, they would marginalise us, they would happily take the kudos for all the successes while lambasting us for all its failures. Within three years, they would destroy us, & this moment, this moment of a genuinely multi party system, would be over, & we would continue on this current path unabated. We’ve seen the parties that have gone into government only to end up in the political graveyard; some have managed to rise again, but generally they’ve stayed dead.
“Faced with those odds, faced with that probability, why would we sell out to Labour or to National & be part of a government for three years & then get destroyed? Why would we save the very parties that we are here to destroy? I’m sorry, but going into government with parties that want to destroy us is something we will not do – we simply aren’t that stupid.
“In the days & weeks ahead, our caucus will gather to discuss our plan going forward, but rest assured, friends, the day Parliament opens, we will all be in the House, & we will be ready for war.”

The Media Wars: How Michael Freeman Made a Name for Himself Before Politics

When Michael Freeman founded the Democratic Party in September 2022, many people across the political spectrum were scared of him. There were several reasons they were scared, but there were many who weren’t, for they thought that some eccentric twenty-something billionaire had no chance in politics, especially not against Prime Minister Jennifer Anderson or Leader of the Opposition Andrew Marshall. However, those who were scared of Michael were scared because of what he did in the media world, & his soon to be political opponents were scared he’d utilise his aggressive skills he’d honed in media to achieve his political ends.

He would.

When Michael bought both Stuff & Mediaworks TV in April 2020 for $90 million, he stormed his way into national consciousness. Before then, he was only known as the “Luckiest Man in the World”, having won NZ $1.6 billion in three lotteries around the world. Having bought the two outlets, he promised to announce within three months “a massive shakeup of New Zealand’s media landscape.

He did.

The 23-year-old announced several things at a press conference in June 2020:
• That Mediaworks TV would merge with Stuff to form Zealandia Media. Mediaworks, as the TV division of ZM would be named Zealandia Television (ZTV), while Stuff would be renamed Zealandia Press (ZP).
• That Stuff would integrate with each of the newspapers in forming the multimedia media platform Zealandia Press Online ( which would be structured along regional lines, centred around one of their newspapers. However, to remedy the fact that ZP didn’t have a non-community paper serving Northland or Auckland (which had essentially been given up to the Herald), Michael announced the return of the Auckland Star as the Auckland arm & as the flagship paper of Zealandia Press.
• That Michael would dedicate $25 million to local journalism “so that local journalists at our small & frankly undervalued local community papers can report more widely on local affairs, especially the oft-ignored actions of local government.”
• That Michael would personally contribute $150 million to help Zealandia TV take on TVNZ.
• That Newshub would be dismantled.
He committed to do something massive before the end of the year, & after he returned to New Zealand after several weeks in the UK, he made an announcement which shook up New Zealand television & ended up being the first shot in what would become the Media Wars when he announced a five-year exclusive programming deal with the UK’s ITV & Channel 4, starting from 2021. Just like that, TVNZ lost shows like Coronation Street, Emmerdale & The Chase, & especially with The Chase, the valuable revenue & ratings that came along with them leading into the news. When the announcement was made, everyone’s mouths opened up, thinking about how it was possible for TV3, which before could never compete with TVNZ for programming, let alone British programming, could suddenly just casually take TVNZ staples away from them. This one action earned for Michael an eternal hatred from the folks at TVNZ, which would have far-reaching consequences.

In early 2021, Michael formally severed Mediaworks’ TV & radio arms, & added TV4 to the Zealandia Television stable. Michael made massive changes in the current affairs department, replacing The Project with new investigative current affairs show The Story, providing a massive contrast between TV3 & TVNZ in terms of current affairs. In addition, the Monday night line-up was billed as Primetime Politics, with The Nation moving to 7:30pm & in-depth political discussion show The Issue afterwards at 8:30pm.

Even Michael was surprised when they both became hits.

To top it all off, Michael’s other contribution to New Zealand television came with a variety show, an idea he’d had while in London during the negotiations with ITV. Michael described his vision for the show as:
“Nice, clean family friendly entertainment without the ghastly swearing & politics. I mean come on, surely it’s possible to be hilarious without bitch this, fuck that & all the lecturing about whatever political issue happens to be the issue of the day.”
Michael was surprised, of course, to find that TV3 had cast his cousin Frankie Perusse, the son of legendary Maori entertainer John Thomas, as the host of The Showman’s Hour, & when he’d been announced it had caused controversy when more established entertainers were overlooked in favour of “the boss’ cousin,” never mind of course that Frankie was a good performer in his own right, & Michael himself said that he had no influence over the casting. That said, those who did choose him told Michael later that they didn’t want the Showman to be a household name, & that Perusse impressed them greatly, with his singing, acting & interviewing skills as well as his stage presence, & that they didn’t know Freeman & Perusse were related until the media reports, & that it certainly wouldn’t have influenced them even if they did know. With all the controversy, it certainly hyped up the show leading up to its first episode, which set a TV3 record for a premiere. It would fast become a TV institution, & The Showman would quickly become a household name.

These plans, & the fast implementation thereof, however, were put on hold for some time when Michael announced in mid 2022 that Michael would resign from management (but not ownership) of Zealandia Media as preparation for entering politics. He delegated management of ZM to the Zealandia Media Trust Board, chaired by Selena Fraser, his cousin, with whom be became close over his teenage years as he lived with her family while they attended Prince of Wales College & Auckland University together. Before he resigned, he directed the Board to implement the rest of Michael’s vision for Zealandia Media “& develop upon that.”

Thus, Michael said goodbye to media & hello to politics with his foundation of the Democratic Party of New Zealand, his “merry band of political outcasts” with whom he would “dismantle the New Zealand Political Establishment.”