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Yesterdaze: An unexpected policy announcement

The euthanasia debate took an unusual turn this week when Vision NZ, the political party associated with the Destiny Church, made an unexpected policy announcement. It appeared that Vision NZ supported voluntary euthanasia, but just for one person, co-host of TV3’s The Project, Kanoa Lloyd.

The now former campaign manager of Vision NZ, Jevan Goulter, posted an ugly Facebook rant directed at Kanoa, including references to pigs and blood and a direction that she should “show us what voluntary euthanasia looks like”. This was in response to Kanoa’s objection to the rumoured inclusion of Vision NZ’s leader, Hannah Tamaki, as a contestant in the next series of Dancing With The Stars.

Apparently Goulter was triggered to assault his keyboard by her describing Hannah Tamaki’s “xenophobic and homophobic views” as “properly dangerous”. In fact, Goulter was so triggered he went straight for the pigs, blood and euthanasia without denying that Hannah Tamaki has xenophobic and homophobic views.   

When Goulter’s social media rant went viral, drawing criticism from all quarters, Vision NZ acted quickly. Goulter was terminated, and given the context of euthanasia I should clarify that I’m fairly confident it wasn’t Devan himself, but rather his role as campaign manager for Vision NZ, that was terminated. 

By the time it was all over, Jevan Goulter had lost his campaign manager role, Hannah Tamaki had lost the opportunity to show the nation what Kanoa Lloyd predicted would be a “xenophobic cha cha” and Brian Tamaki had lost his ability to punctuate a tweet properly.

Vision NZ and Hannah Tamaki made it very clear that it was unacceptable for Goulter to engage in such unhinged social media ranting, presumably because unhinged social media ranting is Brian Tamaki’s role. And it’s a role that (open air quotes) Bishop (close air quotes) Brian takes very seriously, as evidenced by his contribution to the issue in a since-deleted tweet decrying “venomous, dirty liberal left, sexually confused, effeminate, booze drenched, antichrist, false wannabes, relationally messed up insecure people”. According to Brian, the media and entertainment industries are full of them, which is patently untrue as to at least four of those characteristics.

By the time it was all over, Jevan Goulter had lost his campaign manager role, Hannah Tamaki had lost the opportunity to show the nation what Kanoa Lloyd predicted would be a “xenophobic cha cha” and Brian Tamaki had lost his ability to punctuate a tweet properly. All of which was entirely avoidable if only TV execs had done the logical thing and invited Hannah Tamaki to host her own TV show – Donation, Donation, Donation.      

If nothing else, the whole unsavoury episode was a reminder that Vision NZ is a political party that will be contesting this year’s election, provided it can find a new campaign manager who can spell, punctuate and cut out references to pig’s blood.

And for a party that has 'Vision' in its title, it’s noteworthy that, this week’s debacle aside, Vision NZ is not particularly visible in the New Zealand political landscape. If Vision NZ does, as it claims, represent the silent majority, then it’s going about it in a fairly silent way.

Vision NZ says its objective is for Kiwis to have access to opportunity to succeed and prosper, which shouldn’t be confused with Destiny Church’s objective, which is to have the opportunity to access Kiwis in order to succeed and prosper.   

For starters, Vision NZ doesn’t have a website. Visionnz.co.nz belongs to an AV company that is the largest Sky and aerial installation provider in Otago and Southland, and whose corporate values are ‘listen and understand’, ‘make it easy’ and – I’m not making this up, it’s right there on the website – ‘guarantee happy endings’. And now you know why Sky TV has marketed itself as ‘your happy place’. You’re welcome.

If you want to find out more about Vision NZ the political party, you’ll have to go its Facebook page. I’m assuming you probably don’t want to know more about Vision NZ the political party, particularly if you live in the Deep South and have just decided to get Sky TV installed, so I’ve been to Vision NZ’s Facebook page for you. Vision NZ says its objective is for Kiwis to have access to opportunity to succeed and prosper, which shouldn’t be confused with Destiny Church’s objective, which is to have the opportunity to access Kiwis in order to succeed and prosper.   

If you dig a little deeper you’ll find that Vision NZ has announced a few policies and indeed this week wasn’t the only time the party has referenced euthanasia. Last November, Hannah Tamaki did an interview at Magic Talk, which is a radio station and also a handy description of Brian’s sermons. In the interview, Hannah Tamaki said that Vision NZ was “committed to get a mandate from voters in 2020 and follow it through, achieving what NZ First bark about every election, before rolling on their back with their legs in the air like they have just been euthanised”. 

I think she’s confusing euthanasia with tummy tickling, but there’s no confusion about the fact that Vision NZ is going to target disaffected NZ First voters. I’m not sure that’s a sound strategy given NZ First voters tend to be fairly disaffected to start with.   

In other news this week, Jacinda Ardern was in Fiji, Winston Peters was in India and you’re not going to win Lotto’s $50m jackpot tomorrow night.

Have a peaceful weekend.     

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