'It's online, it's in our homes, it's people we know': Patrick Gower on white supremacy in New Zealand

Patrick Gower says the issue of white supremacy in New Zealand is far larger than he thought.

As part of a month-long investigation into the movement, Newshub's national correspondent uncovered a nasty truth of New Zealand - an undercurrent of hate and extremist behaviour. 

"In my view, white supremacy in New Zealand is a phenomenon and it's an evil phenomenon," Gower told Duncan Garner on The AM Show.

"It is way bigger than anybody thought. It is actually huge."

For the investigation, Gower looked at a sample of 200 New Zealanders who display extremist views - but he says the undercurrent of racism is far larger.

"I believe that's just a fraction of New Zealanders who are into white supremacy," he told Garner.

"It's online, it's in our homes it's people we know."

"As we've seen from what happened at the mosque in Christchurch it's incredibly dangerous."

He says the investigation found school children engaging with white supremacist content in chat rooms online.

 "We have identified schoolboys with white supremacist views," he told Garner.

Gower says the signs have been there all along, and that police and the Government missed them.

"Last night we picked up on one white supremacist, the first person charged with sharing the video [of the Christchurch massacre], Phillip Arps," said Gower.

"Now we found video of his from two years ago, delivering a severed pigs head to the Al Noor mosque. Kiwis need to see what people are talking about on these sites. It's a gigantic warning sign, because he also talks about in that video, wanting a cull on Muslims two years before it actually happened in that mosque," said Gower.

"And he got away with an $800 fine for offensive behaviour, and he laughs about it in the video."

Gower says extremists have gotten away with their behaviour because the law has not done enough to stop them.

"The law has not kept up with this. This country has missed warnings, and we're acting too slow."