Auckland man to protest Islamic State-linked Suhayra Aden's return to NZ, plots run for Prime Minister

An Auckland activist is leading a march to protest suspected terrorist Suhayra Aden's contentious return to New Zealand - and he's vowing to overcome Jacinda Ardern at the next election so it never happens again.

Alani Taione will take to Aotea Square in August after the Government this week announced Aden, who is currently in a detention centre in Turkey with her two children, will be allowed to resettle here.

Turkey, which has dropped charges against her, asked for New Zealand to repatriate Aden after Australia revoked her citizenship. She had previously held dual New Zealand-Australian citizenship. 

Taione's protest was originally scheduled for this weekend, but has been postponed because it coincides with the Government's apology for the Dawn Raids at Auckland's Town Hall on Sunday.

However he vows he'll push ahead with it soon because "otherwise the fire will die down". A date will be announced in due course.

In a video announcing the protest, Taione said the Prime Minister was someone people had looked up to until she made the decision to allow Aden to re-enter the country.

"We were proud of you when you handled the COVID-19 virus, but for me, looking at what you did… I think you made a big, big mistake and it's a big failure," he said.

Alani Taione will take to Aotea Square after the Government announced Suhayra Aden will be allowed to resettle here.
Alani Taione will take to Aotea Square after the Government announced Suhayra Aden will be allowed to resettle here. Photo credit: Facebook / Getty Images

"I tell you: in the next election, Jacinda Ardern, you're not going to be the Prime Minister… you are finished, Labour Party is finished.

"I don't want terrorists in New Zealand, and I'm pretty sure I don't want to live next door to someone who will blow me up and blow up my family."

Aden was caught in February trying to enter Turkey illegally from Syria. Turkey initially identified her as an Islamic State terrorist, but has since dropped all charges against her.

Taione told Newshub he doesn't want Aden brought back to our shores, because she wasn't raised here.

"She goes and lives a life in Australia, spends most of her time over there, and then goes and does all this on the other side of the world - and now she tries to claim she's a New Zealander.

"Australia already cancelled her citizenship. And now, why do we need terrorists and criminal people in our land? Why don't you make New Zealand a haven for families, for good people to come and invest in a good life here?"

In his protest announcement video, Taione also revealed he'd be making a run for Prime Minister at the next election under the banner of a new political party, the Peoples First Party.

He says he will give overstayers amnesty, raise the minimum wage to $25 and introduce a rent-to-own housing scheme if elected.

"New Zealand is gonna be a place for families," he said, "not a place for terrorists, not a place for criminals. A place for good people around the world."

It's far from the first time Taione has spoken out against those in power.

An outspoken critic of the Tongan monarchy, he was charged in 2006 with arson and property damage after driving a car into the gates of the Tongan royal family's Auckland residence, then setting it on fire in a protest over corruption.

The activist also led a protest against the sentences handed down to three men found guilty over the 2009 Princess Ashika ferry tragedy, in which 74 people died and Taione lost family and friends.