New Zealand First website finally active after almost seven months

The New Zealand First party's site has been "coming soon" since last year.
The New Zealand First party's site has been "coming soon" since last year. Photo credit: New Zealand First

The New Zealand First website is finally active after being down since November last year. 

The website became unavailable on November 14, 2017 after someone moved a folder, causing elements to disappear from pages. Since then, the new website has been "coming soon". 

The new homepage features an image of the leader of New Zealand First and Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters, alongside New Zealand First deputy leader Fletcher Tabuteau, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones, and New Zealand First List MP Jenny Marcroft. 

"Help us continue to put New Zealand and New Zealanders first by becoming a member of New Zealand First," the website's slogan says. 

The broken website has been a frustration for journalists attempting to access party lists, historic releases and party policy. All parties maintain their own websites using party funds, rather than Government resources.

The website appears to be built on NationBuilder, a site-building tool used by many political organisations. Developer Tim Field told Newshub in April that NationBuilder is "very easy and rather cheap" to use.

The party's website said "coming soon" for almost seven months.
The party's website said "coming soon" for almost seven months. Photo credit: New Zealand First

He said the length of time the website has been down for indicates the party's priorities, saying it says "much more about the lack of importance they put on having a website, rather than the technical difficulty of creating one".

In December, a spokesperson for Winston Peters said the developers in charge of the website's rebuild expected the site to be up and running by the start of 2018.  

"We are part of a coalition which is committed to being open with the public," the spokesperson said. 

New Zealand First previously told RNZ the website went down due to security concerns.

"Security concerns are partly responsible for the NZ First website being offline," said RNZ political editor Jane Patterson in a tweet on 8 December last year. 

New Zealand First, formed in 1993, is the country's third largest party. Following the 2017 general election, it retained nine seats and formed a coalition government with Labour. 

The party's core message is generally conservative, calling for less immigration to New Zealand and "common-sense social and economic policy". 

Newshub has contacted New Zealand First for comment on why the website has been down for so long.