Jacinda Ardern says she'll "push hard against" suggestions COVID-19 is a conspiracy and that people should avoid vaccines, among other ideas peddled by the New Zealand Public Party and its founder Billy Te Kahika.
The Prime Minister was asked about Te Kahika at her post-Cabinet press conference on Monday, and came out strongly against a number of the unconventional views he's popularised in his short stint as a political leader.
Among his most controversial is that the global COVID-19 health crisis is a hoax and is being used as a bioweapon by China, the country the disease originated in.
Ardern made clear she isn't having a bar of it.
"Any suggestion that New Zealanders should not take COVID-19 seriously, any suggestion that people should be wary of life-saving vaccination, any suggestion that COVID-19 is somehow part of a conspiracy, I push hard against very strongly," she said.
"I'd like to think that, by and large, you'd hear that out of the democracy in Parliament as well."
The NZ Public Party is anti-1080 and skeptical of "5G, fluoridation, vaccines, pharmaceuticals, poisons", as well as "electromagnetics, industrial products and waste, consumer products [and] food products", according to the party's website.
It also believes the UN is eroding Kiwis' property rights, and has promised to rescind all UN agendas and agreements that New Zealand has signed up to.
Asked what she'd say to the NZ Public Party's supporter base - which has grown quickly despite a lack of mainstream media coverage - Ardern urged them to believe she'd always acted in their best interests.
"We're an evidence-based Government," she said. "All of the decisions we've made are based on research, science and evidence, and all of the decisions have been made in the best interests of looking after the health and wellbeing of New Zealanders.
"We live in an internet and social media age where conspiracy theories, which have always existed, flow more easily and freely. I'd encourage people to feel assured that we use an evidence base in everything we do."
Te Kahika announced over the weekend that his NZ Public Party would be joining forces with the Jami-Lee Ross-led Advance NZ.
Most candidates in the merged political party will stand under Ross's Advance NZ banner. However Te Kahika plans to stand as a NZ Public Party candidate in Te Tai Tokerau, against Labour Party deputy leader Kelvin Davis.
Ross says if Te Kahika wins Te Tai Tokerau, that will allow other Advance NZ candidates to enter on the list, provided the merged party wins enough of the party vote.