Advance NZ co-leader Billy Te Kahika Jr has denied claiming 5G technology causes cancer, despite a video on his party's own website proving he did.
In an interview on Newshub Nation on Saturday, he told host Simon Shepherd he wasn't a conspiracy theorist - before launching into a conspiracy theory about how the COVID-19 pandemic might have been planned in advance.
He also said most of New Zealand's victims of the pandemic were elderly and would have died if they'd caught the "common flu".
Te Kahika, who before entering politics with the Public Party was best-known as a musician, has teamed up with former National MP Jami-Lee Ross to contest the 2020 election. His videos, posted to Facebook and YouTube, have a massive audience.
Statistics from social media tracker Crowdtangle show while Advance NZ/Public Party has only a fraction of the followers National and Labour have, their videos are far more popular. Over just one month, Advance NZ/Public Party had 1.85 million video views - outscoring both the major parties despite having only 26,960 followers. Labour had 1.72 million views and 264,902 followers, and National 774,000 views and 119,559 followers.
"We are critical thinkers. We are asking New Zealanders to wake up," he told Newshub Nation.
One of the party's policies is to set up an "independent People's Commission" to investigate 5G, water fluoridation, vaccines, New Zealand's drug-buying Pharmac, the United States' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and pesticide 1080.
Scientists have said his claims 5G is dangerous aren't true at the strengths being used by telcos.
Asked on Newshub Nation if he'd ever claimed 5G could cause cancer, Te Kahika falsely claimed he hadn't.
"We've never said that at all. We've never said that anywhere on my platforms."
In a speech in June at the Akarana Yacht Club in Auckland, Te Kahika said: "We will live in a radiated atmosphere of 5G technology that destroys DNA, destroys and causes cancers in us, destroys our immune systems".
Te Kahika went on to falsely say he hasn't made any claims about 5G technology, instead saying the legislation which determines how telcos can roll out new technology is "out of date".
Asked if he believed in the conspiracy theory that Bill Gates was planning to implant everyone in the world with microchips, Te Kahika said he doesn't "go down that type of rabbit hole at all", before saying he'd done his own research into Gates' involvement with vaccine manufacturers.
Gates has indeed put money into the hunt for a COVID-19 vaccine through his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, saying he was prepared to "waste billions of dollars" on failed research if it helped speed up finding one that works.
"It's ironic that people are questioning vaccines and we're actually having to say, 'Oh, my God, how else can you get out of a tragic pandemic?'" he told Bloomberg earlier this month.
"They take the fact that I'm involved with vaccines and they just reverse it, so instead of giving money to save lives, I'm making money to get rid of lives."
Te Kahika also said top US health official Anthony Fauci - their equivalent of our own Ashley Bloomfield - knew the pandemic was coming years in advance.
"We've got clippings of people like Anthony Fauci that said in 2017 that we could expect a virus outbreak, a surprise outbreak, right about now."
What Dr Fauci said in 2017 was the Trump administration - which dismantled the United States' specialised pandemic response team in 2018 - would be "faced with the challenges their predecessors were faced with".
He cited past outbreaks like Ebola, HIV and Zika as examples, saying the next one would be a "surprise" - not planned, as some conspiracy theorists claim.
Scientists who have examined the genome of the virus which causes COVID-19 have roundly concluded it could not have been made in a lab. The current belief is that it evolved in bats before making the leap to humans, probably via an intermediate animal such as a pangolin.
Backing for failed 'treatment'
Te Kahika also said if elected, he would investigate alternative treatments that don't involve "the end of a needle and the swallowing of a pill". Asked if hydroxychloroquine - an anti-malarial drug touted by US President Donald Trump was one of them, he said: "I think that's one of the range of options that we're assessing."
After showing early promise at combating COVID-19, studies have found patients administered COVID-19 actually do worse than those that aren't.
As recently as Friday new research from France was released, which found it had no effect on mortality - except when used in combination with an antibiotic, which actually made patients' deaths 27 percent more likely.
"There is already a great number of studies that have evaluated hydroxychloroquine alone or in combination and it seems unlikely at this stage that any efficacy will ever emerge," the authors wrote in journal Clinical Microbiology and Infection."Our results suggest that there is no need for further studies evaluating these molecules."
Te Kahika also doubled-down on false claims his party made in a new video that the Government passed a law allowing it to force Kiwis to be vaccinated, using clips of Megan Woods, the minister with responsibility for the managed isolation and quarantine process, edited and out of context.
"The video we posted are in the words of the minister herself and they can't be argued with," Te Kahika said, arguing with host Shepherd.
"She very clearly says that there are provisions in there, if required, inverted commas, that if people are required to have vaccinations, they will be required to do that."
Woods was actually talking about the possibility, in future, of requiring people who want to enter New Zealand to be vaccinated first. The Bill has not been passed, nor does it mandate forced vaccination.