Advance NZ co-leader Billy Te Kahikas Jr's claim military has 'powers similar to that of a constable' fact-checked as false

Advance NZ co-leader Billy Te Kahika Jr has been called out for "false" claims he made that the military has been given powers similar to a police constable in New Zealand's COVID-19 managed isolation facilities.

While the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) has been given expanded powers at managed isolation facilities, they are not the same as that of a police constable, AAP FactCheck says.

In an interview with Newshub Nation on Saturday, Te Kahika said "we have [the] military on the streets and the roads of New Zealand".

"We've got people's rights and freedoms being eroded - that's not good at all - it was announced the other day that military staff now have extra powers similar to that of a constable while managing a detention centre."

Law professor Andrew Geddis told AAP FactCheck the powers of a police constable are much more than that of the NZDF personnel.

"The military have no power to directly force people to comply with their directions/requirements," said Prof Geddis.

During the interview, Te Kahika was called out by Newshub Nation host Simon Shepherd for the false claims.

"The military do not have the same powers as police - they can ask people to go back but it's [the] police that have the power," Shepherd said. 

"Sorry, that's not true Simon," Te Kahika replied. "You're wrong again."

Prof Geddis confirmed the NZDF does not have the power to detain people.

"They have no legal power to arrest or detain, no right to physically restrain, etc," Prof Geddis told AAP. "Only constables may do so."

Te Kahika also wrongly denied saying that 5G caused cancer during Saturday's interview. In a video posted to the Advance NZ website, 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".

Billy Te Kahika Jr.
Billy Te Kahika Jr. Photo credit: Newshub Nation.

Advance NZ says if elected, New Zealand drug buying agency Pharmac, vaccines, fluoride in water, and 5G will be investigated through the establishment of an "independent People's Commission".

Te Kahika told Shepherd, however, he's not a conspiracy theorist.

"We are critical thinkers," he said. "We are asking New Zealanders to wake up."

He also doubled down on a separate video posted by his party that falsely claimed the Government had passed a law that would "force" citizens to get a COVID-19 vaccine when it comes out.

That video was also proven false by AFP Fact Check.