Brian Tamaki says Freedoms NZ is hoping to cause a "massive political earthquake" ahead of the general election in October, in the hopes of getting "15 to 16 percent" of votes.
Tamaki, Destiny Church leader and co-founder of Freedoms NZ, told Newshub he didn't know his party's candidate, Karl Mokaraka, was going to interrupt a National Party press conference in Auckland's Pakuranga on Monday, but approved nonetheless.
"I said to him: 'That was brilliant! You stole the political limelight'."
Mokaraka, the Freedoms NZ candidate for Panmure-Ōtāhuhu, climbed onto a fence directly behind National leader Christopher Luxon and started heckling him.
"We haven't seen you in Ōtara, Mr Luxon," he said.
Luxon asked Mokaraka to be "respectful", to which he responded, "I am being respectful".
“Sir, do you think this is really helping your case?” Luxon said.
After two minutes of back-and-forth, Luxon and Pakuranga MP Simeon Brown later moved the press conference inside after continued questioning from Mokaraka.
Prime Minister Chris Hipkins later hit out at Freedoms NZ on Monday at his post-Cabinet press conference.
"Ultimately, that's anti-democratic. They're denying all New Zealanders the right to hear from all political parties," he told reporters.
"Christopher Luxon is absolutely entitled to hold a press conference. He's entitled to share his views with the New Zealand public and the New Zealand public are entitled to hear those views."
Mokaraka was the same person who also heckled Chris Hipkins at the Ōtara Flea Market earlier this month in Auckland while on a walkabout with his Labour MPs.
Tamaki told Newshub Mokaraka "struck oil" when he interrupted Luxon's press conference.
"We like to stand up for what we believe is right. He asked some good questions there."
He questioned Luxon's visibility and image too.
"He is never seen around Ōtara - they don't know him there.
"I just think there's no transparency in National, they're just accountable for themselves. They're dodgy."
In terms of Freedoms NZ's election campaign, Tamaki told Newshub they're planning on being "disruptive".
"[We're] interrupting a whole boring, lacklustre campaign."
Newshub asked Tamaki if Freedoms NZ planned to interrupt other parties' traditional election campaigns, but he denied this.
"I don't plan nothing," he said.
"The only plan we've had leading up to the last four to five weeks of the elections is foot soldiers knocking on doors, doing music, and giving out key policy statements.
"We're doing it differently."
Meanwhile, Tamaki told the NZ Herald Freedoms NZ candidates may "pop up" unexpectedly.
In September 2022, Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson said MPs were receiving more abuse and threats in public.
"We are going to have to think about this election campaign in a slightly different way," Robertson said at the time.
National, however, was singing a different tune back then.
"[They're] opportunities for the public to interact with National MPs and other candidates. We certainly have no intention to make any change," said National's campaign chair Chris Bishop last year.
Tamaki claimed a third of voters are still undecided.
"So there might be a surprise on the 14th."
There are 45 days left until the general election.