Election 2023: Liz Gunn cries, Brian Tamaki rages at 'gutless Kiwis' after losses

  • 15/10/2023

Leaders of some of the minor parties that failed to win any parliamentary seats in the election have reacted emotionally over the results, including New Zealand Loyal's Liz Gunn and Freedoms NZ's Brian Tamaki.

With 100 percent of the preliminary votes counted National has 50 seats, Labour 34, the Greens 14, ACT 11, New Zealand First 8 and Te Pāti Māori 4.

Tamaki raged at "gutless Christians" from the stage at a Destiny Church gathering held on Sunday morning, warning his congregation about "what kind of Kiwis" we have in Aotearoa according to the election results.

Gunn, an anti-vaccine former TV presenter, had predicted her New Zealand Loyal party would win 2 million votes in the election - but ahead of the special votes being counted the party is sitting at 1.15 percent of the total, equalling 26,141 votes.

"We are being ruled by a criminal cabal and at the very least, utter bullies," said Gunn at a New Zealand Loyal event held on election night, a video of which was posted on the party's Facebook page.

"You can all take great comfort and great heart because we've come together because we've all woken up, we'll never go back to sleep again. We'll never let them divide us again. We'll keep building this country this way."

But Gunn also reiterated her claim of significantly more support in the speech, saying: "I mean, people are deriding me for saying [we'd get] 2 million. Wouldn't it be funny if - just quietly - well over a million have actually voted for us? Let's see what they do with the numbers."

After being presented with flowers and praise from another speaker at the event, Gunn became emotional, saying she felt like "a real fraud".

"It's not about me, it's about you. I swore at the beginning of this I would never cry when I got into politics, but now he's made me cry," she said tearfully.

"I just feel a real fraud because all I did was just do my little part and then you all did your little parts and that's what this is about. Those people who say 'it's a cult' or 'it's about someone', they couldn't be further from the truth."

The Destiny Church-affiliated Freedoms NZ umbrella party pulled in 0.31 percent of the total votes, amounting to a total of 7031.

"You know, we are a chosen generation, but it doesn't mean we're going to be liked by everybody," said Hannah Tamaki at Sunday Morning's Destiny Church service, posted as a video on the organisation's Facebook page.

She also praised incoming Prime Minister Christopher Luxon's family status while casting aspersions on outgoing Prime Minister Chris Hipkins.

"I'm actually quite glad that the prime minister of the day is a married man who has a beautiful wife and children because the exiting one told everybody last night that 'a lot of you don't know my partner Toni'. Well, we knew, but we didn't know," Hannah said.

"Now in a way there is a way for us to see the establishment of a husband and a wife, a man and a woman, back leading the nation - is that the beginning? It could be the beginning."

When Brian spoke following his wife's speech, he apologised for being late as he said he was watching the All Blacks play Ireland in the Rugby World Cup.

Speaking about the election, Brian yelled about the backlash Simon O'Connor faced after expressing support of the US Supreme Court's controversial 2022 overturning of Roe v Wade, the ruling that recognised a woman's constitutional right to an abortion and legalised it nationwide.

"What kind of Kiwis have we got in this country?" Brian said.

"So did National win last night on the back of the fact is that we're so anti-Christ that a person can't any longer stand up for their Christian faith? Just to say: I agree with the abortion changes in America?

"What sort of Christians are we breeding? ... Gutless Kiwis ... gutless Christians!"

Leighton Baker also posted a video on Facebook thanking his supporters after his party ended Saturday night with 1814 votes, 0.08 percent of the total.

The Leighton Baker Party leader, who has previously ran for the New Conservative Party and the Kiwi Party, was notable figure at the 2022 anti-vaccine mandate protests in Wellington along with his influencer daughter Chantelle.

"Gidday, so it's Sunday morning after the election... obviously by the result, maybe there's not that many people that agree with us, but we still have an obligation to present a different view," Leighton said in his video.

"We still have an obligation to say what we think is right and true. Whether we're wrong or right that just gives people a different alternative of something to listen to and we'll continue to do that because we think it's vitally important that we share the other side of stories or maybe some alternative to what they hear everywhere else."

The final election results will be known in two weeks when all the special votes have also been counted.