Sep 16 2023

NZ First releases party list with conspiracy theorist at No 11

Kirsten Murfitt in an interview with conspiracy theorist and NZ Loyal Party leader Liz Gunn

New Zealand First has published its party list for the 2023 election, the last of the established parties to do so, and at 11th place is a candidate revealed to have voiced a medley of conspiracy theories, ranging from chemtrails to “death shot” vaccines to questioning whether the 9/11 attacks were real. Kirsten Murfitt was one of a group who quit Matt King’s fringe right DemocracyNZ party in June and has supported the work of Liz Gunn, leader of the conspiracy theory fuelled NZ Loyal Party.

The candidate, , a Tauranga-based commercial lawyer, appeared on a provisional list last month, party leader Winston Peters told Stuff: “NZ First candidates are selected after a process of investigation as to their qualifications and suitability and will not be finalised or released until nomination day on 14th September.” It would require a vote of around 8% for NZ First for Murfitt to make it to parliament.

Kirsten Murfitt in an interview with conspiracy theorist and NZ Loyal Party leader Liz Gunn

At the top of the list, naturally, is the sole leader of the party across its 30-year history: Winston Peters. Shane Jones, a former cabinet minister for NZ First, is second. Former Hobson’s Pledge spokesperson Casey Costello is third, with former caucus members in the 2017 term, Mark Patterson and Jenny Marcroft, next in line. Andy Foster, the former mayor of Wellington, is a good shot at a seat in parliament, placed seventh.

Keegan Langeveld, the NZ First participant in the Spinoff Youth Wings series, is there at No 20.

The top 20

1. Winston Peters (List only)
2. Shane Jones (Northland)
3. Casey Costello (Port Waikato)
4. Mark Patterson (Taieri)
5. Jenny Marcroft (Kaipara Ki Mahurangi)
6. Jamie Arbuckle (Kaikoura)
7. Andy Foster (Mana)
8. Tanya Unkovich (Epsom)
9. David Wilson (Upper Harbour)
10. Erika Harvey (Tauranga)
11. Kirsten Murfitt (Bay of Plenty)
12. Lee Donoghue (Hutt South)
13. Stuart Husband (Waikato-Hauraki)
14. Gavin Benney (Whangarei)
15. Anne Degia-Pala (Kelston)
16. Robert Ballantyne (Rangitata)
17. Helma Vermeulen (Rangitikei)
18. Laurie Turnbull (Napier)
19. Taylor Arneil (Wellington Central)
20. Keegan Langeveld (Dunedin)