“THE MANAAKI COLLECTIVE” SITE AND FUND ESTABLISHED TO SUPPORT VICTIMS OF DIGITAL HARASSMENT
New Zealanders rally together to support individuals targeted by right-wing extremists and white supremacists
(Aotearoa New Zealand, 14 July 2021) A community movement has been established and website launched today in support of victims of digital harassment, online hate and threats, in what the co-Founders say is a “necessary move to make up for the lack of government protection”.
‘The Manaaki Collective’ website, now live at http://www.themanaakicollective.nz, features advisory resources and a declaration that calls upon community members to denounce narratives that cloak hate towards minority groups as ‘free speech’. In recent months this has accelerated to threats of mass violence, declarations of a race war and the targeting of key individuals and their family members with threats of violence and death.
With the horrific events of the terrorist attacks of March 15 2019 still fresh in the mind of many New Zealanders, concern is growing that another attack is imminent. “The NZSIS has said there is a realistic possibility of another white identity extremist attack in New Zealand” said one of the co-Founders of The Manaaki Collective. “March 15 saw the impacts of right wing hate play out in the most horrific way. But one of the most deplorable aspects of March 15 is the fact that the Islamic community had been experiencing the same kinds of threats that people are being subjected to now, for an extended period leading up to the attacks. These threats were not taken seriously by the authorities when our Islamic brothers and sisters reported them, just as they are not being taken seriously when the threats are being reported now.”
“For almost all New Zealanders, March 15 was an abomination. The hateful ideology that led to such devastation has no place here. We want no part of the kind of vicious white supremacist-style politics that are playing out overseas and in dark corners of the internet” a different co-Founder said. “Right now, this same agenda is – once again – being weaponised against our friends, family members, people we love and care for. To know that New Zealand authorities are not taking these new threats seriously, that they don’t seem to have learned from the utter pain and devastation of March 15, is disgusting” they continued.
“But we are sure there are hundreds, thousands, perhaps millions across this country who will stand in solidarity, support, and do whatever it takes to prevent another terror attack in Aotearoa. We set up The Manaaki Collective not just to be clear on what we, as New Zealanders, agree to reject; but to also draw together a korowai of protection for those at risk. In the spirit of manaakitanga, we know if we work together, we can keep each other safe.”
The Manaaki Collective collects donations through the website to support individuals who are being targeted by right-wing extremists. Funds will be used to provide a range of support measures to meet the immediate needs of those being targeted, and to help prepare for future needs. This includes home security equipment and services, emergency travel, safe house accommodation, and accessing mental health and legal services.
Note to editor: links to relevant background information are included below.
NZSIS Director Rebecca Kitteridge speaking to likelihood of another mass violence event in NZ: https://youtu.be/kdKea2V-2Ww?t=3214
Islamic Women’s Council speaks to history of threats and harassment being ignored leading up to March 15 mosque attacks: https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/insight/audio/2018737122/ignored-by-the-state-how-muslim-women-tried-to-warn-of-impending-danger