The Manaaki Collective is a supportive community of every-day New Zealanders who stand for safe discussions and work towards Tiriti justice, racial justice, environmental justice and social justice. We have come together out of concern for the safety of campaigners and rights defenders in our nation, and the lack of protection that they are receiving from our government to carry out the vital human and environmental rights work for our nation to progress towards our vision of an equitable, just, safe, Tiriti-centered nation.
After the horrific events of March 15 2019, Aotearoa New Zealand collectively stood up to declare “never again”, and to reject both the atrocities carried out against the Christchurch Muslim community, and the white supremacist ideologies that drove them. Just two years later, however, white supremacist hate continues to make Aotearoa New Zealand a very dangerous place for Māori, Muslim, and other marginalised communities. In June of 2021 New Zealand security officials confirmed that there remains a realistic possibility of another white identity extremist attack.
Between May and July 2021, threat levels continued to rise, evidenced by:
- Threats of violence being sent to Christchurch mosques
- The safety of Māori rights campaigners and their families being routinely threatened
- Extremists showing up in person to intimidate individuals at their workplace
- Threatening phone calls and direct messages
- Violent extremists, radicalised by white supremacist content creators, calling for a violent race war against Māori
We consider this to be a human rights crisis in Aotearoa New Zealand. Much of the work being carried out by those who are targeted, is work that has been recommended by United Nations agencies in order to bring Aotearoa New Zealand into alignment with basic human rights standards.
The very nature of this crisis means that the co-Founders of The Manaaki Collective have been forced to remain anonymous. Not one of us is ashamed of the work we are doing, in fact quite the opposite. Helping keep people safe might just be the most important work we ever do. But the reality is that we have seen what speaking out against white supremacists and right-wing extremists has done to our friends, our family, and to those we admire. How they have had their families targeted, how they are practicing at home with their children for what to do if a gunman arrives ready to enact the threats that have been made. Our heart breaks for what they are going through. We see how alt-right extremists target women and children, how they go after the people they think are weaker than they are. So we choose anonymity in order to keep ourselves and our families safe, and to ensure we can continue to support those who have already been publicly targeted.