It appears NZ Herald has misled their readers, including myself, about the AUESA. While they quoted Adam Holland’s opinions on the group, they falsely called him the group’s spokesman. The European Students Association disputed this claim.
Newshub’s article quotes him as ‘spokesman’, but quickly clarifies “It’s not clear if Mr Holland is actually a member of the group or just pretending to be.”
The Wireless’s article edited their article and issued a clarification, stating “A reference to former Auckland mayoral candidate Adam Holland being a spokesperson for AUESA has been removed. The club dispute Holland’s invovlement [sic] .” at the bottom of their article.
This is very irresponsible of NZ Herald, if not malicious.
It is totally possible that Holland is involved with the group, but knowing both Holland and NZ Herald, this relationship is very questionable.
My original blog post is still included below, as much of my discussion about Holland still stands.
NZ Herald reports:
The president of the student club which is using symbols also used by white supremacist groups says it has been misunderstood.
The man, who won’t give his name for safety reasons, is the head of the European Students Association established at Auckland University, which some fear is a white nationalist group.
“We aren’t Nazis, white supremacists, racists, fascists,” he told NZME.
“We completely condemn all of that. We aren’t any of that.”
The man says Pacific, Maori and Asian students have cultural groups, and Europeans have the right to have their own cultural group as well.
He says the group aims to recruit both “European students” and anyone else who is “interested in European culture”.
The group’s Facebook page includes Celtic symbols used by white supremacist groups, and paintings depicting the unification of Germany and the colonisation of New Zealand in the 19th century.
Well, that sounds somewhat reasonable.
It has also posted “our pride is our honour and loyalty”, a statement similar to “my honour is called loyalty”, a common translation of the Nazi SS slogan.
A spokesperson for the group, Adam Holland, said it is a completely innocent club and there was no indication it had racist intentions.
“It’s about unity, not seperatism,” said Holland.
Holland made a name for himself when, whilst vying for Auckland mayoralty last year, he dressed in a Muslim jubba and yelled “Allahu akbar” and “vote for me” at an Auckland University mayoral debate.
He said he doesn’t see the link between using Celtic symbols and being racist.
“It’s pretty silly. To link Celtic images to racism, that’s hateful,” said Holland who told NZME the aim of the group is “to have a good time, celebrate diversity” and freedom of association.
Holland said AUSA are against the group because they are scared it is racist, “when it’s not.
“They are being the hateful ones. AUSA should be ashamed of themselves and issue an apology.”
Oh, for fucks sake.
I was sceptical of the allegations against this group until I read his name.
Let’s quickly go through his recent history.
- In the 2016 Auckland mayoral election, Adam Holland ran for the mayoralty
- He first announced his candidacy with ‘Not A Party’, an anarchist anti-voting political party
- He somehow ended up running as the Auckland Legalise Cannabis Party candidate (which is a party he founded- according to NAP, not even Holland knew which one he was representing)
- At a minor candidates debate at the Auckland University Students Association bar ‘Shadows’, he came dressed as a stereotypical Muslim while shouting “Allahu Ackbar” amongst other obscenities whilst totally drunk
- Was convicted for rear-ending a mother and her two kids whilst he was driving drunk (this was during his mayoral campaign)
- On the 3rd of Feb, Holland rebranded his campaign page to the “NZ Alt-right Party“
- Since then, he has frequently posted sexist, fat shaming, anti-muslim, and anti-immigrant posts
- Hell, he even supported STONING foreigners who commit crimes
His career shows exactly who he is. Adam Holland’s entire political career has been about chaos and rebellion. I severely doubt he believes all the bullshit he spouts- heck, the guy who launched the ‘Auckland Legalise Cannabis’ party now wants 25 year prison sentences for selling pot? Please.
This could mean one of two things for the status of Auckland Uni’s ‘European Students Association’. It’s either what they say it is- a German art appreciating medieval reenactment fan group that Adam Holland’s seen as an opportunity for his contrarian ways, or it’s really a white supremacist identitarian group trying to hide it’s unacceptable ideas.
I’m certainly not a fan of either.