Why I’ll Still Be Putting New Zealand First


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Well, I think I can safely say I’ve had a Helluva week. Making international headlines, for almost all the wrong reasons (although being quoted by the Venezuelan government was kinda nice). Finding out who was likely responsible on this very blogWitnessing a large chunk of my life’s work thus far officially declared not to exist. Being defended by David Farrar and Pete George.

It’s all gone pretty interesting.

First up, I’d like to say thank you and acknowledge the absolute *legion-strength* chorus of support and solidarity that’s thundered my way from *across* the political spectrum these last seven days (including Bomber, who’s been awesome). I truly was not expecting this when news of my arrest and court case broke … and I truly am so incredibly and indescribably grateful for same that I can’t even begin to put it appropriately into words. (although I gave it a shot)

But that’s not why I’m writing this piece.

For you see, in amongst the knee-deep-if-not-neck-high streams and torrents of positive sentiment I presently find myself wading if not outright canoeing through … there were some darker, jeering elements.

Credit where credit’s due, there are some Young Nats and others on the right wing of politics who have written in – whether publicly or privately – to express their sympathies for my position.

But they have, understandably, not all been so kind.

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One persistent theme in all this raging banter, variously phrased, has been a string of questions which basically boil down to “When are you going to be resigning from NZ First”, often accompanied by a none-too-subtle suggestion that I ought to attempt to shack up with the Greens.

Now, no disrespect to the verdant half of my tango-of-tactical-voting in the #BlackGreen2017 dream … but this will not be happening.

Unless I am forcibly Clause 9’d out of NZF by the Party … I shall not be leaving New Zealand First.

Please, no jokes about the grass being greener on the other side.

The reasons for this are quite simple.

I have absolutely no reason to do so. Even in light of what has happened and what’s been said and/or leaked about me.

I am still ABSOLUTELY ROCK SOLID in my faith and conviction (ahem) that New Zealand First represents the very best Party in both Parliament and Opposition for an expression of my views and our national wellbeing.

Barring some seriously major policy announcements which may have happened over the intervening week while my attention’s been elsewhere … they have not, to my knowledge, changed one iota what they – and we – ultimately stand for.

So when it comes to changing my Party allegiance – why would I?

What could POSSIBLY have all these Young Nats aflutter and brimming with suggestions presumably intended to be in my presupposed welfare that I might like to switch horses before the race has even approached its final stretch?

Well, applying one of the few resources that the average Young Nat doesn’t have at their fingertips or summonable via the conveniences of Daddy’s credit card – i.e. Empathy – it’s not hard to see why they’re baffled by my decision to stay. And not just because of my abiding belief that when a Young Nat tells you something’s a bright idea, then is often (but not always) the time to do exactly the opposite – and with extreme prejudice.

You see, the reason most Young Nats are part of their parent party’s youth wing is very simple. It’s about self-interest. Whether in terms of making connections that will see them looked after in later life, looking to influence policy in order to benefit them personally, or most cravenly … attempting to climb the greasy pole and advance up the cursus honorum into eventual high office; many Young Nats (and not a few Young Labourites, into the bargain) are actively engaged in their patch of politics for reasons that could charitably be described as being less than altruistic.

The reasons I got involved in NZ First, by contrast, are the exact and diametric opposites of that.

When I joined up back in 2009, with the possible exception of Winston there *was* nobody to network with – and certainly not anyone of any benefit outside the political sphere. I’m justifiably proud and honoured with many of the connections I’ve made since then thanks to NZ First and NZ First Youth … but for the most part those only happened because I – We – built them up ourselves. Often from the ground up and with very little in the way of outside (or even internal) assistance. I make no bones about the fact that a young man such as myself would do very much better in a New Zealand First governed NZ – but then, we pretty much ALL would. And that’s because an enlightened, #Nationalist approach to the economy benefits all Kiwis – not because lowering tax rates for upper income earners helps any social class I come from (it doesn’t); or being a Young National looks good when applying for a job at certain law firms.

I’ve also known, ever since I was turned down in my application for candidacy last year in 2014 (ostensibly due to my mental health issues … which were pretty bad even *pre* hospitalization), that it was patently unlikely that I would ever be allowed to become an NZ First MP.

In light of what’s happened, it now seems that it will be virtually impossible.

And yet, you didn’t see any outward decline in my ardour nor zeal in attempting to campaign for NZ First at the last Election in light of this. Perhaps more strikingly – even though I was subjected to a blatantly unconstitutional Kangaroo Court Clause 9 complaint process disciplinary action against my Membership of the Party back in January for the absolutely heinous crime of saying “fuck” in a posting on my own personal facebook page … you CERTAINLY didn’t see any let-up in my ongoing efforts to get you all to join me in Putting New Zealand First.

In fact, if anything, I went all the harder for the Party in consequence and response.

Because at the end of the day (and, for that matter, at the beginning, morning tea, afternoon and night of the same 24 hour period) … I have always deeply believed that we do not get involved politics for petty, personal reasons of avarice and self-advancement.

We choose to put our heads above the parapet and loudly proclaim what we believe in – even if we must do it from the sidelines, if not the sin-bin – precisely because we believe in making a contribution to something far greater than ourselves. In whatever capacity we can.

That’s why I got into politics back when I was but a young socialist revolutionary with neither nuance nor neatness to my views.

And that’s why the remarks printed on Peter Cresswell’s appropriately named Not PC blog that I was “[one who had identified] the rotting carcass of a party with a regular turnover of tailor’s dummies sitting MPs for whom lack of ability is no barrier to parliamentary honours, and seek to ingratiate himself therein.” incensed me so grievously. Not just because they are ABSOLUTE ANATHEMA to what I believe and how I have always endeavoured to conduct myself in our politics … but also because they made me out to be everything I’ve often found myself despising in the young up-and-coming social climbers of other parties. (I did, however, quite like his referring to me as a “One Man Nationalist Revolution“. Thanks. I’ll be keeping that.)

It also behooves me to point out that at the time I joined up, NZ First wasn’t even *in* Parliament – and the received wisdom from just about everybody (including, no doubt, the Peter Cresswells of this world) was that we *wouldn’t* be getting back into the House in the first place. Hardly, you might think, the ideal place for a young craven careerist as he’s made me out to be to set up shop and pitch tent. But certainly, I would argue, the ideal first-and-last-stand position for one who has chosen “the path of principle, choosing a party that matches his values and fighting across the length of his career to put them into practice“, instead.
A lesser-known drug-using politician by the name of John F. Kennedy was once of the opinion that the essence of political service was not asking “what your country can do for you” – but rather “what you can do for your country”.

As applies political policy, my answer, to a certain extent, has always been a bit of “why not both?” – as surely the rising tide of successful governance must lift all boats in the national flotilla, including making a prosperous society that the enactors and mobilizers of such policy can, themselves, benefit from being a part of.

But as applies political parties – and our place, as activists, within them – my answer has always been very, very different.

We are not here, in political parties or other vehicles, to be asking the question “what can our Party do for us”.

It is well, right, and good that our political “families” (for such, they truly are) appropriately look after their errant tribesmen – particularly in situations such as mine; and I thank each and every NZ First member and MP who has deigned to check in on my welfare.

But it is NOT right to, as so many Young Nats and others have done, blithely assume that the best and greatest thing about being in a political party (or, hell, setting up a Youth Wing for one – even if this now, sadly, seems unappreciated) … is the very real chance or peril that you’ll some day rise through the ranks to become an elected official upon their behalf.

That’s not what politics is about. That’s merely political office-seeking. And should be outright discouraged.

As I said in my public statement about my resignation from NZ First’s Board of Directors back in June, “Our mission, here in politics, is bigger than each of us and any of us.
And that, I guess, even more so than the other glorious line I came up with about how my “heart is still Black; and the linings remain – as ever – Silver“, is why I shall be remaining NZ First unless and until they Clause 9 my membership out from under me.

Because my support for New Zealand First is ultimately not about me. It’s about New Zealand.
And what we – whether as individuals, or as constituent parts of political parties – can do to “work as if you lived in the early days of a better Nation“. (a phrase I’ve always liked that adorns the walls of the Scottish Parliament)

It remains to be seen how best I can continue to make that contribution in service of both my Party and my People. Suggestions and assistance toward that end shall be gratefully accepted.

As far as the rest of my political career goes … I closed my resignation letter by noting that “The Age of Ares is Over”. It had become something of a quiet private refrain for me ever since the day of my arrest, when things first went *seriously* topsy-turvy in my world.

But politics, as Chancellor von Bismarck mused, is the art of possibility; and it was presumably in this spirit that one of my more ardent supporters coined the hashtag #TheAgeOfAresIsNeverOver.

In that, I would have to agree.

The Age of Ares is not over. In fact, it’s only just beginning 😉

Let’s move forward into it. Together.


  1. Damn. Well written, Curwen. And I’d worry not about Mr Cresswell, who himself has a very human weakness…

    I’d agree with your decision to stay with NZ First. Every political party needs a left-wing, to provide balance, and to give it a heart of empathy.

    So really, it’s not that you need NZ First – but NZ First needs you.

    It’s interesting about your “Age of Ares not being over”. Ever since I did my interview with you (https://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2012/02/12/interview-a-young-nzers-thirst-to-make-a-difference/), you’ve struck me as someone on a journey through politics. You’ve only just started, and it’ll be a wild ride, for sure.

    My word of advice – enjoy it! We all get only one ‘crack’ at things.

    All the best to you, comrade-in-writing.

  2. Keep up the good work Curwen. You can judge how effective you are when they don’t attack or debate your ideas but attack you personally and start hanging labels on you.
    When that happens you are really making progress.
    Keep going!

  3. Keep at it Curwen. You are one of the best at what you do. NZ needs you. And keep blogging through TDB.

  4. “You see, the reason most Young Nats are part of their parent party’s youth wing is very simple. It’s about self-interest.” – he says as he writes about himself in a very self indulgent and self congratulatory way

    • I see, the troll has crawled out from under his very (obviously) boring and uneventful bridge to not only stalk Curwen on Facebook, but on TDB, too.

      I think if you can see past those stupefying pince-nez of bitterness you seem to be looking down your nose through, you’ll find the theme of this article is to extol the virtues of NZF and the virtues of principle, NOT serving the self through said party – but how the self can serve the party.
      You may have become confused (which happens easily, doesn’t it?) as Curwen illustrated this theme through an account of his (NZ) First-person experience.

      You’ve gone and Dunn it again, haven’t you?

      • I think you’re confused, both this and his facebook are public. I’m not invading his spaces, these are public places and if he doesn’t want criticism he should just keep his opinions and profile private.

        For something that is meant to be talking about the virtues of NZF he sure talks about himself a lot.

        “The Age of Ares is not over. In fact, it’s only just beginning

        Let’s move forward into it. Together.”

        Nope nothing self serving or anything in that article at all. It’s not like he links to all his media appearances in the first paragraph either.

      • Wow no one has been that earnest trying to make fun of my last name in a while. I didn’t realise that NZF had supporters that were still in primary school.

        • It’s well established you have been stalking Curwen for some time, to track and troll his progress, opening several profiles so you can abuse and harangue…
          You may as well just stop with the pseudonyms and just come out of the creep closet, because everyone knows who and what you are.

          Do you have anything other than a petty attempt at character assassination to offer?

          • ‘Curwen was pretty staunchly pro-free speech, but he can’t even handle that jandal’

            – I’m just going to interject here to point out that Curwen is the one actually moderating the comments, so he is quite literally handling your jandals.

          • It’s quite obvious you lack self-awareness, so you probably don’t realise how woefully you humiliate yourself every time you pop up with a new account and pseudonym just to get yourself all a-flutter over someone who doesn’t consider you in the slightest.

  5. “Part Apache; Part Swede. Part Attack Helicopter; Part Kitset Furniture.”

    Can we also talk about how insensitive this is

  6. Enlightened nationalism is certainly a reliable path forward – and an antidote to the kind of global kleptocracy that just shafted Greece.

    But the scum who have lied and cheated their way into political power will not be dispossessed of it without a struggle.

    This government needs a forensic audit – they are unquestionably the most corrupt NZ has ever seen. Our systems of accountability were designed to work with better men than this.

      • SMOKE WEED ….

        We are all waiting on your in-depth and constructive commentary that sheds light on current events besetting this country…

        In the short time you’ve posted here on TDB …you’ve simply set a precedent for yourself of inane sniping with little substance.

        • You’re going to be waiting a long time because im not a narcissist i dont really need to spew all my opinions in public so i can get pats on the back and talk about myself.

          I prefer to listen to others, something Curwen should consider.

            • [Ad hominem attack by an unknown person hiding behind the cloak of anonymity. I’m half tempted to let your post through, to show you as the coward you are. But it’s been a long day and I simply cannot be bothered. Permanent ban. – ScarletMod]

          • “…because im not a narcissist i dont really need to spew all my opinions in public….”

            – says the person who has come onto a public forum to, very emotively, express his opinion.

  7. While I disapprove of your facial hair, I approve of your writing (in general). You certainly turned around my opinion of NZ First. They are now my party of second choice.

    • Oh come on mate- that there stache and soul patch was a great fashion from about the 1860’s to 1920.

      And I like those older styles.

      Hec!…Ive got a great big handlebar stache and a General Custer goatee myself ! And the hair to go with it!!

      L00L…and I still was working in security . 🙂

      And the only reason we have short back and sides was because of the French revolutionary army- they shaved it off because so many of the troops had nits before they were recruited – lol!

      What Im really saying is… we humans come in all shapes and sizes – and part of freedom is how we choose to appear.

      Now…it must be coffee time.

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