The controversial meme. Murray Chong is pictured bottom right - Photo / File
Controversial New Plymouth district councillor Murray Chong recently posted a meme, comparing himself with Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King.
It was taken down from New Conservative social media after a torrent of bad feedback.
Chong has joined the New Conservatives in his second attempt to buzz into the Beehive as New Plymouth's MP. Last time around, in 2017, he campaigned as the NZ First candidate.
He made headlines recently after starting a petition seeking to overturn the Māori Ward voted in by the New Plymouth council. The council voted 12 in favour, two against, with New Plymouth mayor Neil Holdom abstaining. The council did not consult the public, despite 80% of local residents voting against Maori wards back when self-proclaimed "reformed racist" mayor Andrew Judd tried bringing them in.
Māori Party co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer is mystified as to why Chong compared himself to these historical figures.
“This is a man who is seriously deluded,” Ngarewa-Packer says.
It is unknown what Chong thinks he has in common with Lincoln, Mandela or King.
The meme did not explain the connection with a petition to overturn a Māori ward.
Ngarewa-Packer expressed her admiration for Andrew Judd, calling him a 'tungāne' or brother, in his fight to end what he calls legislation against Māori.
"He (Judd) personifies an excellent Treaty partner," she says.
"We have to thank those around him that also helped to unshackle him from his former racism."
It is her view that a Māori ward in her native Taranaki rohe (region) will ensure effective Māori political representation.
Chong declined an invitation to appear on Te Ao Tapatahi to explain his position.
Ngarewa-Packer also claimed Chong has received funding from controversial Hobson's Pledge to fund his campaign to derail Māori representation. Hobson's Pledge has been asked for comment.
Earlier this year, New Conservative deputy leader Elliot Ikilei (Ngāi Māori, Ngāi Niue) appeared on Te Ao with Moana, where he denied the existence of institutional racism in Aotearoa.
Chong will go up against five candidates. Jonathan Young holds the seat for National. He made history in 2008 when he dethroned Labour MP Harry Duynhoven by just 105 votes. Labour has fielded Glenn Bennett in the hopes of regaining the seat. Independent Rusty Kane returns to make another run for the job. Kath Lauderdale and Ada Xiao represent Social Credit and ACT respectively.
Elliot Ikilei confesses
Skip to 2:38 - Elliot Ikilei confesses to making the meme - Video / Facebook
After the New Conservatives took the controversial off their social media channels, deputy leader Elliot Ikilei posted a video. In it he confesses that Murray Chong had nothing to do with the meme - taking credit for it.
It is understood that Chong did not object to the meme, and he felt honored to be included among such esteemed figures.