There are only eight weeks to the election, and smaller parties are still popping up with the hope of drawing voters' attention. With National and Act polling well, a coalition between them seems the obvious outcome. The question is will they have sufficient numbers to form a government or find a minor party to ally? 

This could be NZ First, but the question remains, have voters forgiven Winston Peter’s 2017 Labour Alliance? Peter’s showed face at the Wellington Freedom Protest, speaking with New Zealanders who opposed the Covid mandates. The Freedom movement has lost faith in National and Act after their no-show and are looking to minor and emerging parties to provide the balance the nation needs to restore unity.

On Tuesday night, New Conservatives Leader Helen Houghton met with several leaders from newly emerged parties, touting the freedom banner. Ex-National MP, Alfred Ngaro from NewZeal formerly the One Party, Leighton Baker, whose party was recently registered, and Matt King of Democracy NZ, although Baker could not attend due to party celebrations.

Houghton, who is running for Christchurch East where she lives and works as a teacher, has petitioned for gender ideology to be removed from schools and the Bill of Rights to be entrenched, had hoped for a united outcome, but was left disappointed. 

“These emerging parties are unproven. Even though they hold many of the same values as New Conservatives, they want to go it alone. If the commonsense parties came together with us, we would make it across the line and start to restore these values in our society.”

King, who left the National Party over the parliamentary handling of the protest, has been touring the country since January. He believes he will win the Northland seat, despite a recent poll commissioned by Reality Check Radio, showing Democracy NZ polling below three percent. 

Alfred Ngaio has also turned his back on National. In a Newstalk ZB interview, he indicated “National’s failure to oppose law changes on gay conversion therapy and gender identity was a departure “from the values I held there and that I believed the party was about”. 

Leighton Baker who campaigned hard for New Conservative in 2020 left the party after the party failed to meet the 5% threshold and prefers to think his name will get him enough to go alone.

New Conservatives have rebranded and have candidates campaigning on significant issues. Houghton says they understand the importance of having policies that the freedom community wants that are broader than just freedom.  Earlier in the month, they launched their monetary policy Family Builder tax cuts, education reform, conservation, and justice. 

Houghton calls on past voters not to be distracted by the new freedom parties ``People need to back us, we’ve got the policy to solve more than just one issue and restore families, education, and unity to New Zealand”.