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Billy Te Kahika quits politics, shuts down New Zealand Public Party

Conspiracy theorist Billy Te Kahika has abandoned his political aspirations and shut down his party, announcing he will focus instead on his activism.

Billy Te Kahika. Source: rnz.co.nz

It brings an end to the shortlived New Zealand Public Party, briefly known as the Freedom Party, which campaigned on Covid-19 misinformation.

The party contested last year's election through a pact with Advance New Zealand - a party led by disgraced former National MP Jami-Lee Ross.

The alliance received just 1 per cent of the vote and broke apart shortly after the poor electoral showing.

In a statement posted on Facebook, Te Kahika said he intended to keep spreading his views through his social media channels.

"This is not the end of my fight for freedoms and being a voice for concerned Kiwi's [sic]," he wrote.

"I am leaving the political world to be... a voice for all concerned New Zealanders and a commentator about the important issues as an independent activist journalist."

Te Kahika has fronted numerous rallies protesting the government's handling of Covid-19 over the past year, in particular the lockdown measures.

In his statement, Te Kahika thanked his "awake and beautiful" supporters and his family for backing his work.

"The fight has not ended - it has only just begun, just in a different form."

rnz.co.nz