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Former mayoral candidate says police took his guns because he 'supports Trump'

Police have confiscated several weapons from one-time Auckland mayoral candidate Adam Holland, saying they hold "serious concerns" for his "mental and emotional wellbeing".

Mr Holland, 28, has taken to Facebook to protest the confiscation, saying he believes it was prompted by the March 15 shooting, and that the guns were only taken because of his political views.

Mr Holland has been outspoken in his support of US President Donald Trump and has expressed right-wing views many times.

The confiscation, on March 28, came just two weeks after the worst mass shooting in New Zealand's history, which was allegedly carried out by a white man with alt-right views.

A notice issued to Adam Holland by police after the confiscated two airguns from him.
A notice issued to Adam Holland by police after they confiscated two airguns from him. Source: Adam Holland/Facebook

In a Facebook post, Mr Holland said police had visited him and seized two air guns, as well as a crossbow.

Mr Holland posted a photograph of the notice he received from police about his air rifles - a Ruger Blackhawk .177 and a Hatsun Striker .177.

The notice, signed by Otago Lakes-Central area commander Inspector Olaf Jensen, said his weapons are now being held by police, and outlined the reasons for their confiscation.

"I do not believe you to be a fit and proper person to be in possession of an airgun," the letter reads.

"Police hold serious concerns regarding your mental and emotional wellbeing."

Police declined to comment to 1 NEWS, citing privacy reasons.

Under Section 41 of the Arms Act, police have the right to order the surrender of an air gun if they believe the holder is not a "fit and proper person".

"It's obvious what this is about ... somebody in Christchurch, who I've never met, killed 50 people at two mosques on the 15th of March 2019," Mr Holland wrote.

"The detective told me over the phone (all recorded) that these firearms were seized because I'm 'right wing' ... this is political persecution in New Zealand, 2019.

He wrote on Facebook that "the police reasoning (over the phone) for taking my airguns is that I'm a 'right wing white supremacist'.

"When asked further, they said it's because I've been on the record supporting US President Donald Trump.

"You can't freely support the US President in New Zealand without facing persecution."

Mr Holland told 1 NEWS he "completely understands [police's] concerns", but said he is not a threat to anyone.

Mr Holland supplied a photo of a valid Department of Conservation hunting permit, and told 1 NEWS that was the primary use of his air rifles - shooting game like rabbits and goats.

A valid Department of Conservation hunting permit held by Adam Holland.
A valid Department of Conservation hunting permit held by Adam Holland. Source: Supplied

"There's a state of high security, a high terror alert -  a massacre's taken place, an unspeakable massacre, and I can understand that, and I can understand why they would piece together all that crap I did in the past - but a lot of it was just taking the piss.

"In regards to the psychiatric business - I've [had] a problem with alcohol in the past and that's true and that's proven, but psychiatrically, I've only got anxiety problems.

"I don't have, like, psychosis, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, nothing like that - they've made a wild assumption based on my actions, I believe."

According to the notice, Mr Holland now has the option of selling the weapons to someone else within three months, forfeiting them to police, or appealing the decision.

A HISTORY OF CONTROVERSY

Mr Holland entered the 2016 Auckland mayoralty race on a satirical platform of policies based loosely around President Trump's rhetoric, and made the news after a candidates debate at Auckland University's Shadows bar devolved into chaos.

During that event, Mr Holland, dressed in a kaftan, took control of the microphone and repeatedly shouted, among other things, "Allahu Akbar" - Arabic for "God is great". He later defended his outburst by saying he was "incredibly drunk" at the time.

1 NEWS reported soon after that Mr Holland was convicted of driving with five times the legal blood alcohol limit, in an incident where he rear-ended a car carrying a mother and her two children before driving away.

In 2017, Queenstown Police were called to investigate after two men put up posters at Queenstown Resort College bearing anti-semitic slogans.

Mr Holland later told the Otago Daily Times that he was one of the two men involved, and at that time identified himself as "the leader of the NZ Altright Party".

HOLLAND SAYS HE HAS CHANGED

Speaking to 1 NEWS from Queenstown, Mr Holland said he has taken steps to be a better person since the aforementioned incidents.

"That entire 2016 mayoral election thing, that was just a joke between a few friends and I that got a bit out of hand - ultimately I was a twat for what I did ... I was trying to play the victim a bit here and there," Mr Holland said.

He said he was involved in the Queenstown poster incident, but that the posters did not bear any swastikas, and were "against the country of Israel - right after they had carried out a bombing".

Mr Holland said he was in a bad head space at the time 1 NEWS published a story about his drink driving conviction, and made comments which didn't reflect how he really felt, adding that he is now "very remorseful" for what happened.

"From mid-2018 onwards, I've lived a healthy life - I've lost between 25-30kg of fat from excessive drinking and eating, I volunteer at the Salvation Army once per week, I try to give back to the community these days.

"I try not to be such a dick all the time and put myself in position where it's going to piss a lot of people off - I've done a lot of that.

"I made some stupid comments to you [1 NEWS], I probably insulted you a bit ... I was just drunk, being a dickhead, I had depression issues, anger problems most likely ... I wish I could take that back, but I obviously can't."

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    Mr Holland later admitted that he had been ‘incredibly drunk’ and during the September 27 meeting at the Shadows student bar. Source: AUSA/Youtube