Prominent motorway graffiti with blunt messages for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern are causing a buzz on social media.
DTNZ is unable to verify the location of the examples published, but some social media users believe they are in Tauranga.
One message reads:
The people are waking up!! The people are coming for you Ardern!!
A video shows another one which reads:
Ardern is a Nazi dictator b**ch!!
DTNZ is unable to share the video, but we captured the following still:
The threatening messages reflect a growing dissatisfaction among New Zealanders with the government’s divisive policies through the COVID crisis, but also its current and future agendas in the areas of personal rights and freedoms, race relations, as well as the lack of results in reducing organised crime.
The graffiti is also reflective of Ardern’s falling popularity. A 1News/Kantar poll on 30 May had Ardern on 33% as preferred Prime Minister, still comfortably ahead of nearest rival Christopher Luxon on 25%, but significantly down on her pre-2020 election approval rating of 55%. It also seems nowadays that Ardern cannot go out in public without being subjected to abuse and jeers from members of the public, or the presence of a protest. No Prime Minister in living memory has been on the receiving end of such consistent and vocal vilification.
Whilst the legacy media and Ardern’s spin doctors will attempt to blame ‘white supremacists’ and ‘mysoginists’ for the growing trend, there’s no escaping the fact a growing number of Maori and women are feeling the same angst towards her.