19 Apr 2023

National candidate shared a poem likening Jacinda Ardern to Adolf Hitler

10:42 pm on 19 April 2023
National's Taieri candidate Stephen Jack posted a sexist joke on Facebook.

National's Taieri candidate Stephen Jack posted a sexist joke on Facebook. Photo: New Zealand National Party

Stephen Jack has resigned as the National Party candidate for Taieri after it was revealed he shared a poem online comparing Jacinda Ardern to Adolf Hitler.

A National Party spokesperson told RNZ on Wednesday night via email the party would open selection for another candidate for the seat in due course.

Earlier, Stuff revealed Jack re-posted a poem which compared former prime minister Ardern to Hitler.

It has come to light as deputy leader Nicola Willis labelled an earlier, sexist joke shared by Jack as "disgusting" - and warned a repeat incident may trigger the party's disciplinary code.

On Sunday, Stuff revealed the Taieri candidate shared a video in 2020 which contained the joke: "I like my Covid like I like my women. 19. And easy to spread." It was removed after the party was contacted with questions.

The poem posted in 2021 remained on his personal Facebook page on Wednesday. It contains the lines: "Just as Hitler had the SS, our prime minister's on the job. She's given up on the police and bought the Mongrel Mob."

SS is an abbreviation for the Nazi Party's Schutzstaffel organisation, largely responsible for the genocidal murder of an estimated six million Jewish people.

The 'Enough is Enough' verse was written by Balclutha farmer Ross Agnew, and also refers to Ardern as "Cindy". It also reads: "I'd like to leave my carbon footprint on [Environment Minister] David Parker's arse."

Sheep and beef farmer Jack re-posted with the comment "a sequel to the fart tax blues" - a reference to a protest song written by Agnew in 2003, opposing a proposed levy on livestock methane gases.

Jack tagged farming lobby group Groundswell, and rural radio show The Country.

On Wednesday, Willis told Newstalk ZB that Jack had apologised for the joke. She said she would feel uncomfortable if something similar happened again.

"I think it would be incredibly unwise for him to do anything like that again and in fact that would probably trigger some of our party rules in terms of our code of conduct," she said.

Earlier in the week, leader Christopher Luxon called the joke "a pretty crass comment" and defended the party's candidate selection process.

"We're doing a good job," he said. "I am proud of the process I have put in place since becoming the leader, working with the president to make sure we've got a very good vetting process."

Earlier this month, the party's Maungakiekie candidate Greg Fleming, faced heat for comparing civil unions with polygamy and incest during the civil union debate around 20 years ago.

MP Sam Uffindell was selected for the Tauranga by-election last year, despite the party knowing he was kicked out of boarding school for severely beating a younger boy.

* This story was originally published by Stuff, additional reporting by RNZ.

  • Sam Uffindell: From boarding school to political scandal
  • National Party president admits selection process could be improved
  • Luxon backs Uffindell, but says attack should have been made public