Abstract: After the March 2019 Christchurch attacks, the Dominion Movement, New Zealand’s first major Identitarian-inspired far-right extremist group, went underground. Only a few months later, however, the remaining members re-emerged as part of a successor group, Action Zealandia. This article analyzes Action Zealandia, outlining how the group fits into a small but persistent far-right extremist ecosystem in New Zealand, and presenting its growing links with violent extreme far-right movements internationally. While the group toes a careful line in its advocacy of violence, the reported involvement of multiple individuals linked to the group in violent extremist threats—from aspiring to establish a ‘terror cell’ in New Zealand to alleged threats against one of the Christchurch mosques attacked in 2019—demonstrates a ‘gray area’ that exists between so-called non-violent and violent extremism, serving as an instructive case study of broader trends within extreme far-right movements internationally.

Following the far-right terrorist attacks on the Al Noor mosque and Linwood Islamic Centre in Christchurch in March 2019, which killed 51 Muslim worshipers and was livestreamed using modern communications technology and social media,1 combating violent extremism and terrorism became priority issues in New Zealand. A Royal Commission was established to inquire into the attack and to identify institutional blind spots or specific failures in trying to prevent the massacre.2 Additionally, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern launched the Christchurch Call to Action, a pledge by governments and tech companies to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content on the internet.3

This attack did not occur in a vacuum, taking place in the context of rising far-right attacks globally,4 fueled in part by an online ecosystem of platforms, networks, and alternative media outlets that disseminate violent extremist narratives, ideologies, visual styles, and memes across national borders.

However, the attack’s relationship to domestic far-right extremism was ambiguous: while the attack profoundly impacted New Zealand—and in particular, the country’s Muslim community—it was highly international in nature. The terrorist was an Australian who identified as European and who cited the actions of London’s mayor Sadiq Khan and Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel (in particular, their attitude to migration) as well as Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan (whom he described as the leader of Muslim migrants in Europe) as part of his perverse justification for his violence.a And while Christchurch represents the most striking example of violent extremism in New Zealand, extremist groups in the country have attempted to mobilize their supporters for decades and have continued to do so since the events of March 2019.

In a recent Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) study into the New Zealand online extremist ecosystem, researchers found the extreme far-right to have by far the most numerous and active online extremist presence, comprising around half the total posts of a dataset of over 600,000 extremist posts—dwarfing the activities of Islamist, extreme far-left, and conspiracy-based extremists like QAnon.5 The research shed light on a constellation of far-right extremist groups, ranging from anti-Muslim groups to ethnonationalists and white supremacists, presenting themselves as protecting New Zealand’s cultural, racial, and religious identity from perceived existential threats. While overall the online extremist ecosystem in New Zealand is quite small, on a per capita basis New Zealand fits an international pattern, and is broadly consistent with the relative size of equivalent communities in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia.6

In this context, one of the most notable extremist groups in New Zealand is Action Zealandia, which draws inspiration from international far-right extremist groups such as the Nouvelle Droite,b Rise Above Movement (RAM),c and the pan-Scandinavian Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM). Established several months after the Christchurch attacks, and in many ways defined by it, Action Zealandia provides important insight into a far-right threat in New Zealand that can be alternately characterized as both violent and non-violent, group-based and post-organizational, as well as domestic and international in nature.7

In this article, the authors explore the specific challenges posed by Action Zealandia as a group, as well as unpack the limitations of explaining New Zealand’s far-right extremism threat through a purely organizational lens. The authors outline Action Zealandia’s ideology and its heavy emphasis on digital propaganda. It also looks at Action Zealandia’s ambivalent relationship with violence, whereby, for example, an individual member was arrested in connection with suspected violent extremist activity even though the group itself publicly disavows the violence of the 2019 Christchurch attacker.

Analyzing Action Zealandia on its own terms, and as an instructive case study of a broader far-right extremist threat picture, the article will also examine the increasing internationalism of the far-right extremist movement, both in terms of organization and inspiration, and look at the emergent challenges New Zealand faces with issues like far-right extremism in the military and law enforcement, which are shared by its Five Eyesd and European peers.8

Structurally, this article begins with an overview of far-right extremism in New Zealand, before examining the ideological influences on Action Zealandia and its output. It then analyzes Action Zealandia and the New Zealand extreme far-right’s ambivalent relationship with violence, before outlining the movement’s international connections with violent extremists overseas. This article draws on primary research conducted by ISD throughout 2020 on New Zealand’s online extremist ecosystem, media reporting on the offline activities of New Zealand’s extreme far-right, as well as the wider literature on international far-right extremist mobilization.9

Far-Right Extremism in New Zealand
Up until the 2010s, New Zealand’s relatively sparse extreme far-right scene was characterized by a loose conflagration of neo-Nazi and skinhead groups, including Fourth Reich, a white supremacist group that had cells across New Zealand’s prisons from 1994.10 Limited efforts at pan-Australasian extreme far-right coordination are evident through stand-alone extremist websites like Stormfront’s “Downunder” sub-forum,e but there is little evidence of meaningful international exchange.

However, in February 2018, New Zealand saw its first Identitarianf group emerge in the form of the Dominion Movement, modeled on the Patriot Front in the United Statesg and the Australian Neo-Nazi group Antipodean Resistance.11 h The Dominion Movement group grew rapidly until the Christchurch attacks, forming branches in Auckland, Hamilton, Palmerston North, and Wellington on the North Island, as well as Nelson and Christchurch on the South Island. Its growth came primarily through postering and stickering runs across New Zealand, as well as organizing group nature walks and banner drops, and participating in “solidarity actions” such as posting photographs of their members holding signs in support of jailed members of the Rise Above Movement.12

The Christchurch attacks forced the group underground, though many of its members re-emerged as part of Action Zealandia, which formed in July 2019.13 Adopting a more polished image, Action Zealandia describes itself as “a community for European New Zealanders”14 and a “movement of young nationalists.” The group appears to heavily monitor its public-facing image, including anonymizing its members and making efforts to promote publicly acceptable topics through its website and social media channels, such as environmental protection.

Action Zealandia’s Ideas and Output
Drawing on the ideas of the French Nouvelle Droite (New Right), which advocates for a “right-wing Gramscianism,”i contemporary extreme far-right movements such as the European Identitarians as well as the American “Alt-Right” aim at reconquering the perceived cultural hegemony from the liberal-left through what they call “metapolitics.”j By attempting to extend the Overton window (the range of ideas considered acceptable in mainstream political discourse) toward the extreme far-right, they hope to lay the cultural and intellectual groundwork for an eventual authoritarian transformation of liberal democracies.15

Taking inspiration from the communications and culture-focused efforts of international extreme far-right movements, Action Zealandia’s official branded outputs focus on influencing discussions in the digital environment. The group activities Action Zealandia conducts in the physical realm, such as hiking trips, litter collection, gym sessions, visits to monuments, and extensive sticker and poster campaigns, appear to be ultimately designed to produce digital content.

Through this digital content, Action Zealandia seeks to simultaneously build a recognizable brand, outline its ethnonationalist ideology, take stances on specific political issues and events, as well as recruit new followers and supporters. (Notably, women are excluded from membership of the group.) Postering themes include demands for a boycott of China, pro-white messages in the wake of unrest in the United States following the death of George Floyd,16 support for Kyle Rittenhouse who allegedly killed two Black Lives Matter protestors in August 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin,k through “Kyle Was Right” posters,17 and other international themes such as “Boer Lives Matter” banner-drops in solidarity with the white South Africans supposedly under threat from targeted violence by Black South Africans, as well as the use of Rise Above Movement stickers.18 Additionally, Action Zealandia has targeted the offices of two National Party MPs in Auckland with anti-China posters, sending a “message directly to the traitors in parliament.”19

Action Zealandia’s physical activities and digital outputs appear to be designed to provoke a reaction from politicians, journalists, activists, and the wider public. For example, a coordinated nation-wide sticker campaign in September 2019 targeting university campuses led to University of Auckland students staging protests against the university because of its alleged failure to remove the material, generating national media coverage. A post on the Action Zealandia website approvingly noted the “high profile media attention” the group received from the protests, and other postering activities throughout 2019.20

Beyond the transformation of offline activities into digital content, Action Zealandia also provides ongoing digital commentary on social, political, and ideological issues, both through blogs and its “Voice of Zealandia” podcast, for which the group frequently invites guests to discuss current events, ideology, organization, and strategy. One regular guest is the notorious New Zealand ideologue Kerry Bolton. Bolton has been involved in extreme-right movements for decades, founding the Satanist neo-Nazi groups Order of the Left Hand Path and Black Order,21 and has published dozens of books, which are sold via the London-based publisher Black House Publishing Ltd.22

While the visual and linguistic style used by Action Zealandia appears to be heavily influenced by international Identitarian and ethnonationalist groups, it is notable that Action Zealandia appears more transparently supportive of anti-Semitic ideas and ‘scientific racism’ than many other like-minded groups. In the context of the Black Lives Matter protests following the death of George Floyd in the United States, for example, Action Zealandia published an article alleging that “Jewish power” controls Black Lives Matter. In an article on its website, Action Zealandia argued that “Blacks don’t have the necessary intelligence and ability to spin seductive webs of high-sounding words. But Jews do. And it’s Jews who have been the most effective creators of and propagandists for the progressive dogma of absolute and unequivocal equality between all human groups.”23

An Ambivalent Relationship to Violence
Despite its extremist ideology, the activities of Action Zealandia described above are not violent, and the group’s official output does not call for violence. The distinction between non-violent and violent extremism is, however, more difficult to draw than it appears. Individuals and groups often move fluidly back and forth between non-violent and violent means to an extremist end, and there is often a significant ideological overlap between non-violent and violent groups.24 In the context of an increasingly digital extreme far-right, acts of violence may also be inspired by nominally non-violent extremist ideologies.25 In the case of Action Zealandia, an ambivalent stance by nominally non-violent groups toward violence may provide the mood music for individuals to autonomously prepare violent acts.

The relationship between violent extremist individuals and groups is especially complex in the context of an increasingly ‘post organizational’ far-right.26 As scholars Colin Clarke and Bruce Hoffman have noted in the U.S. domestic violent extremism context, organizational structure is becoming less relevant to violent radicalization as “a confluence of ideological affinities is [becoming] more powerful in inspiring and provoking violence than the hierarchical … organizational structures of the past.”27

The genesis of Action Zealandia is closely tied to the complex question of political violence in New Zealand’s white nationalist circles. The group formed out of the ashes of the Dominion Movement, which disintegrated as a direct consequence of the Christchurch terror attack and subsequent law enforcement crackdown. If the Christchurch terror attack had not taken place, it seems probable that the specific organization Action Zealandia would not exist.

In a podcast interview, an Action Zealandia member described the Christchurch attacks and crackdown as having a “purging effect” in which the leaders of existing white nationalist groups (primarily the Dominion Movement) fell away, and lower-ranking members came together to form Action Zealandia.28 A key lesson that the current Action Zealandia members appear to have taken from this is that publicly advocating for political violence is ineffective and likely to backfire. Its website carefully and explicitly states that Action Zealandia seeks to promote white nationalism through positive, peaceful means, and that the group rejects “violence and terrorism as being directly counter-productive to these aims, as well as immoral.”29

In an interview with a European white nationalist group, Action Zealandia stated that the Christchurch attacker “has had a largely negative effect. Accelerationism doesn’t work … Pointless violence emboldens the state to persecute people with a Nationalist worldview … The effect [of the attack] within New Zealand was that the police went on a witch hunt against people with a pro-white, nationalist, or even civic nationalist worldview.”30

However, this public disavowal of violence conceals a more complex reality. In March 2020, a selfie of a man wearing a skull mask and sunglasses outside the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch (which had been targeted in the March 2019 terrorist attacks), alongside death threats against its Muslim congregants, were reportedly posted to a far-right Telegram channel that glorified the Christchurch attacks.31 Nineteen-year-old alleged Action Zealandia member Sam Brittenden was arrested in a police raid reportedly related to the threat.32 Although Brittenden was ultimately not charged over the mosque threat, he was convicted for failing to assist with a search warrant after repeatedly providing an incorrect passcode for his phone.33 He had previously been convicted of disorderly behavior after making anti-Muslim slurs on the day after the Christchurch attacks,34 and sentenced to 125 hours of community service and six months supervision.35

During the same month, March 2020, leaked Telegram chats obtained by New Zealand investigative journalists revealed an individual linked to Action Zealandia aspiring to organize a terror cell in New Zealand under the name “Southern Order.”36 Posting under the name “Matt,” the user was reported by New Zealand media to have participated in online chat groups with members of Atomwaffen in the United States and members of the NRM in Finland, while also praising The Base.37 He discussed tactics, cell structure organization, and acquiring weapons on the black market. His proximity to Action Zealandia was shown by his reported posting of footage of the vandalism of the National Party offices (referenced earlier), taken from angles not found in material officially released by the group.38 While “Matt” was not arrested or charged with any criminal offenses, his previous service in the New Zealand military as a private between 2014 and 2016, and reported connections to another soldier with links to an extreme far-right group in New Zealand,39 reinforced growing international concerns around a trend of ‘entryism’ of far-right extremists within military and law enforcement.40

In June 2020, it was also reported that another former soldier and serving reservist with the New Zealand Defence Force had attended early Action Zealandia events.41 The soldier was found to have participated in extreme far-right channels on the gaming chat platform Discord. It has since been reported that the soldier is no longer serving in the reserves since July 2020, though it has not been confirmed by the individual or the New Zealand military whether he was dismissed or left voluntarily.42 In November 2020, it was announced that another soldier, who led Action Zealandia’s predecessor group Dominion Movement, would face 17 charges by the New Zealand Defence Force relating to espionage and sharing military information that threatened New Zealand’s national security.43 His name and job title as well as the exact details of what information he allegedly sought to share with a foreign entity have not been made public.44

Beyond these reported actions of individuals associated with the group, Action Zealandia’s attitudes toward the Christchurch attacker and his actions also appear to be more ambivalent than the flat rejection its members have espoused in some interviews. One example of such rejection was when in an online radio broadcast, an Action Zealandia spokesperson was asked about the group’s position on the Christchurch attacker. He responded that “We think he was a vile person who killed 50 people for no reason, why would we care about that guy?” He then went on to claim that he had “never looked into” the Christchurch attacker’s ideology, and said “we don’t agree with just killing civilians, that’s f[***]ed.”45

But this distancing from the Christchurch attacker is somewhat at odds with comments on a 4chan thread from August 2019 announcing the formation of the group. A poster who claimed to be a member of Action Zealandia responded to a comment about the Christchurch attacker by saying “It’s crazy that he resides 15min away from me, but I can’t get any contact even through prison mail,” implying this alleged member of Action Zealandia had tried to contact the Christchurch attacker, however unsuccessful the attempt may have been.46 Other recent posts on 4chanl supportive of Action Zealandia have utilized memes lionizing the Christchurch attacker, a figure that has become part of a pantheon of “Saints” within an extremist subset of ‘Chan’ imageboard subculture.47

Such insights highlight that the actions and beliefs of individual members of Action Zealandia, or those associated with the group and engaging with their content, may not necessarily align with Action Zealandia’s stated organizational positions. While Action Zealandia may continue to espouse non-violent actions through its official communications, its actions and content may nonetheless provide the ideological context for individual radicalization toward violent extremism.

The Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, is pictured on March 15, 2021, two years after the deadly attack there.
(Adam Bradley /SOPA Images/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images)

International Connections
Action Zealandia has been highly active in building connections with other white nationalist and white supremacist groups internationally. Additionally, the group has a highly international following on its social media accounts, and routinely promotes the activities of international peers on YouTube and Telegram.48 (Having been removed from Facebook in 2020, the group’s Twitter account was suspended in June 2021 after a Twitter representative was criticized about the group’s presence on the platform at a Christchurch counterterrorism conference in June 2021.49 Action Zealandia’s YouTube channel also appears to have been recently taken down.) International groups that Action Zealandia has connected with through its podcast include such international ethnonationalist and neo-Nazi groups as La Rete (Italy), Patriotic Alternative and the New British Union (United Kingdom), the pan-Scandinavian Nordic Resistance Movement, Australian Action, and the National Justice Party (United States).50 Many of these extremist groups have similarly ambivalent relationships to violent mobilization.51

While remaining firmly tied to the New Zealand context, Action Zealandia’s social media presence and wider online footprint paints a picture of a group that sees itself as being part of an international extreme far-right scene. Building such international connections and audiences appears to serve multiple purposes for the group, from sharing propaganda to gathering information and learning from other white nationalist movements abroad.

For example, Action Zealandia has invited a member of the Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM) to speak on its podcast,52 and has cited the group as a key inspiration in a number of other instances.53 NRM is a pan-Scandinavian neo-Nazi movement that was initially established as the Swedish Resistance Movement in 1997, but is now active in Norway, Finland, and Denmark as well.54 In 2020, NRM was banned in Finland because of its support for violence and mobilization against ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities.55 According to the Swedish anti-racist organization EXPO, a quarter of NRM’s members were indicted or convicted for violent crimes in 2015 alone, when there was a rise in far-right violence during the refugee crisis.56

Action Zealandia has also featured Robert Rundo on its podcast, the founder of the Rise Above Movement (RAM) who is currently believed to be located somewhere in Europe evading riot charges in the United States.57 Action Zealandia members have often cited RAM as a source of inspiration for their group, and have participated in a number of acts of international solidarity (mostly photographing themselves with banners) for members of RAM who are incarcerated for their role in the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.58 On a podcast with Rundo, an Action Zealandia member claimed that “[RAM’s videos are] that standard, the bar that they set is a massive inspiration for us.”59

Revealingly, an Action Zealandia member also asked Rundo for advice on what to do if a “young nationalist gets entangled with the feds.” Rundo replied that members of the white nationalist movement “need to become more criminally minded, and it’s a hard thing to do because we want to be the good guys and the right guys in history and we are, but the system is against us so we need to think more criminally-minded.”60 Action Zealandia podcasts have also featured Denis Kapustin (better known as Denis Nikitin), the founder of the White Rex clothing brand, a mixed martial arts promoter, and prolific white nationalist networker. Nikitin and Rundo are frequent collaborators on a range of projects, and both reportedly have links to neo-Nazi armed groups such as the Azov Battalion in Ukraine.61

Meanwhile, an Action Zealandia podcast featuring Joseph Jordan—a neo-Nazi of Latin American heritage who goes by the moniker “Eric Striker” and heads the white nationalist National Justice Party, an American groupm—justified the January 6 Capitol attacks by arguing it was an act of self-defense against Jews and “Zionist worshiper” politicians.62 In addition, Action Zealandia called for violence against two prominent tech company executives, saying they should be “lined up against the wall,” before casually adding that there would need to be a trial first.63

These and other relationships fostered by Action Zealandia with international extremist groups with their own degrees of ambivalence to violence reflect a broader trend among white nationalist groups of publicly disavowing violence in favor of ‘self-improvement,’ community building, and propaganda that emphasizes physical fitness and a healthy lifestyle. At the same time, however, these groups promote narratives that can provide ideological support for violence, for example, through the systematic demonization and dehumanization of non-white people.

In a number of ways, the New Zealand extreme far-right group Action Zealandia is an instructive case study of broader trends found within extreme far-right movements internationally. Founded in the aftermath of the March 2019 Christchurch attacks, the group has had an ambivalent relationship with violence since its inception, in which it has distanced itself from violent mobilization in its public output, but multiple individuals who were either members of or linked to Action Zealandia are reported to have prepared for or threatened violent extremist activity. Action Zealandia therefore illustrates a ‘gray area’ that often exists between so-called non-violent and violent extremism.

In this way, the group also demonstrates the limitations of analyzing violent extremism through a purely organizational frame; indeed, using the term ‘organization’ when considering the impact of the group and its associates provides an overly narrow analytical lens.

But in its celebrating of, networking with, and taking inspiration from violent extreme right movements outside of New Zealand, Action Zealandia exhibits a notable global trend that sees groups mobilizing around highly localized grievances, while simultaneously increasingly looking outward for inspiration and connecting with like-minded ideological fellow travelers across national borders.

It is important not to overstate the threat from Action Zealandia and make it appear more significant than it is. Significantly, it is much less developed than some of the groups it emulates and reveres, such as NRM and RAM, whose activism is considerably more street-based. Rather, the great majority of Action Zealandia’s ‘official’ activity is confined to the online space. Action Zealandia is comparatively small (with an estimated membership between 50 and 10064) and has not engaged in activities on the scale of those groups. Nor have members committed any known acts of extremist violence. Instead, individuals affiliated with the group have been reportedly involved in threatening such acts or laying the groundwork for them by aspiring to create a terror cell.

However, there remains considerable potential for escalation and deterioration. The group has been relatively persistent compared to its predecessors and has demonstrated a concerning relationship to some of New Zealand’s most credible violent extremism threats since the Christchurch attacks. And its international networking into a global extreme far-right ecosystem has the potential to inspire and encourage violence, whether from formal group members, or those inspired by its world view—which presents a range of perceived demographic threats to New Zealand as existential in nature and requiring radical action to combat.

Arguably, the real concern emanating from Action Zealandia and other similar groups is that although they at least superficially disavow violence, they are actively seeking to introduce white nationalist or white supremacist ideologies to individuals who may be susceptible to violent radicalization, as well as presenting a bridge connecting New Zealanders with violent groups internationally. Action Zealandia may thus serve as a vehicle for driving individuals—whether those who are members of Action Zealandia or others who simply consume its content autonomously—down a path that leads to violence, even if Action Zealandia itself remains publicly committed to not saying the quiet part out loud. In this way, the threat from groups like Action Zealandia may lie not in their actions as a group but rather in their status as a symbol and as an extremist content producer and amplifier of similar groups’ content and ideas, which might help inspire individuals toward violent extremist actions.     CTC

Milo Comerford is Head of Policy & Research, Counter Extremism at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, leading ISD’s work in developing innovative research approaches and policy responses to extremism. Milo regularly briefs senior decision makers around the world on the challenge posed by extremist ideologies, and advises governments and international agencies on building effective strategies for countering extremism. Twitter: @MiloComerford

Jakob Guhl is a Policy & Research Manager at ISD, where his research focuses on the far-right, Islamist extremism, hate speech, disinformation, and conspiracy theories. Jakob has presented his research on right-wing extremism and anti-Semitism to the German Minister of the Interior and German Family Minister, as well as the Ministry of Justice. Twitter: @JakobGuhl

Elise Thomas is an OSINT Analyst at ISD, with a background in researching state-linked information operations, disinformation, conspiracy theories, and the online dynamics of political movements. Twitter: @EliseThoma5

© 2021 Milo Comerford, Jakob Guhl, Elise Thomas

Substantive Notes
[a] These individuals were referenced in the terrorist’s manifesto “The Great Replacement.”

[b] The Nouvelle Droite (New Right) is a French extreme far-right movement that emerged in the 1960s. The Nouvelle Droite tried to distance itself from the old fascist far-right while continuing to adhere to anti-liberal, anti-egalitarian, and anti-Enlightenment ideas. To counter what they perceived as the increasing cultural dominance of the New Left from the 1960s onward, the Nouvelle Droite emphasized the importance of shaping culture in order to make its ideas acceptable to the wider public discourse. See Massimiliano Capra Casadio, “The New Right and Metapolitics in France and Italy,” Journal for the Study of Radicalism 8:1 (2014): pp. 45-86.

[c] “R.A.M. (Rise Above Movement) is a white supremacist group based in Southern California whose members believe they are fighting against a ‘modern world’ corrupted by the ‘destructive cultural influences’ of liberals, Jews, Muslims and non-white immigrants. They refer to themselves as the ‘premier MMA (mixed martial arts) club of the Alt-Right.’ Originally based in Southern California, today their membership is mostly online, and leader Robert Rundo is living in Eastern Europe.” “Rise Above Movement (R.A.M.),” Anti-Defamation League.

[d] The Five Eyes is an intelligence-sharing partnership between New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

[e] Stormfront is described by the Anti-Defamation League as “the oldest and one of the largest white supremacist websites on the Internet.” “Stormfront,” Anti-Defamation League, accessed June 22, 2021. For details on Stormfront Downunder, see “Factsheet: Stormfront Downunder,” Bridge Initiative Georgetown University, November 19, 2019.

[f] Identitarianism is an (originally) pan-European ethnonationalist movement that focuses on the preservation of European culture and identity, drawing inspiration from the French intellectual far-right movement Nouvelle Droite.

[g] Patriot Front is a Texas-based white supremacist group established in 2017. More information is available at “Patriot Front,” Anti-Defamation League, accessed June 22, 2021.

[h] Antipodean Resistance is an Australian neo-Nazi group established in October 2016 by users of the now-defunct fascist chat forum Iron March. The group’s overtly National Socialist ideology and symbols, as well as its praise for contemporary violent extremist groups like National Action and the Nordic Resistance Movement, raised concerns about the threat of violence. However, to date, the group’s activities do not appear to have gone beyond postering and the publication of online propaganda. Julie Nathan, “Antipodean Resistance: The Rise and Goals of Australia’s New Nazis,” Australian Broadcasting Corporation, April 20, 2018.

[i] Antonio Gramsci was an Italian Marxist philosopher who argued that the communist revolution that Marx had predicated had failed to materialize because the working class had been shaped by culture and ideology to believe in the legitimacy of the capitalist order. While the Nouvelle Droite do not support Gramsci ideologically, they draw on his ideas about the importance of “cultural hegemony,” which they believed had been captured by the liberal-left. Tamir Bar-On, “Transnationalism and the French nouvelle droite,” Patterns of Prejudice 45:3 (2011): pp. 199-223.

[j] Extreme far-right groups like the Identitarians or the “Alt-Right” believe that before being able to take political power, they need to make their ideas and values acceptable to a wider audience through cultural outputs, publications, and art. This overall approach of attempting to shift what ideas and values are considered legitimate is referred to as “metapolitics.”

[k] The then 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse allegedly shot three protestors (killing two) during the unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in the context of the Black Lives Matter protests that followed the shooting of Jacob Blake by Kenosha police officers on August 23, 2020, which left Blake paralyzed. Rittenhouse, who claims to have acted in self-defense, was part of a group of armed civilians who stated they wanted to protect property from potential rioters. Paige Williams, “Kyle Rittenhouse, American Vigilante,” New Yorker, June 28, 2021.

[l] 4chan is an anonymous imageboard created in 2003 that has played a foundational role in the development of “chan culture.” See, for example, Blyth Crawford, Florence Keen, and Guillermo Suarez de-Tangil, “Memetic Irony And The Promotion Of Violence Within Chan Cultures,” Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats, December 2020.

[m] Formed in August 2020, the National Justice Party grew out of the white nationalist podcast and website “The Right Stuff” (TRS). The key figure behind TRS is Mike Peinovich, who was one of the more visible figures behind the “Alt-Right” when the movement began to receive national attention between 2015 and 2017. Howard Graves and Michael Edison Hayden, “White Nationalist Organization Forms Racist, Antisemitic Political Party,” Southern Poverty Law Center, August 2020.

[1] Graham Macklin, “The Christchurch Attacks: Livestream Terror in the Viral Video Age,” CTC Sentinel 12:6 (2019).

[2] The full report, “Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch masjidain on 15 March 2019,” is available online at the Royal Commission of Inquiry’s website.

[3] See Christchurch Call’s website.

[4] Global Terrorism Index 2020: Measuring the Impact of Terrorism (Sydney, Australia: Institute for Economics and Peace, 2020).

[5] Milo Comerford, Jakob Guhl, and Carl Miller, “Understanding the New Zealand Online Extremist Ecosystem,” Institute for Strategic Dialogue, June 8, 2021.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Jarrod Gilbert and Ben Elley, “Shaved heads and sonnenrads: comparing white supremacist skinheads and the alt-right in New Zealand,” New Zealand Journal of Social Sciences Online 15:2 (2020): pp. 280-294.

[8] Florian Flade, “The Insider Threat: Far-Right Extremism in the German Military and Police,” CTC Sentinel 14:5 (2021).

[9] Comerford, Guhl, and Miller.

[10] Gilbert and Elley.

[11] Claim made by a 4chan user purporting to represent the Dominion Movement, announcing the group’s establishment in 2018.

[12] Dominion Movement website (via Internet Archive Way Back Machine).

[13] Marc Daalder, “Action Zealandia linked to Dominion Movement,” Newsroom (New Zealand), March 13, 2020.

[14] Quote taken from Action Zealandia’s website.

[15] Patrik Hermansson, David Lawrence, Joe Mulhall, and Simon Murdoch, The International Alt-right: Fascism for the 21st Century? (Abingdon-on-Thames, United Kingdom: Routledge, 2020).

[16] Article from Action Zealandia’s website.

[17] Article from Action Zealandia’s website.

[18] Tweet by Action Zealandia.

[19] Article from Action Zealandia’s website.

[20] Article from Action Zealandia’s website; George Block, “White supremacist poster is ‘vandalism’, Auckland Transport says,” Stuff NZ, December 14, 2019.

[21] Wilhelmus Roelof van Leeuwen, “Dreamers of the dark: Kerry Bolton and the Order of the Left Hand Path, a Case-Study of a Satanic/Neo-Nazi Synthesis,” Master of Arts thesis, University of Waikato, 2008.

[22] Information stated on Kerry Bolton’s website.

[23] Article from Action Zealandia’s website.

[24] Emily Dyer, “Women and the Caliphate: Women’s Rights and Restrictions in Islamist Ideology and Practice,” Centre for the Response to Radicalisation and Terror, Henry Jackson Society, March 2016; Milo Comerford and Rachel Bryson, “Struggle over Scripture: Charting Rift between Islamist Extremism and Mainstream Islam,” Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, December 6, 2017.

[25] Jacob Davey and Julia Ebner, “The Great Replacement’: The violent consequences of mainstreamed extremism,” Institute for Strategic Dialogue 7 (2019).

[26] Milo Comerford, “Confronting the Challenge of ‘Post-Organisational’ Extremism,” Observer Research Foundation, August 19, 2020.

[27] Bruce Hoffman and Colin Clarke, “The Next American Terrorist,” Cipher Brief, July 2, 2020.

[28] Paraphrased from the “Voice of Zealandia” podcast.

[29] Quote taken from Action Zealandia’s website.

[30] Quote taken from an interview with Action Zealandia published on the website of a European white nationalist group.

[31] Marc Daalder, “Action Zealandia member arrested for threat,” Newsroom (New Zealand), March 5, 2020.

[32] Ibid.

[33] Sam Sherwood, “White nationalist group member pleads guilty to failing to assist with search warrant,” Stuff NZ, July 7, 2020.

[34] Daalder, “Action Zealandia member arrested for threat.”

[35] Rob Kidd, “Law student who made anti-Muslim slurs says he’s not racist,” Otago Daily Times, June 7, 2019.

[36] Marc Daalder, “Action Zealandia member planned terror cell,” Newsroom (New Zealand), March 9, 2020.

[37] Ibid.

[38] Ibid.

[39] Ibid.

[40] Isaac Davison, “NZ Defence Force says white supremacist is a former soldier,” NZ Herald, March 12, 2020; Daniel Koehler, “A Threat from Within?: Exploring the Link Between the Extreme Right and the Military,” International Centre for Counter-Terrorism, September 2019.

[41] Marc Daalder, “Army reservist linked to New Zealand far-right group,” Newsroom (New Zealand), June 25, 2020.

[42] Marc Daalder, “Far-right extremist no longer in Army Reserves,” Newsroom (New Zealand), November 26, 2020.

[43] Ibid.

[44] Florence Kerr and Thomas March, “Linton soldier is the first New Zealander to be charged with espionage,” Stuff NZ, November 25, 2020.

[45] Quote taken from “New Zealand Free Speech Radio” podcast.

[46] Quote taken from 4chan post collected by the authors.

[47] Milo Comerford, Jakob Guhl, and Elise Thomas, “Two Years On: Understanding the Resonance of the Christchurch Attack on Imageboard Sites, Global Network on Extremism and Technology,” Global Network on Extremism & Technology, March 24, 2021.

[48] Authors’ ethnographic monitoring of social media channels during the 2020-2021 period.

[49] Kurt Bayer, “Counter-terrorism hui in Christchurch: Twitter slammed for failing to act on neo-Nazi group recruiting on its site,” NZ Herald, June 15, 2021.

[50] Authors’ ethnographic monitoring of the “Voice of Zealandia” podcast in the 2020-2021 period.

[51] For a discussion of why the Nordic Resistance movement uses less violence than its violent ideology may indicate, see Tore Bjørgo and Jacob Aasland Ravndal, “Why the Nordic Resistance Movement restrains its use of violence,” Perspectives on Terrorism 14:6 (2020): pp. 37-48. For a discussion of the ‘borderline’ online content of Patriotic Alternative and its support for those espousing violence, see William Allchorn, “Turning Back to Biologised Racism: A Content Analysis of Patriotic Alternative UK’s Online Discourse,” Global Network on Extremism and Technology, February 22, 2021, and Simon Murdoch, “Patriotic Alternative: Uniting the Fascist Right?” Hope not Hate, August 2020.

[52] “Voice of Zealandia” podcast episode.

[53] Authors’ ethnographic monitoring of Action Zealandia’s online content in the 2020-2021 period.

[54] Jacob Aasland Ravndal, “The Emergence of Transnational Street Militancy: A Comparative Case Study of the Nordic Resistance Movement and Generation Identity,” Journal for Deradicalization 25 (2020/2021).

[55] Daniel Sallamaa and Tommi Kotonen, “The case against the Nordic Resistance Movement in Finland: an overview and some explanations,” C-REX – Center for Research on Extremism, University of Oslo, November 2, 2020.

[56] Lee Roden, “2016 saw a surge in neo-Nazi activity in Sweden: here’s why,” The Local (Sweden), May 5, 2017.

[57] “Rise Above Movement,” Counter Extremism Project.

[58] Michael Colbourne, “An American White Supremacist’s New Home in Serbia,” Bellingcat, November 18, 2020.

[59] Quote taken from the “Voice of Zealandia” podcast.

[60] Quote taken from the “Voice of Zealandia” podcast.

[61] Tim Hume, “Two Infamous White Nationalists Still Have a Platform for Their Podcast Somehow,” Vice News, February 17, 2021.

[62] Howard Graves and Michael Edison Hayden, “White Nationalist Organization Forms Racist, Antisemitic Political Party,” Southern Poverty Law Center, August 2020.

[63] “Voice of Zealandia” podcast.

[64] William Allchorn, “From Gangs to Groupuscules and Solo Actor Terrorism: New Zealand Radical Right Narratives and Counter-Narratives in the Context of the Christchurch Attack,” Centre for Analysis of Radical Right & Hedayah Center, April 2021.

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