Far-right leader Kyle Chapman returns

BY TIM HUME
Last updated 09:36 25/10/2009
Kyle Chapman appeared at the far-right's Flag Day in Wellington.
The Press
LEADER RETURNS: Kyle Chapman appeared at the far-right's Flag Day in Wellington.

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The face of the far-right fringe has reverted to form after publicly claiming to have renounced his extremist ways earlier this year.

Former National Front president Kyle Chapman told a newspaper in May he had made a faith-based decision to quit his leadership roles in far-right groups, and was focused on leading a "nice, peaceful life" in Hamilton with his new wife, a devout Mormon who had helped him reconnect with religion.

But just a month earlier, the father of five had founded a new far-right group, the Right Wing Resistance, in an initiation ceremony in Christchurch which involved members dressed in camouflage fatigues being "knighted" with a sword.

The group, which Chapman described as the "street arm" of his Nationalist Alliance, now claims to have members in five cities.

Chapman would not discuss the group with the Sunday Star-Times, but in postings on a far-right website has praised the Christchurch arm of the group for conducting "crime watch patrols" in east Christchurch, where some of its members had been attacked by gangs.

"The police and the system in general has all but given up on the poor areas and it is left to us to sort this out now," he wrote.

The 38-year-old, once convicted for fire-bombing a marae, has continued to push the growth of his new group since moving to Hamilton from Christchurch in May, most recently co-ordinating a gathering at the Wellington Cenotaph yesterday for the far-right's annual "Flag Day" observations.

Chapman was among about 30 members of the National Front and Right Wing Resistance in central Wellington yesterday. Left-wing counter-demonstrators stayed away this year to avoid giving the marchers a bigger profile.

Chapman has also been continuing his attempts, announced in January, to found a "European Nationalist land base" in Canterbury, appealing for donations.

"We will win the hearts of the people living there bit by bit," he wrote. "To avoid it becomming [sic] a [sausage] fest we will look at supporting some Eastern Euro like minded women for the many single men we have."

Mike Garrett, a Hamilton skinhead who described himself as belonging to both Chapman's group and the National Front, said the march had gone smoothly.

"No opposition turned up, no lefties or Communists. We had a few people drive by and yell out comments."

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