ChCh is 'home' of white supremacists

Christchurch is the "home" of white supremacist groups, says a New Zealand sociologist.

Concern has been increasing over the distribution of anti-Asian flyers in Christchurch and Auckland by a group calling itself the Right Wing Resistance.

The right-wing group is headed by former National Front leader Kyle Chapman.

Massey University sociologist Paul Spooney said support for this group and others like it was most likely a "South Island thing".

Christchurch has the "dubious honour of being home to some of these [white supremacist] groups'', he said.

"There's a group of disaffected young white males down there - and it's very much a male thing - and there's a bit of a tradition of white supremacy in Christchurch which has been going back 20, 25 years."

Spooney said the groups were based in Christchurch and have spread throughout the rest of the South island, including Nelson and the West Coast.

The Press first reported in January that the leaflets, titled Immigration or Invasion, were being distributed in Christchurch suburbs.

The pamphlets came to police attention after they were delivered to Auckland suburbs with high Asian populations.

The anti-immigration flier claims "uncivilised immigrants are turning New Zealand into a third-world slum" and urged people to "Stop the Asian Invasion".

Police were concerned the campaign could lead to racially motivated violence, police Asian liaison officer Raymond Wong said.

Police would not hesitate to prosecute anyone who committed or incited violence, especially racially motivated, Wong said.

''Some in the Chinese community are deeply concerned about these racist flyers and have taken their worries not only to the police but also to local Chinese radio,'' he said.

Police are investigating whether the campaign constituted a criminal offence.

Chapman, who insisted he was not racist but a political activist, said the leaflets were part of a recruitment campaign.

Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres said he had had at least five complaints from Christchurch and the suburbs of Northcote and Pakuranga in Auckland.

However, he said De Bres said the ''very small group of extremists'' did not represent the majority of New Zealanders.

The Press