1493011775687 - Chong tight lipped about running for New Zealand First in general election
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Chong tight lipped about running for New Zealand First in general election

Murray Chong has not ruled out standing for New Zealand First in New Plymouth but has laid complaints about a Facebook page set up in his name that said he would.

Rumours began spreading Chong would stand for the political party last week after a Vote for Murray Chong New Zealand First site appeared on social media. It has since been removed.

The controversial New Plymouth District councillor said he was quick to contact the authorities when he discovered the page, which used images and photos of him.

“I contacted New Zealand First to say I don’t know what this is all about. I also contacted the New Zealand Electoral Commission. I also went to the Advertising Standards Authority and they are looking into it.

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“I also wrote to Facebook and told them someone is impersonating me and I also went to the police and lodged a complaint.”

While Chong was annoyed about the fake site he would not categorically rule out standing for NZ First in this year’s general election, saying there was a process to go through.

“I don’t know myself. I’ve shown an interest but I don’t know myself and no-one will know for a few months.

“Who knows what is going to happen in life? I’ve probably looked into it but who knows what is going to happen.”

Chong believed the same “internet trolls” were behind the fake page as those responsible for “maliciously” using his personal opinions expressed on Facebook to stir up trouble.

Last week six formal complaints were made to the NPDC against Chong following a post where he asked who else was sick of “Natori and Labori” giving into “so called” Maori rights.

He had posed the question in response to a call made by Labour’s corrections spokesman Kelvin Davis for separate Maori prisons.

Chong said he had immediately removed the offensive words after someone pointed out he shouldn’t have used them.

“I thought ‘oh you are right’. I shouldn’t put that but they (trolls) had already taken it and two to three days later they were still sending that one around.

“They make it go viral on the angle they want.”

Mayor Neil Holdom found no action needed to be taken against Chong as his post fell short of breaching the councillors code of conduct.

Chong said his Facebook page was private and complaints shouldn’t be actioned unless the complainant had read the posting on his page.

“On my page people might query it and I can let them know the proper view.

“I stressed that New Zealanders are all equal people and we should be striving for one rule for all New Zealanders to prevent heading down the track of separatism.”

He said he was attempting to track down who had made the outdated post public.

“It’s just trolls having fun and I don’t involve myself in dirty politics like that, I never have. What I will do is try to expose them but that’s not dirty politics that’s just exposing people that are trolls.”

Chong said his views were never going to make everyone happy and in his opinion it was only a minority getting upset.

“You need to rock the boat sometimes to know where the balance is.

“There will be people that don’t agree with me.”