What does the megachurch leader have in common with a lawyer called Sue Grey?
You say you don't mean to bring race into this - but you do . . . and you should. Because Aotearoa is still, deeply, to its bones, a racist colonial settler state. I hate that as much as you do, I want to change it, and we have to fight our battles on our own fronts to start making changes.
For you, that probably looks a lot like what you're doing right now for the moment - shining a light on dark places where white people try to scuttle away from cleansing sunshine. It may change and evolve over time but acknowledging that you're part of this system, as I am, and that we have the responsibility to move for change, is our first baby steps.
I want to scream from the rooftops, fight on the steps of parliament, for tino rangtiratanga, for land back, for all sorts of revolutionary things - but we start with small steps because we step against a strong tide.
In the end, we don't get to call ourselves allies, we don't get to claim anything - we just platform the voices of the marginalised if we have a platform, we fight each little fight (especially among other pakeha people), we try to do our best and do our own learning rather than asking emotional labour of Māori and other Indigenous people. We try and make a difference in our own ways, and we claim no pride or glory in it, because it's only justice at its barest of bones level. We must be humble enough to always learn, always accept correction with grace and think on why we have been corrected, learn and grow from it.
*steps off soapbox*
I’ve had quite a few people approach me about the horrific abuse they’re getting from anti vaxxers who have decided their loved ones died from the vaccine. But many are too scared to speak out because they’re afraid they’ll get even more harassment and abuse. I can’t imagine losing someone you love then having some anti vaxxer random message you 50 times in an hour calling you a murderer for vaccinating. While you’re grieving! And this is what they’re doing. It’s horrendous. I’m still hoping eventually I can write something about it but basically every person who has come to me has shown me where the first accusation that it was a “vaccine death“ came from and it’s almost always Sue Grey.
Thank you for writing about Sue Grey! I was going to write to you this week asking if you knew anything about her. I have a much-loved brother down the rabbit hole, who told me Sue Grey is an amazing, caring person doing so much good work for those who want the right to 'choose what they put in their bodies'. My brother's wife is a teacher in NZ, who doesn't want the vaccine. Their kids are all fully vaccinated for childhood illnesses so they've never been anti-vax, but were hesitant with the covid vax so wanted to 'wait to see that it's safe'. They 'did their own research', stumbled across Sue Grey and now we feel we've lost them to her wacky crusade. So sad. She is claiming innocent victims, who are wowed by the fact she's a lawyer. And if my brother wasn't one of her victims, I would have assumed all her victims are just idiots. Sadly Sue Grey is sucking in some really good people who are now facing losing their livelihoods because they trust and follow her.
I really admire how you and the Webworm team stay so outwardly calm and keep your integrity when deep diving into these... people.
I’ve been part of a group fighting misinformation online - by either reporting people/posts/groups or debunking the rubbish in comments sections. It’s hard on your character having to read it all, feeling the toxicity seep in. I started to lose my compassion and it made me jaded. I found it hard to switch that part off when talking to the real people in my life, and I made some big mistakes - including cutting contact with my own brother when I realised he and his partner were under the spell of these... people. I changed. I became toxic. I turned my life into a dumpster fire and that is NOT me. I had to stop and pull away.
I am in awe of your curiosity and kindness, your relaxed openness when confronted with the “scourge of the earth”. Thank you for your hard work and insights into this crazy world we’re currently in ❤️ We appreciate you.
I mean at the heart of it, it's systemic racism right? Billy TK and Brian Tamaki are not white, Sue Grey and Peter Mortlock are. White people are more likely to excuse the behaviour of other white people, while condemning non-white people who are doing the exact same thing (or worse).
If someone gets fired for refusing to be vaccinated and procedural fairness wasn't followed by the employer then absolutely they have a legal right to file against the employer. But Sue is nothing more than a grifter who is exploiting people's ignorance and fear. I've just been following what Sue is doing since she started kicking off, and her behavior is beyond reproach. Oh and she is funded by Voices of Freedom, a white supremacist group.
It makes me sick that people can be so unkind to others going through a tragic loss just to promote their “causes”. I can’t even imagine how terrible it must feel to have people willingly spreading mis truths and to frame it as “just asking questions” like they have a right to do it. Thanks for sharing these awful people, their actions need to be made known and challenged.
Also how great is this placard behind Brian Tamaki, his eyebrows are truly creepy. I love our kiwi humour. https://twitter.com/gregpresland/status/1450669721422946306?s=21
This Sue Grey stuff is bonkers - it may be worth forwarding this to the Law Society for further investigation - would be interested to see if she’s broken any lockdown laws etc… which would be a breach of her overriding duty to uphold the law.
Power, validation and relevance.
Please keep raising this and bringing these awful people to light.
Appreciate what you are diving into David. Hope you get some sleep ❤
Sue Grey is absolutely vile. I've reported her Facebook page for false information so many times yet it's still there. Her followers seem to be pretty unhinged too, there are a lot of comments about government control, depopulation, mass coverup of vax deaths etc.
Sue gets plenty of kudos from the White Rose NZ group on Telegram. I follow it for laughs and to get an idea of how the conspiracy crowd think. I get the feeling from many of them that they enjoy the theatre of it all. Kind of like " live action role playing". Anyway you'll be pleased (maybe?) to know David that you were recently mentioned by name as "filth/scum" for being part of the media landscape in NZ.
Sue Grey has been active for ages in the anti 1080 camp. There is a pipeline from anti 1080 to anti vax. Sue Grey was behind the campaign that put a dead Kereru on the steps of the beehive. She was vocal in turning every issue to that of 1080, for example, : ‘ Jacinda is in Vietnam on trade talks right now: What is she telling the Vietnamese about 1080?’ I often talk about ideas that are not necessarily congruent but that hunt together. The underlying ideology is that of purity. What is natural is pure, what is sovereign is pure, what is spiritual etc. You find these ideas in organic food markets and yoga studios all over. What scares me is that they seem fine mixing with the genuine fash. No one bothers about 1080 now, the talk has moved on. But you can trace anti vax ideas back to the 90’s and similar ideas, like fluoride in water, back to the 1960’s. Btw if you have time I recommend the podcast ‘Yeah nah pasaran!’ By Andy Flemin (Slackbastard) and Cam Smith. A show about fascism and its grave diggers
This is such a telling piece, I am not at all surprised by the story of Sue Grey or white conspiracy theorists barging around unchecked, but I am incredibly grateful to you David for writing about this, we need more journalism like this. I like to think I am quite careful with what media I consume (pretty much just articles and podcasts from Radio New Zealand, the odd article from the Guardian) but I would never ever have known about Sue Grey, whereas Billy TK and Brian Tamaki are regular butts of jokes in my friend circle. . . How do we, as consumers of news articles, digest our news with a sensible and logical lens? When I read an article about Brian Tamaki, how can I elbow my brain in the side and say to it 'now, do you think this article was written because he's brown and could there be worse people out there who are inconspicuous because white?'
What skills do we need as consumers to be able to identify these nuances in the articles we read? Is there a list of questions I should always be asking myself when I read an article? E.g.
"is this person's race mentioned and relevant to the story?" "is this person powerful/influential, so do their views matter to the community?" etc.
I'd be really curious to know what the New Zealand Law Commission makes of Sue Grey's Facebook posts. Surely this isn't consistent with their code of ethics?
Thank you SO much for looking into Sue Grey. She has been worrying me for quite some time. I know some of the people sucked in to her cult. She is a dangerous, evil woman. She is a ghoul sending her members out to look for any death or collapse to be used as evidence not to get the vaccine. Chris Cairns heart episode was put down to the vaccine by her. And the latest is a person in Takaka on Saturday who had a medical event at a pharmacy. Posted by one of her minions, with photos. The pharmacy put out a statement saying it wasn't due to vaccine but the damage had been done and the post was shared widely. Sue Grey needs to be stopped
Sue has been around for a while, usually in the Ban 1080 scene. The media used to talk to her a lot, 10 years ago, or so. In the beginning she was rational and made good sense. Over the years she has made less sense and made some odd choices. I