Carterton adviser admits VFF affiliation but doesn’t support group’s ‘ungovernable’ tactics

A longtime Carterton district councilor admits his involvement with the anti-vax group Voices for Freedom, but Jill Greathead says she does not support his aim of making New Zealand “ungovernable”.

Voices For Freedom has recently come under the spotlight after encouraging its 100,000 members to run anonymously in local elections to disrupt democracy.

Greathead said she was on the Voices For Freedom mailing list and belonged to her Wairarapa group, and added that she had been open about her stance on the Covid-19 vaccination and anti-government protests.

After serving on Carterton District Council for seven terms, Greathead was heavily involved in local government for decades.

She described the “ungovernable” remarks of one of the leaders of Voices For Freedom, Claire Deeks, as “ridiculous” and “unprofessional”.

“That’s a ridiculous statement,” Greathead said in an interview. “I don’t think they have the professionalism, experience or skills to do what they say they are trying to do.”

Greathead said it wants to take a transparent approach to influencing change in Carterton from within and has implemented a program called “Refreshing Local Democracy”.

Longtime Carterton District Councilor and Voices For Freedom affiliate Jill Greathead has set up a program to teach aspiring candidates how to prepare for local government.

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Longtime Carterton District Councilor and Voices For Freedom affiliate Jill Greathead has set up a program to teach aspiring candidates how to prepare for local government.

It focused on issues such as water supply fluoridation, Three Waters reform, central government overreach, local government reform, and tariff affordability.

“My goal is to create an election that gets a lot of discussion going and hopefully gets at least five out of nine decent people to make good, common sense decisions,” she said.

Greathead has never been shy about supporting Voices For Freedom and anti-mandate views. She attended the Parliament protests in March, alongside fellow local politician from Wairarapa, Claire Bleakley, who was arrested.

“I wear Voices for Freedom t-shirts, hoodies and caps. I witnessed silent pop-ups holding Voices for Freedom signs against vaccination mandates and vaccinating children under 12,” Greathead said.

Tararua District Council candidate Dot Watson admits to being involved with Voices For Freedom, but no longer has related material on her social media.  (screenshot from Facebook page)

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Tararua District Council candidate Dot Watson admits to being involved with Voices For Freedom, but no longer has related material on her social media. (screenshot from Facebook page)

North of Wairarapa, candidate for Tararua District Council’s Maori ward, Dot Watson, admitted involvement with Voices For Freedom, but did not disclose this fact in promotional material.

She said voters she spoke to in Tararua “didn’t seem to be concerned” about her ties to Voices For Freedom.

“So far my constituents have no problem if they are affiliated with VFF – and that has nothing to do with why I am running.”

Virginia S. Braud