Christian Coalition (New Zealand)

Last updated
Christian Coalition
Co-leaders Graeme Lee
Graham Capill
Founded1995
DissolvedMay 1997
Ideology Christian democracy
Christian Politics NZ.svg

The Christian Coalition was an Evangelical Christian political party operating in New Zealand. It was an alliance of the now-defunct Christian Heritage Party and the Christian Democrats, New Zealand's two theologically conservative Christian parties. The Christian Coalition did not meet with the success that it hoped for, and was eventually dissolved.

Christianity is an Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, as described in the New Testament. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and savior of all people, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Old Testament.

A political party is an organized group of people, with broadly common views, who come together to contest elections and hold power in the government. The party agrees on some proposed policies and programmes, with a view to promoting the collective good or furthering their supporters' interests.

New Zealand Country in Oceania

New Zealand is a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island, and the South Island —and around 600 smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal, fungal, and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.

The Coalition was established for the purpose of contesting the 1996 election, which was the first to be held using the new mixed member proportional (MMP) voting system. Under MMP, it would not be necessary for the party to win any electorate seats it merely needed to gain more than five percent of the national vote. The party was led by the Christian Democrat's leader Graeme Lee and the Christian Heritage leader Graham Capill.

The Honourable Graeme Ernest Lee,, is a former New Zealand politician. Originally a National Party MP, he broke away to found the Christian Democrat Party.

Graham John Capill is a former New Zealand Christian leader and politician. He served as the first leader of the now-defunct Christian Heritage Party, stepping down in 2003. In 2005 he was convicted of multiple sexual offences against girls under 12 years of age and sentenced to nine years imprisonment. He was released on parole in August 2011, having served six years of that sentence.

In terms of policy, the Coalition generally pursued goals located somewhere between those of the Christian Democrats and Christian Heritage. At times, there appeared to be dispute between the two groups, with the Christian Democrats pursuing a more moderate path and Christian Heritage insisting upon a hard line. There were also complaints from the Christian Democrats that Christian Heritage was dominating the Coalition, and that Graham Capill (leader of Christian Heritage and Co-leader of the Coalition as a whole) was running the party "autocratically".

Despite the internal differences within the party, however, the Coalition steadily rose in the polls. As the election drew closer, some polls showed the Coalition passing the critical five percent threshold. As the result, the party came under intense media scrutiny and was criticized by its opponents. Rather than assisting the party, however, the increased media coverage appeared to damage its chances, with many people expressing worry about the more extreme elements of the party. The Coalition claimed that the media coverage about it was biased, saying that the news media set out to "falsely" portray them as extremist. Opponents of the Coalition, however, said that the intense media scrutiny penetrated an artificial layer of reasonableness that the Coalition had adopted, revealing the party's allegedly true character. Whatever the case, the party's polling dropped below the five percent threshold once again.

In the election itself, the Christian Coalition gained 4.33% of the vote, ranking sixth. It would have needed around 13,000 more votes to enter parliament. None of the Coalition's thirty-seven electoral constituency candidates were successful.

In May 1997, the Christian Coalition disbanded, with the Christian Democrats and Christian Heritage going their own separate ways. The Christian Democrats later "secularised" themselves, removing the explicitly religious nature of their party while keeping the same policy outlook. The resultant party, Future New Zealand, merged with the United Party to form the current United Future New Zealand. Ironically, the latter split in 2007, with disgruntled fundamentalist ex-UFNZ members forming a more intransigent entity, The Kiwi Party.

United New Zealand

United New Zealand was a centrist political party in New Zealand founded in 1995. It merged with the Christian-based Future New Zealand party to form the United Future New Zealand party in 2000.

The Kiwi Party was a political party operating in New Zealand between 2007 and 2011. Briefly known as Future New Zealand, it was a breakaway from the United Future New Zealand party and sought to carry on the tradition of Future New Zealand. The party was formed when MP Gordon Copeland left United Future after a dispute over support for the Crimes Amendment Act 2007. At the 2008 general election, the Kiwi Party was unsuccessful, and was not re-elected to Parliament. It did not contest the 2011 general election under its own banner, but the leaders and other members stood for the Conservative Party.

Christian Heritage remained an independent party, but did not meet with the same success that it did while part of the Coalition. At the New Zealand general election, 1999 it polled 2.4% and at the New Zealand general election, 2002 it polled 1.3%, finally in the New Zealand general election, 2005, it polled 0.12 percent, its lowest ever poll rating.

Christian Heritage New Zealand and Destiny New Zealand also tried to form a second "Christian Coalition" in 2004, but were unsuccessful. In October 2006, CHNZ Leader Ewen McQueen announced the closure of CHNZ after ex-CHNZ leader Graham Capill had been jailed on multiple counts of pedophilia. Destiny New Zealand did not prove politically viable, nor did its successor, the Family Party of New Zealand.

Destiny New Zealand

Destiny New Zealand was a Christian political party in New Zealand centred on the charismatic/pentecostal Destiny Church. The party described itself as "centre-right". It placed a strong focus on socially conservative values and argued that the breakdown of the traditional family was a primary cause of many of New Zealand's problems. It announced its de-registration as a political party on 18 September 2007, and was removed from the register a month later. It did not hold any seats in Parliament.

Pedophilia is a psychiatric disorder in which an adult or older adolescent experiences a primary or exclusive sexual attraction to prepubescent children. Although girls typically begin the process of puberty at age 10 or 11, and boys at age 11 or 12, criteria for pedophilia extend the cut-off point for prepubescence to age 13. A person must be at least 16 years old, and at least five years older than the prepubescent child, for the attraction to be diagnosed as pedophilia.

The Family Party

The Family Party was a political party in New Zealand. It described itself as a Christian party.

Electoral results

Election# of party votes% of party vote# of seats
won
Government/opposition?
1996 89,7164.33
0 / 120
Not in Parliament

See also

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