By 3news.co.nz staff
Balaclava-wearing fascists stormed a candidates meeting last night in Christchurch, spooking audience members and drawing condemnation.
Around a dozen members of the Right Wing Resistance group stood silent as leader Kyle Chapman read a statement warning that "suffering, poor populations get violent when they're hungry".
"The stunt was saying when people rise up you're going to be seeing people in balaclavas and camouflage uniforms," said Mr Chapman.
"It was basically us saying wise up now before it's too late. These are supposed to be educated politicians but they are so stupid they don't even wake up to the fact that suffering, poor populations get violent when they're hungry."
Read 3 News chief editor James Murray's blog about Kyle Chapman
As he spoke at the meeting, someone rang a bell signalling his time was up, which Mr Chapman ignored.
He called Labour and National "Tweedledee and Tweedledum".
Someone off camera began shouting, "You've made your point!"
A woman stood up to the protesters, telling them, "Thankyou for coming, we're now asking you to go."
The protesters began filing out, one saying: "Just remember, if you don't want to see camouflage uniforms on the streets, sort out your shit."
As they filed out, someone said to the person holding the camera, "Hey you, get out of here," and there's a sound like the camera being struck. It's not apparent whether the person who said it was a protester or not - the video appears to have been shot by the group, as the version supplied to 3 News had messages of support written in text before and after the clip (excised from the version we have uploaded).
"We're not the only people doing protests, the left wing people are sitting in parks," Mr Chapman told TVNZ.
"They have their way of protesting we have our way. We're not the only people unhappy with New Zealand."
Labour candidate Brendon Burns told TVNZ's Breakfast show they were "white supremacist thugs".
"I think some people were quite frightened by it because you just didn't know what was going to happen. They were dressed in fatigues, no-one could see their faces, there were quite a few older people in the audience and they were quite shocked by it."
He described it as an attempt at "intimidation".
“I think it was pretty pathetic. This was a campaign meeting for people to come and hear from people standing for Parliament and out of nowhere comes this bunch of thugs dressed in balaclavas,” Brendon Burns
The Right Wing Resistance's website has a photo of the group's members dressed in camouflage and black t-shirts, wearing balaclavas and holding weapons such as swords and batons.
Chapman says it was a publicity stunt and no one in the group is actually standing for Parliament.
“We were there to deliver a message and to deliver that message we needed to do something that would cause a bit of outcry."
However Chapman says he plans to run for Mayor of Christchurch in 2013.