Why Pete Evans ‘bullied’ Jacinda Ardern on Instagram

This story was one of the top-performing stories for Herald Lifestyle in 2020

Ex-celebrity chef Pete Evans has taunted Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Instagram about the new virus lockdown, urging people to vote against her and alluding to a conspiracy “agenda”.

The post, slammed for its “bullying” tone, was mostly praised by followers who have flooded Evans’ Instagram page with wild theories about Ardern placing the country “under martial law”.

Evans posted news.com.au’s story published after Ardern’s announcement on Tuesday night about the new coronavirus cases, headlined “Four virus cases in New Zealand”.

Beside it he wrote, “If you want to see the agenda play out. Keep an eye on NZ over the coming months. Vote for freedom in the coming election.”

He added a link to @nzpp_official, the Instagram page of the New Zealand Public Party, an anti-lockdown political party with the motto, “It is Time to Take Back New Zealand for the people”.

No surprises here – NZ be very careful who you vote for this election. This ‘scam’ is not about your health.Please…

New Zealand is set to go to the polls on September 19.

Immediately below Evans’ post, one person criticised him, writing “Pete, come on mate, I’ve always really liked you and what you believe in … Please don’t turn this into bullying. The message you are spreading is better than that.”

But despite a few other posts critical of him, Evans, a torrent of posts on his page claim New Zealand will be put under military rule and Ardern will deploy the army to enforce virus tests.

One poster claims the NZDF (the New Zealand Defence Force) and the Government had “met to put into place a full lockdown” by October.

The post claimed “the NZDF will be taking over (as in martial law) on October 1st all of the hospitals, quarantine bases and airports”.

“They will assign their troops to regions to enforce mandatory testing with household testers,” it said.

Claiming to have leaked information from an army lieutenant who had “cried” while telling him about the fact troops were training “using the same plan of attack he used in Timor” and “told they had to use brute force and any force necessary”.

“The training for the next two weeks is dealing with protests, riots and a significant job loss in NZ.”

The poster said he had told the soldier “that if everyone said no to Hitler there would be millions of lives saved” and that “after tonight (sic) announcement it’s happening already just as it did in the ghettos during ww2”.

Another poster claimed Bill Gates had visited New Zealand and met with Ardern who would enforce the rights of police to enter people’s homes without warrants, warning, “By the time people wake up and connect everything, it’s truly going to be too late”.

One of the few critics of Evans’ post on his page wrote, “Chef Pete have lived (sic) and admired you and all you stand for, for years in particular your food philosophy.

“But I’m not sure why you are getting obsessed with this Covid outbreak and conspiracy theories?

“Why as a highly respected chef would you get into this space?”

Evans, who was once a celebrity judge on the TV show My Kitchen Rules, has more recently come under fire for promoting bizarre beliefs around Covid-19.

In April, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) fined him more than $25,000 over magical coronavirus eradication properties he claimed about a “Bio Charger” device in a Facebook lifestream promotion.

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