It is understood Kelvyn Alp, pictured in 2011, has been charged by police today.photos/documents
Police have charged two people with links to far-right and conspiracy theory sites for allegedly distributing objectionable publications.
The Herald understands Kelvyn Alp and Hannah Spierer were arrested by police in Christchurch today.
The pair have links to Counterspin Media, which spreads conspiracy theories and discredits Covid-19 misinformation.
In a statement released tonight, a police spokesman said two people were arrested in Christchurch today on suspicion of breaching the 1993 Film, Video and Publications Classification Act.
A man has been charged with two counts of distributing objectionable publications and one count of failing to perform an obligation related to a computer search, police said.
A woman was also charged with distributing objectionable publications, failing to comply with obligations related to computer searches and obstructing police.
They have been bailed to appear in Christchurch Magistrates Court on August 31.
Police would not comment further while the case is in court.
Alp launched in 2021 the far-right website Counterspin Media, which initially ran on the platform of former Trump campaign chief Steve Bannon.
Counterspin was hosted by Alp and Spierer, who discussed conspiracy theories such as the moon landing, Covid-19 and the Christchurch massacre.
The show has heavy American influence, with references to the “deep state,” “Trevor Pelosi,” and repeated claims of “false flags.”
Over the weekend, Counterspin Media’s main Instagram account was also removed from the platform after Alp released a video calling for violence against government and politicians.
During the occupation of parliament in February, its livestream and Telegram channels had more than 3,500 members filled with conspiracy allegations, including trafficking of children being held in dungeons beneath the parliament.
Arp, a self-proclaimed mercenary who first entered the public eye 20 years ago, claimed he would use his private army to fight the government. The New Zealand Armed Intervention Force has been described as a rogue group of ex-soldiers who acted as part of the paramilitary arm of the separatist government.
He said he was ready to “take up arms and do whatever it takes” to preserve his freedom, a view he still holds.
Arp was the leader of the far-right Direct Democratic Party in the 2005 election. He also served as Mayor of Manukau City in 2007.
Spierer was primarily against feminism on Counterspin, claiming that there was a mind-control program that made women “accustomed to sacrificing child-rearing” and only felt worthy when they were out and about to work.