Emily Henderson’s family has come under heavy fire from Covid anti-vaxxers who have accused her of war crimes and treason, but the Whangārei MP has vowed not to back off one inch.
The Labour MP said she believed in and has a pretty high tolerance for protests, however, the latest antics when a group of anti-vaxxers targeted windows at her house and accused her of war crimes have “crossed the line”.
“It’s time to return to some basic civility. I am not going to back off one inch. I won’t be intimidated back home,” is her message to the anti-vaxxers.
A group walked into the law firm of Henderson Reeves Lawyers on Bank St and served papers on her father Stuart Henderson, a director of the law firm, accusing her of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and treason.
A third party forwarded Emily Henderson a Facebook message that threatened to harm her.
“I know where the labor mp for whangaz lives im keen to throw bricks or rocks at her windows to scare her few of us are meeting up tonight [sic],” the message said.
She has reported the matter to police.
Henderson said while the FB message was in reference to her rented property in Wellington, she presumed her house in Whangārei would be targeted and she got a relative to pick her daughter up who was at home.
“A man said ‘you’re going to be executed for treason’ which is punishable by death. This is not Nuremberg. They were Whangārei people that spoke about breaking windows where my kids live and that’s taking it too far.
“Believe likedecent citizens, make your point but don’t threaten, don’t scare people, and don’t demonise them. It’s extremely mad. These are the real fringe minority people,” Henderson said.
She said it was upsetting on the staff at Henderson Reeves Lawyers, including her father, because they have got nothing to do with her political career.
“My staff in Whangārei don’t deserve having to walk through crowds of people shouting and threatening them. Bullying people is uncivilised behaviour, it’s unnecessary, and unpleasant.”
Henderson wouldn’t describe those responsible for the threats as cowards — just hugely misguided and down some pretty extreme rabbit holes.
Frankly, she said she has more important things going on in Whangārei she needed to worry about than the latest accusations from a small fringe group.
Henderson won the Whangārei electorate in the last election after beating sitting National MP Dr Shane Reti, who is now a list MP.
Before entering politics, she was a Family Court lawyer based in Whangārei and also had a stint as a Crown prosecutor.
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