Our People

DemocracyNZ brings together a diverse range of Kiwis with real life and business experience. We come together from across the political spectrum, to represent you. We launched in March 2022, and we stand for freedom, for family, and for farming and rural New Zealand.

Your voice, it's with us. We stand with you.

Matt King

Party Leader / Candidate for Northland

Spokesperson for Ag, Safe Communities, Bill of Rights

Northland is home for Matt. A farmer for more than 30 years, Matt also comes with a wide range of experience as a detective, business owner, and most recently, the MP for Northland from 2017-2020. All Matt's roles - whether in the Police, as a volunteer firefighter, rugby referee, or in politics (to name a few), have involved service to the community.

Politics is about people, and seeing the division and erosion of democracy in New Zealand, Matt felt it necessary to stand up and form a political party, based on our fundamental democratic and Kiwi principles. There is a significant proportion of Kiwis who feel politically homeless due to the lack of true opposition in the current political landscape. Politics requires courage - and that is often standing up against the status quo and speaking up for what is right - such as standing up against blatant breaches of our democratic rights. With a proven track record as an MP who cares, and a pragmatic approach to dealing with tricky issues – Matt is well-equipped to represent those whose voices have not been heard, and getting our country back on track.

Email: matt.king@democracynz.org

Facebook: Matt King for Northland


Gordon Malcolm

Deputy Leader / Candidate for Waimakariri

Spokesperson for Economic policy

Gordon Malcolm is a registered industrial electrician and HVAC specialist, having lived in the Waimakariri electorate for thirteen years with his wife and three daughters. He lost his home during the first Christchurch earthquake in 2010, but still dedicated time to help others who had lost their only sources of heating after the disaster.

Gordon’s passion for people has been ignited once again after witnessing discriminatory policies from the Labour Government and the repugnant mandating of people from their jobs. For Gordon, the decision to stand with DemocracyNZ was easy.

"Good Kiwis are working longer and harder than ever. Instead of having an opposition party to keep checks and balances on Labour, the National Party has been working in lock step with Labour and offering no discernible opposition to some of the most draconian policies that New Zealand has ever seen – particularly with the mandates that resulted in thousands of Kiwis being segregated from society and from earning a livelihood. The cost-of-living crisis we are seeing today has been the reality for quite some time for those mandated out of their jobs – discrimination of any kind is totally unacceptable. The right to choose is a fundamental basic human right, and this is my driving force to help DemocracyNZ entrench the New Zealand Bill of Rights,” says Gordon.

Having him join the party was also an easy decision for Party Leader, Matt King. “Gordon is an asset to our growing team; politics is about people and Gordon is a man of integrity who does what he says and is dedicated to doing what is right for New Zealand. His knowledge of the economy and his passion to entrench the Bill of Rights makes him an ideal person to join us and stand up for Kiwi families and their freedom.”

In accepting the candidacy, Gordon says his focus is largely on two things – freedom and the economy. His very first action in Parliament would be to remove the emergency powers the current Labour Government has given itself.

“Most Kiwi families are having to work longer and harder for an ever-weakening dollar. Economically, we are heading into dangerous waters. Our debt levels are soaring and the Labour Government is spending like a drunken sailor. Prudent fiscal management and discipline are required, and budgets should be used to help Kiwis who are suffering.

Email: gordon.malcolm@democracynz.org

Facebook: Gordon Malcolm - DemocracyNZ for Waimakariri


Leao Tildsley

Candidate for Kelston

Spokesperson for Education

Leao was born in Western Samoa and has lived in West Auckland for more than 40 years. She has been doing community development for nearly 20 years, and is a successful businesswoman, wife, and mother of three young men. 

Living and working in Auckland has given Leao a first-hand view of the issues her community faces and her wealth of knowledge has transpired into proven solutions for homelessness, school management of truancy, and emergency management - which are all community led.

“My passion has always been supporting communities and ensuring that justice and truth prevail. Over the past few years, I have been actively involved in standing for democracy and also reporting for The Daily Examiner, an alternative media platform. I have also been a co-host for Talanoa Sa’o (Straight Talk) show for three years, and more recently, Island Girl Views. I feel a strong calling to politics and I’m looking forward to making a change in this way.”

Leao’s decision to join DemocracyNZ stems from her firm belief in democracy and free speech as essential principles for our country.

Party Leader, Matt King is thrilled to have Leao join DemocracyNZ. “It is clear that community is an important focus for Leao, she is here to make a change. She is a trusted, well-respected leader in the West Auckland community, and we are proud to have her join our team. Her passion and integrity make her the type of person New Zealand needs – she genuinely cares about people and future generations.”

Leao first met Matt King when reporting on the protest in Wellington in early 2022.

“I observed that Matt King was one of the few politicians who addressed the crowd, making it logical to align myself with true leadership.”

Email: leao.tildsley@democracynz.org

Facebook: Leao Tildsley - Candidate for Kelston


Martin Langford

Candidate for Napier

Spokesperson for Health

​Originally from the UK, Martin has been a dental surgeon for over 30 years, with experience working in NHS hospitals, the Royal Air Force as a dental officer, and in private practice in New Zealand. He was also on the Board of a Hawkes Bay-based medical /dental trust for 15 years.

Living in Napier since 1997, he and his Kiwi wife have raised their family of two children, who are now self-supporting independent adults. Martin became politicised when he noted with horror the extent of Government interference in the dental/medical field, with a blatant disregard for the Bill of Rights.

Never before has an individual’s confidential medical history been exposed, allegedly for the “greater good”. Ethics and informed consent were disregarded by the current Government, with no effective opposition from any of the other political parties.

Martin became aware of Matt King after attending the protests outside Parliament in February 2022, and realised he was the only politician to address the protesters and support the anti-mandate stance from day one. He believes healthcare should be evidence-based, and that the cornerstone of treatment should be “First Do No Harm”.

​​Martin joined DemocracyNZ ​because​ ​the pr​inciples ​reso​nated with his own, and the Party is not afraid to speak out against the current Government and their woeful performance.​ In Parliament, Martin will​ actively promote the Party​'s​ policies of democracy, equality and unity for all​ in decision-making and legislation,​ and advocate for the rights of the individual in all respects - medical, dental and civil.

Email: martin.langford@democracynz.org

Facebook: Martin Langford - Candidate for Napier


Juanita O'Connell

Candidate for Ilam

Spokesperson for Economic policy

Juanita has worked as a financial adviser for insurance and mortgages, owning her own business. Having lived overseas and travelled extensively, Juanita was taken aback at the ‘them and us’ mentality of politicians, particularly their willingness to hide the truth and not speak out for New Zealanders.

“I believe that in order to be in Parliament, you need to be representative of everyday New Zealanders – and our current politicians are not. When they did not come out and listen to the people at the protest in Wellington, that for me, was symbolic of MPs who have forgotten who put them there in the first place. “My motivation in politics is to make a difference, and to be an advocate – a voice, for the issues that are important to us.”

It was this passion for transparency and change that made Juanita the obvious candidate for Ilam. Juanita is a problem-solver and her years in financial advice means she knows how to work with and for people. Her dedication to give back to the community is admirable and she has the qualifications and expertise to successfully achieve the best results in various portfolios.

Juanita never expected she would become a candidate but knew she needed to speak up for New Zealanders who currently do not have a voice or don’t feel heard. She feels that DemocracyNZ can be “the light at the end of the dark tunnel we are currently in. “I had the naive idea that those who entered politics, often successful professionals, did so to make a difference for their communities and the good of their country. I think a political career is about giving back to the community and paying attention to the needs of the voters. I have faith in DemocracyNZ’s courage to speak the truth, put the needs of all New Zealanders first, rebuild and restore democracy as it ought to be, and remove any laws that divide the populace or do not serve the interests of the majority. I am determined to play my part in that.”

Email: juanita.oconnell@democracynz.org

Facebook: Juanita O'Connell - DemocracyNZ for Ilam


Roger Small

Candidate for Waitaki

Spokesperson for Ag

Roger is a staunch campaigner to stand up for rural New Zealand. Roger has been a farmer for more than 30 years, he and his family run a mixed arable and lamb fattening farm near Waimate in South Canterbury.

He is actively involved in his community, including as chair for his local catchment group. Roger has been the Groundswell NZ co-ordinator for South Canterbury.

“I believe in education and a local community driven by a hands-on, practical approach to find solutions rather than excessive regulation and the punitive taxes model currently in play.”

Party Leader, Matt King says that Roger is the right man to promote the concerns and ideas of the residents of Waitaki. “It’s clear from every conversation that we’ve had, that Roger cares deeply about New Zealand. I have no doubt in my mind that our team and our country will benefit hugely from Roger’s expertise and commitment.”

In accepting his candidacy, Roger wants to push for common sense, affordable policies in Parliament and return autonomy back to local communities with decisions and allocation of resources being based on need rather than race.

“Bureaucracy has become a monster that is manipulated by political propaganda rather than true evidence. This needs to change with full accountability of the politicians and officials who should all work for the good of all the people of New Zealand.”

Email: roger.small@democracynz.org

Facebook: Roger Small - DemocracyNZ Waitaki



Diana Burgess

Candidate for Whangārei

Spokesperson for Health

Diana is a proud Northlander, a fourth generation Croatian/Kiwi. With over 30 years’ experience in the health industry, Diana is a naturopath, Nia dance teacher and business owner. She co-owns the Hardy’s Health Stores brand with her husband Vince, which includes retail stores in Kerikeri, Paihia, Whangārei, Auckland (Whangaparāoa, Glenfield, Northwest) and Taupō, as well as health hubs in pharmacies throughout the country. Diana and Vince have raised their two sons in Northland.

Diana’s passion for educating and supporting the health of others, strengthened after witnessing first-hand, the discriminatory policies from the current Government.

“The overreaching COVID-19 mandates restricted when our health stores could operate, prevented me from seeing my patients, teaching Nia fitness classes, and being involved in everyday activities as per our human rights.”

Party Leader, Matt King said DemocracyNZ is thrilled to have Diana join the growing team of accomplished candidates. “I know a huge concern of Diana’s is the proposed introduction of the Therapeutics Products Bill, which in its current form, will restrict choices for those who wish to take supplements and herbs for their health and wellbeing. This is shocking when you consider approximately 50% of New Zealanders take natural health supplements.”

“Diana is passionate about Kiwi’s natural health and wellbeing, and we are fortunate to have her on our team - especially as we aim to push back on the Therapeutics Bill, that is currently not fit-for-purpose and will encroach on the freedom to choose safe, high quality natural products for consumers, health practitioners and their patients. DemocracyNZ is vehemently against this Bill.”, Matt says.

In accepting the candidacy, Diana said DemocracyNZ was an easy choice as the Party aligns with what truly matters to her, including making sure what happened during COVID never happens again. “This move into politics is the right thing to do, but it’s not for me, it’s for my children’s future, and my future grandchildren.

“We must always be able to continue to improve the health and well-being of Kiwis naturally, to support our educators, small business owners and hardworking farmers.  We must let our kids be kids, have safer communities, ensure our human rights are upheld, and most importantly - we must retain our right to freedom of choice”.

Email: diana.burgess@democracynz.org

Facebook: Diana Burgess - Candidate for Whangārei


Doug Allington

Candidate for Banks Peninsula

Spokesperson for Education

Doug has followed every election back to Keith Holyoake’s re-election in 1966, with a renewed interest in politics following the mess this nation has been left in – courtesy of the current Government. Over the last few years Doug, a husband, father of four and grandad to six, has become increasingly concerned over the behaviour of our current crop of politicians, and their blatant disregard of our country’s citizens. Something has got to change. Someone was needed to stand in the gap for the people.

“I have clear concerns over the nation’s governance. I see DemocracyNZ as the only serious party offering Kiwis hope for their future. New Zealand needs to be sovereign and independent again, setting its own destiny. I fully support Matt King and DemocracyNZ’s core policies and values.

“Some concerns I have are the housing and construction industries, addressing Labour’s urban planning and RMA chaos, children and youth affairs, cleaning up education, strategies for business growth, apprenticeships, job creation, EQC, disaster response and recovery.”

Bringing to the table an extensive background, in building, project management, financial advice and governance, Doug along with wife Ali, have also devoted much of their time to running youth programmes.

Following Saturday’s announcement, Party Leader, Matt King, welcomed Doug with his obvious passion and dedication into the team. “When you talk to Doug you instantly get the impression that he’s a man committed to change, and he has the experience to make a significant difference in his focus areas. It isn’t about left or right anymore, it’s about moving forward together with the values shared by all Kiwis. Doug has committed so much of his life to others, and we are thrilled he has joined our accomplished team. We know he is committed to the freedom we all want New Zealanders to regain."

In Doug's words, “The fact is, New Zealanders need politicians that are there to serve, and not to be served, and who can offer them a hope for a future. It was a brave and principled step for Matt to leave National when he could have stayed and been the candidate for Northland again in 2023. I just knew I had to get behind this man and his party’s cause. It was clear he was not a career politician. DemocracyNZ in my view, is prepared to listen to people’s views. Leading into the coming election, it is proving to be the strongest advocate for the voices of many in this nation, that our current politicians are ignoring. The standard and experience of each candidate named to date, confirms that DemocracyNZ will make a difference in Parliament.”

Email: doug.allington@democracynz.org

Facebook: Doug Allington - Candidate for Banks Peninsula


Sarah Brewer

Candidate for Kaipara Ki Mahurangi

Spokesperson for Health

Sarah is a nurse, she was mandated out of nursing at the end of 2021, and has been steadily building her holistic health business since then. Nursing is a career that defined a huge part of Sarah’s life for 21yrs, until she became a mum. Sarah treasures her role as mum to her two girls, who are a huge reason for her entering politics.

Sarah believes that holistic health and wellness should be available to all. “The ambulance at the bottom of the cliff" mentality has got to stop. We need to address the causes and not just the symptoms.  This starts with teaching and empowering people to be proud of personal responsibility and having access to affordable healthcare options. Currently, big pharma holds too much control and limits people’s access to healthcare options.

The other aspect of the health system that Sarah believes is extremely important is the Health and Disability Code of Rights. Particularly around informed consent and the right of refusal. Informed consent and right of refusal should never be trumped by the increasingly arguable claim of “safe and effective”. Freedom to choose is paramount to every single human being and deserves to be respected.

As a parent, education is another area of interest for Sarah. Our teachers need to be able to impart the fundamentals and foster children’s unique skills and interests in a way that helps build confidence, rather than spending an incalculable amount of time managing behavioural issues, that should be dealt with at home first and foremost. There needs to be more support for parents, building confidence in their ability to be the best role models for their children, instilling values that form the building blocks in a child’s life and equipping them for adulthood.

Party Leader, Matt King is excited to have Sarah join the team. “Sarah brings passion and determination – she has a self-starting attitude that is hugely beneficial in politics. The best way to make a difference in areas that matter to us, is to be part of the change we want to see – and that often involves getting into Parliament and shaping policy that will set our country in the right direction for our present generations – but also future generations. Sarah has the right combination of skills and an eager willingness to be part of this change we need in New Zealand politics.”

The last three years have been transformational for Sarah. Being mandated out of a job she dreamed about since the age of seven, taught her resilience and grit. She is now genuinely grateful to have experienced the personal growth required for the transition into politics and being part of the change needed in our country.

Email: sarah.brewer@democracynz.org

Facebook: Sarah Brewer - Candidate for Kaipara Ki Mahurangi


Sandra Campbell

Candidate for Kaikoura

Sandra comes with a strong business background. She has run a niche international aviation business, Campbell Aero Classics, with her husband since 2000, supplying bespoke flying helmets to the aviation industry worldwide.  

Sandra is a mum to two adult sons and a proud grandmother to her grandson. She understands the demands and responsibilities of single parenting and brings a wealth of real-life experience with her.

Sandra very quickly became increasingly appalled and incredulous at what she was witnessing with the mandates and other forms of government overreach - here in New Zealand, but also around the world. The complete lack of real opposition or challenge by any current standing MP to the Government narrative in New Zealand, is what Sandra found most concerning. So many people’s lives were being affected, yet no-one was listening, and we had a silent media.

The complete disregard for New Zealanders' rights and freedoms was a bridge too far. This triggered in Sandra something that is in fact what connects us all to each other - respect, compassion, tolerance, integrity, and truth. Standing back and staying quiet wasn’t an option anymore.

With the arrival of DemocracyNZ in early 2022, came relief that finally there was someone speaking the truth but also someone with integrity. The robust policies of DemocracyNZ are vital in restoring trust, integrity, common-sense, and regaining the New Zealand way - where we punched above our weight and stood firmly on values and principles that brought us together and made us proud to be Kiwis.

We now have a failing education system as our standards of academic excellence keep falling. Our health system is struggling, the justice system is not working. Our farmers are under threat, our livelihoods are under threat. With more and more restrictions on our once enjoyed freedoms, we must now urgently speak up.

Party Leader, Matt King is thrilled to welcome Sandra to the team. “To have someone of Sandra’s calibre, intellect and experience on our team, is fantastic. Our candidates are representative of everyday New Zealanders - they come from all walks of life, from around the country. The thing that brings us together, is our love for our country - and our determination to fight for our country. Sandra flies in Spitfires - that’s quite symbolic given everyone who flew these planes was on a mission to fight for their country’s freedom and sovereignty.”

“DemocracyNZ offers well-founded policies and solutions to bring about change in New Zealand communities, so that we can restore our freedom of speech and our freedom of choice. This is the most important election that we have ever faced. We must now all be brave and step out of our comfort zone - and contribute to creating a country of freedom, equality and true democracy”, says Sandra.

Email: sandra.campbell@democracynz.org

Facebook: Sandra Campbell - Candidate for Kaikoura


Chris Robinson

Candidate for East Coast

Spokesperson for Safe Communities

Serving the community comes naturally to former police officer of 37 years, Chris Robinson, who joins DemocracyNZ as the candidate for the East Coast electorate.

Chris quickly reached the rank of Commissioned Officer in the New Zealand Police after working across Auckland on the front-line and at a strategic level, implementing numerous strategies which have been adopted nationally.

Retiring from the Police brought Chris back to Whakatane. “This is the worst government in the history of our country, and I don’t have faith in any of the opposition parties to solve the issues we face as a country. Crime is at an all-time high, and it is heart-breaking to see so many young people getting into trouble with the law when they should really be in school – learning and thriving to be well-rounded adults. As a former police officer, I feel I bring something to the table and can help get our country back on track again. Many Kiwis have lost faith in the political system, however, DemocracyNZ has a team that is not afraid to challenge the current political landscape - and has the courage to stand up for what is right, when it matters.”

“We are stoked to have Chris on board, he is always willing to put in the hard yards to make a difference in the community, and that willingness to do good makes him a fantastic candidate and member of our team. Creating safe communities is a high priority for DemocracyNZ, as a former police officer myself – Chris will bring a wealth of experience to the team”, says Party Leader, Matt King.

Politics wasn’t an obvious choice for Chris, but when the mandates were introduced, Chris couldn’t ignore the obvious breach of the Bill of Rights.

“It is disturbing that all the parties in Parliament supported the mandates, they disregarded body autonomy - which is a fundamental human right. The actions of our politicians show how easily democracy and freedom can be lost, and people are often attacked for having different views. Debate is stifled, which is not the sign of a healthy democracy.”

“When Matt King showed courage and integrity to speak to the protestors in Wellington, I decided that Matt was the only politician to trust - so I’m glad to be on this team with other people committed to making change that really matters.”

Email: chris.robinson@democracynz.org

Facebook: Chris Robinson -DemoracyNZ for East Coast



Craig Laybourn

Candidate for Whangaparāoa

Craig has worked in the extractive industries for 27 years, specifically in roading aggregate quarries. He has also been a volunteer for Fire and Emergency New Zealand for 14 years, with the last three years working as a career airport firefighter.

Craig believes that people should have the right to choose body autonomy as a basic human right. This is what led him to choose DemocracyNZ, and subsequently decide to put his name forward as a candidate.

With Craig's experience in the extractive industries, he will work with other members of the team to develop roading and infrastructure policies. Pushing for improved infrastructure to connect and unlock the potential of Northland, will be a key priority for DemocracyNZ.

Craig is married with five children. He is dedicated to his family and wants his family to continually grow up with the freedoms that we have experienced in previous years. “I am doing this for my kids and my future grandkids - I want them to have a country that is fair and equal, and where politicians have the courage to stand up for what’s right.”

Party Leader, Matt King says, “As a firefighter, Craig does not shy away from a challenge. His extensive knowledge in roading brings a skillset to policy development and implementation with other high calibre members of our team. We are excited to have Craig on board.”

Email: craig.laybourn@democracynz.org

Facebook: Craig Laybourn - Candidate for Whangaparāoa

If you have an interest in politics and would like to put your name forward for candidacy, please get in touch on matt.king@democracynz.org

Our Board

Danny Simms

Party President

Danny comes with vast political, business, and community experience – having been a beef and dairy farmer in Northland, a Justice of the Peace, and has also served on several boards. Danny received the New Zealand Commemoration medal for services to agriculture, particularly in the veterinary field. 

Danny was a volunteer ambulance officer for six years, holding a National Diploma in Ambulance practice as an Emergency Medical Technician. Danny has always been politically active, and after feeling immense disappointment with the current centre-right parties in Parliament due to their lack of opposition to the Labour-led Govt; he decided to support DemocracyNZ – to provide a true alternative to the current political landscape. Danny believes that the core values and purpose of DemocracyNZ resonates with Kiwis – the values of freedom, equality, and the New Zealand Bill of Rights.