20 Mar 2023

Immigration New Zealand reviewing entry of anti-transgender activist

2:56 pm on 20 March 2023
Anti-transgender activist Posie Parker with a trans flag in the background.

Anti-transgender activist Posie Parker. Photo: AFP

The requirements for a controversial UK anti-transgender activist to enter the country are being reviewed, Immigration New Zealand has confirmed.

Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, also known as Posie Parker, has planned to hold rallies at Albert Park in Auckland and Civic Square in Wellington this weekend.

Some protesters were seen to be giving Nazi salutes and abusing LGBT counter-protesters at an event featuring Keen-Minshull in Melbourne on Sunday.

Immigration New Zealand general manager Richard Owen said as the holder of a United Kingdom Passport Keen-Minshull can, and has, applied for a visa waiver.

However, he said in the light of the events at the weekend, Immigration New Zealand was reviewing that.

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said he did not want to comment on the immigration process but people using the right to free speech should not be using it to incite violence or hateful behaviour.

"I condemn people who use their right to free speech to do that in a way that seeks to deliberately create division.

"It's not something that I would attend or engage with and I don't think it's helpful overall to social cohesion or to actually rational and constructive debate.

"I guess my message is: anybody exercising their right to free speech, whatever the circumstances are, should be mindful that we don't want to incite hateful behaviour or violence - in fact, it's illegal to do so - and I think everybody should bear that in mind."

He said he understood free speech to be the "ability to articulate your own opinions free from sanction", but noted there were limitations on it in the law.

"You can't express your rights to free speech in a way that incites people to harm others."

He said he had not seen the precise details of what Keen-Minshull had said, and would not want to formulate a view on it without consideration.

Discussions about banning Nazi symbols in New Zealand was not something he had turned his mind to at this point either.

Wellington City Council said it had no ability to stop Keen-Minshull holding a rally in Civic Square this weekend as it was a public space often used for rallies.

Wellington Mayor Tory Whanau said Keen-Minshull's views were not welcome in Wellington, calling them grotesque.

She said there was little the council could do to stop the rally due to the Bill of Rights.

"I know the community, I trust them to come together. I understand a counter-protest has been organised. We also have [festival] CubaDupa this weekend, which I know will be all about celebrating diversity. We'll be ensuring that our rainbow whanau are welcome in the city."

Whanau said she will join the counter-protesters.

The Green Party's rainbow contingent has written to the immigration minister calling for Keen-Minshull to be banned.

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