22 Mar 2023

Anti-transgender activist Posie Parker to be allowed into New Zealand

1:40 pm on 22 March 2023
Anti-transgender activist Posie Parker with a trans flag in the background.

Anti-transgender activist Posie Parker. Photo: AFP

The controversial British anti-transgender activist Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, also known as Posie Parker, is to be allowed into the country.

In a statement, Immigration New Zealand general manager Richard Owen said "I can confirm that Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has now finished reviewing the case involving Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull.

"After reviewing all publicly known information about Ms Keen-Minshull and seeking advice from other agencies we have concluded that there is no reason to believe that she is, or is likely to be, a threat or risk to the public order or public interest."

Immigration Minister Michael Wood said he condemned Keen-Minshull's " inflammatory, vile and incorrect worldviews" and stood alongside New Zealanders who used free speech against those who wanted to take society backwards, but the assessment was she met the criteria.

"Like many New Zealanders I would prefer it if Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull never set foot in New Zealand. I find many of her views repugnant, and am concerned by the way in which she courts some of the most vile people and groups around including white supremacists," he said in a statement.

"The decision on whether to suspend her NZeTA sits with Immigration New Zealand and they have assessed that she meets the criteria set out in the Immigration Act and regulations. This assessment took into account the events in Melbourne that occurred last weekend. I have been advised that this case does not meet the threshold for ministerial intervention.

"As we look towards her events for this coming weekend, the welfare and safety of our transgender community is front of mind. Event organisers maintain the primary responsibility to ensure they run a safe and secure event and police have advised they will also be in attendance to ensure public safety."

Parker is due to address rallies in Auckland and Wellington this weekend.

Trans rights activists say Keen-Minshull's views are discriminatory and offensive. Her supporters say she is not anti-trans, but opposed to trans people using women-only spaces.

Officials looked again at her visa-waiver after neo-Nazi groups attended her recent Australian events.

Trans activists are organising counter-protests in Auckland and Wellington.

Tory Whanau

Wellington mayor Tory Whanau. Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

Wellington mayor Tory Whanau, who previously told RNZ Keen-Minshull's views were not welcome in the city, said the council could not stop the event from going ahead if she was let in.

Whanau told Midday Report she expected there would be a large number of people who will be ready to peacefully protest "and push against her harmful narrative".

She said the council had looked into if the event could potentially be stopped, however, it was tricky given the Bill of Rights.

Whanau predicted Keen-Minshull's rally would be a "non-event" anyway.

"Wellington is so diverse and so supportive of our trans whānau, I don't imagine there will be a huge amount of people who will show up in support of her."

Whanau earlier told RNZ she would join counter-protests.

Auckland Council and mayor Wayne Brown have been approached for comment.

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