23 Mar 2023

Rainbow groups take Immigration Minister to court over Posie Parker decision

4:45 pm on 23 March 2023
Labour MP Michael Wood

Michael Wood Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

A coalition of rainbow community groups are taking Immigration Minister Michael Wood to court over a decision to allow British anti-transgender activist Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull into the country.

They are also seeking an interim order to prevent Keen-Minshull - also known as Posie Parker - from entering the country until the review can take place.

Immigration New Zealand looked into her visa-waiver status after neo-Nazi groups attended her events in Australia.

Keen-Minshull is holding rallies in Auckland and Wellington this weekend, after the government decided she did not meet the threshold to be classed an excluded person.

Gender Minorities Aotearoa, InsideOUT Kōaro, and Auckland Pride filed for a judicial review in the High Court.

OutLine Aotearoa and RainbowYOUTH were also supporting the action to keep Keen-Minshull out of New Zealand, saying they had concerns for the immediate safety of trans people and the longer term impacts of the stress, fear and anxiety her visit would cause.

Gender Minorities Aotearoa executive director Ahi Wi-Hongi said the groups believed Keen-Minshull's presence in New Zealand would pose a significant threat to public order and a risk to public interest.

"The facts in this case are clear, and the minister's failure to act is putting our communities in danger. We are not opposing freedom of speech, we are opposing the measurable threat to public order and the safety of transgender people."

InsideOUT Kōaro managing director Tabby Besley said there was "no place for transphobia in Aotearoa, and there is no public interest in the abhorrent views espoused by Keen-Minshull".

Auckland Pride director Max Tweedie said they were determined to challenge the decision, to protect Aotearoa's trans, non-binary and takatāpui communities.

The organisations said they expected legal costs would be minimal, but there was always a risk of escalation - and sought donations through a givealittle page.

Any surplus would be used to continue advocating for the rights and wellbeing of transgender and rainbow communities, they said.

Wood refused to comment.

A date for the hearing is yet to be set.