National Party leader Christopher Luxon says a controversial British activist has the right to free speech in New Zealand, following the clash at Auckland's counter protest on Saturday.
Anti-transgender campaigner Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull - also known as Posie Parker - left her rally in central Auckland on Saturday without speaking, after being overwhelmed by thousands of counter-protesters.
When asked for his thoughts on this today, Luxon said regardless of Parker's views, the right to free speech needs to be protected.
"As much as you may actually like or dislike her views, you actually have to defend the right for people to have free speech in a liberal democracy. The way to deal with that as I have said is have other speech and debate counter the view that you don't like, rather than intimidating behaviour."
He said he thought some of the behaviour at the counter-protest was intimidating.
Parker shared a photo on social media showing her being escorted by police through Auckland Airport, which meant that her rally that was planned for Wellington on Sunday did not go ahead.
But about 3000 people turned out to Civic Square in Wellington, as well as 300 at a rally in Christchurch, to show their support for the transgender community today.