Gender activist Posie Parker hits out at her treatment in New Zealand as Twitter row erupts

  • 26/03/2023

Gender activist Posie Parker has hit out at her treatment in New Zealand following a chaotic Auckland protest, which has sparked a Twitter row. 

Parker, whose real name is Kellie-Jay Keen Minshull, held a rally in Auckland's Albert Park on Saturday as part of her Let Women Speak tour. 

Pushing broke out between attendees of Parker's rally and the larger counter-protest, and a small fight broke out as the activist made her way through the barricade to speak to the crowd.

Red liquid was thrown over Parker, and she was escorted out of the venue by her security guards after being rushed and sprayed with water.

Later on Saturday, Parker was spotted at Auckland Airport and Stuff reports she checked in for an international flight departing on Saturday evening. 

Parker tweeted late on Saturday night that advice from police and her security team was to leave the country following the dramatic protest. 

"The end result was that I spent most of my day with the protection of police who genuinely believed I was lucky to be alive. The advice was that I should go home," Parker tweeted.

Parker also thanked her security team and police for keeping her safe and allowing her to see her kids again. 

"To the stewards, security and police who made sure my kids get to see me again thank you, thanks to all of you at home who offered messages of support," Parker said.

She also hit out at her treatment in New Zealand saying the "lies were finally spewed by politicians in power in Australia and New Zealand, boosted by a corrupt media populated by vile dishonest unskilled cult members". 

The wild scenes in Auckland also sparked widespread debate on Twitter with #ShameOnNewZealand trending on Saturday, while some defended the activist and others criticising her. 

Author JK Rowling came out in defence of Parker saying "women have become used to lies" and "threats of violence".

It's not the first time Rowling has posted about the transgender community. In June 2020, the author came under fire for controversial tweets she posted.

Rowling retweeted an op-ed piece that discussed "people who menstruate," apparently taking issue with the fact the story did not use the word women. 

"'People who menstruate.' I'm sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?" she wrote.

British singer-songwriter Billy Bragg, who recently performed in New Zealand, also weighed in saying he opposes "all violence against women, including KJK. It can never be justified".

"I believe in freedom of expression and was pleased to see over 2000 Kiwis exercising their right to free expression by vocally opposing KJK in Auckland today," Bragg said on Twitter. 

Bragg also tweeted a picture of Rod Emmerson's cartoon in the Herald. 

Auckland Pride, who said they weren't the official organiser of the counter-protest at Albert Park, denied there was any "further physical threat from our community towards Parker". 

"This is a baseless rumour that is being perpetrated by those who feel defeated by the events of today. We urge the media not to repeat these allegations without evidence," Auckland Pride wrote on Twitter. 

Following the chaotic scenes at Albert Park MPs clashed over the rally and freedom of speech. 

Labour MP Shanan Halbert attended the protest and told Newshub as chair of Labour's Rainbow caucus, it was important he was there supporting the rainbow community to stand against hate and transphobia.

"I'm so proud of our rainbow community and our allies for coming together in solidarity with our trans whānau," he said.

"I saw an energetic protest. One that stood up for what New Zealand stands for - inclusion and acceptance. I'm pleased that it was largely a safe environment for all."

However, ACT deputy leader Brooke van Velden said it showed the alternative to free speech is physical violence.

"In a civilised country, you counter ideas you don't like with more speech and debate, not violence and intimidation," she said in a statement.

"Ironically, the group who complained they were going to be the victims of violence ended up being the violent ones."

National's justice spokesperson Paul Goldsmith told Newshub "there is no such thing as free speech if people are allowed to intimidate anyone they don't like".

"National affirms the right to protest but we condemn the use of violence. That's not how we should deal with differences of opinion in this country."

And New Zealand First leader Winston Peters warned shutting down freedom of speech sets New Zealand down a dangerous path.

"Whether you agree with her views or not, the irony of the disgraceful situation that occurred at the Posie Parker event, is that violence, hatred, and intimidation is coming from the very group who claim to be the ones standing up for inclusivity and freedoms," he tweeted.

"Don't think your violence and cancel culture is representing the majority of New Zealanders who want an open and free western democracy that values freedom of speech."