Why Trade Me suspended accounts selling 'Make Ardern Go Away' hats

Why Trade Me suspended accounts selling 'Make Ardern Go Away' hats
Photo credit: Getty

Two Trade Me accounts selling "Make Ardern Go Away" hats were suspended last week, but the company says this was not the reason for the suspension.

Magic Talk spoke to two men from the South Island, who had separate Trade Me accounts selling the hats. They were in the style of US President Donald Trump's red "Make America Great Again" or "MAGA" caps.

The men were selling the hats for $40 and $20 respectively, before finding their accounts had been suspended by Trade Me.

One of the men was told by Trade Me he was suspended due to an "intellectual property" issue, while the other was told it was due to the nature of his account.

But Trade Me head of trust and safety George Hiotakis says the hats were welcome to be sold on the website.

"When we've gone and reviewed this it's simply been human error," he told Magic Talk's Sean Plunket.

"At any one time we have eight million listings, and the people that we have here go and interpret those kinds of things - unfortunately, occasionally, we get it wrong, and this was one instance where we did get it wrong."

Hiotakis said the accounts could be reinstated should they operate within the company's terms and conditions.

"It has nothing to do with the cap and with the political message, it is related to how they have their accounts set up.

"We've spoken with both the members, and provided them with information they need to be able to interact with Trade Me again."

But one of the men told Magic Talk said he had not been contacted by Trade Me.

"No, that's not true," Hiotakis told Sean Plunket. "I don't have my staff in the room with me but walking in here, my understanding was that we'd talked to all members involved."

Hiotakis said there was no third parties or agencies of state involved the suspension of the accounts.