ACT Party, Free Speech Union oppose calls for UK gender activist to be barred from New Zealand

The ACT Party and the Free Speech Union say controversial UK gender activist Posie Parker should be allowed into Aotearoa as Immigration New Zealand (INZ) reviews her case.

Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, better known as Posie Parker, is planning to hold rallies at Auckland's Albert Park and Wellington's Civic Square this weekend.

But her imminent arrival to Aotearoa has sparked outrage following her fiery event in Melbourne on Sunday, which saw a fascist group turn up and perform Nazi salutes and abuse LGBTQIA counter-protesters.

In a statement to Newshub, ACT's immigration spokesperson James McDowall said it's up to INZ to apply the law, but not up to a "tiny minority to pressure the government into using a heckler's veto".

"Her views may be unpopular and even offensive or hurtful to some people, but that's not a reason to ban her from coming here."

Free Speech Union chief executive Jonathan Ayling shared the same sentiment. In a statement, Ayling said the Free Speech Union "opposes" the calls for Parker to be denied entry into Aotearoa.

"The ideas she holds are clearly offensive to some Kiwis, but it is not the role of Immigration New Zealand to protect Kiwis from confronting ideas," Ayling said.

He said the resistance to Parker's entry is "based on political views" and he believes it would be a "troubling and undemocratic" precedent for Parker's travel to be barred on those grounds.

"We support the right of Kiwis to hear from Posie Parker, and equally the right for those who disagree with her to use counter-speech and peaceful protest to challenge her views."

And National deputy leader Nicola Willis told RNZ's First UP that INZ would struggle to find evidence to shut Parker out of Aotearoa and she too believes Parker should be allowed in.

"This is a free and liberal democracy and part of that is that we believe in freedom of expression even when we really don't like the views of those that are expressing themselves freely," Willis told RNZ.

"We uphold that right. And I'm a big believer that sunlight is a good disinfectant. Where people have views that some of us find abhorrent, sometimes the best thing is to allow others to respond with their counter views."

However Willis said no one was free to incite violence - and if similar scenes were seen here as they were in Melbourne, she says the law should be used against them.

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins told AM he wouldn't intervene or involve himself in the matter of Parker's entry.

"It's a matter for officials," he said.

"Whether someone is of good character to NZ or not, is not up to me."

However, the Green Party strongly opposes Parker's entry into Aotearoa. Its immigration spokesperson Ricardo Menéndez-March told RNZ he worries "having someone like Posie coming here to spew violence, and attracting the kind of neo-Nazi crowd they had in Australia could actually risk the well-being of rainbow communities and Muslim communities as well".

He told Morning Report Melbourne was not the first event where such scenes had been demonstrated, and there had become a trend of her attracting fascist groups and individuals.

As an event organiser, Menéndez-March said Keen-Minshull had a "duty of care" to not enable Nazis.

"The kind of rhetoric being spewed at those events is literally about the elimination of rainbow communities."

Menéndez-March said his argument was focused on Immigration New Zealand's ability to factor in public safety, rather than silencing her.

She had a "massive" audience online, he said, and no one was stopping her from speaking there.

RNZ / Newshub