Chris Hipkins says Freedoms NZ 'determined to disrupt' election campaign after Christopher Luxon's press conference hijacked

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has hit out at the Freedoms New Zealand party after one of its candidates hijacked Christopher Luxon's press conference.

The National Party leader was speaking to media in Auckland earlier on Monday when the Freedoms NZ candidate leaned over the fence behind Luxon and started talking.

"We haven't seen you in Ōtara, Mr Luxon," the man said.

Luxon asked the man to be "respectful" and allow him to speak to media. The man said he was being respectful.

"Will the real Mr Chris Luxon please stand up? You say you are a Christian, but you are not changing anything with abortion. You are not doing anything with transgender."

Luxon said he would speak to the man later, but that didn't stop him.

It forced Luxon and National MP Simeon Brown to move inside.

"Sir, I know you are going to be the next Prime Minister so our communities want to hold you to account," the man said as they walked off.

Chris Hipkins says Freedoms NZ 'determined to disrupt' election campaign after Christopher Luxon's press conference hijacked
Photo credit: Newshub.

Speaking at his post-Cabinet press conference on Monday, Hipkins said "it's clear that [Freedoms NZ co-leader] Brian Tamaki and his mob are very determined to disrupt the election campaign".

"Ultimately, that's anti-democratic. They're denying all New Zealanders the right to hear from all political parties. Christopher Luxon is absolutely entitled to hold a press conference. He's entitled to share his views with the New Zealand public and the New Zealand public are entitled to hear those views," Hipkins said.

"Same with me, same with every other political party leader, I'm not going to go around disrupting other party leaders or other parties' press conferences. I think a party that thought it had any shot of getting into Parliament wouldn't be doing that. This is just Brian Tamaki and his team trying to make a lot of noise and disrupt everybody else."

The man who hijacked Luxon's press conference is the same person who heckled Hipkins at the Ōtara Flea Market earlier this month in Auckland.

Hipkins said on Monday he wasn't going to stop campaigning because "Tamaki and his crew" were trying to disrupt it.

He believed the main thing they were doing was "robbing" New Zealanders of their opportunity to interact with politicians and hear what they have to say.

"I don't think that's good for democracy," Hipkins said. "We have a country where free speech is valued and cherished and encouraged. But I don't think people should use that deliberately to drown out the voices of others."

Hipkins added that work was underway to see whether MPs needed extra security while on the campaign trail.