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Immigration Minister says Posie Parker is allowed in Aotearoa, despite 'unhinged' views

27 September, 2023

Interview by Caedin Tipler, adapted by Joel Armstrong

Minister of Immigration Andrew Little says that while anti-trans campaigner Posie Parker is “unhinged”, she is allowed to visit Aotearoa if she wants, despite concerns for public safety. Image: Corey Fuimaono

Anti-trans campaigner Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, also known as Posie Parker, recently cancelled her second visit to Aotearoa.

But Parker cancelled her trip shortly after announcing it, citing safety concerns for her and her supporters and criticising the country’s police, border forces, and politicians of being corrupt.

Parker planned to attend the court hearing of activist Eli Rubashkyn, who doused her in tomato juice at her Auckland ‘Let Women Speak’ event in March this year. The event saw thousands of people show up in protest, prompting Parker to cancel her other planned meetings around the country. 

Prior to Parker cancelling her trip, the Trans Liberation Alliance (TLA), launched a petition calling on Minister of Immigration, Andrew Little, to deny Parker’s re-entry to Aotearoa, citing safety concerns, particularly for takatāpui, transgender and gender-diverse communities.

The Disinformation Project reported that after Parker’s visit to New Zealand, the level of hate towards trans people increased substantially and was at a “genocidal” level.  

Minister of Immigration, Andrew Little, told 95bFM’s The Wire that Parker, like other visitors, has the right to freedom of speech and freedom of expression. 

“Just expressing unpleasant ideas is not enough to stop somebody from being here.”

“I think she's slightly unhinged, or she has to because of some of the views that she has. But the reality is, she chose not to come here.”

Before Parker held her rally in March, various rainbow organisations including InsideOUT Kōaro, Auckland Pride, and Gender Minorities Aotearoa, took previous Immigration Minister Michael Wood to court for allowing Parker to enter the country. However, the case was dismissed. 

At Parker's previous demonstrations in Melbourne, members of far-right groups were in attendance and seen intimidating trans-solidarity protests and holding up nazi salutes.

A small gathering of members of the far-right were also in attendance at the demonstration in Tāmaki Makaurau, wearing symbols of far-right organisations, such as the Azov Battalion and the Boogaloo Boys.

Little said that for Parker to be banned from Aotearoa, the threshold for safety concern needs to be high.

“We have got to distinguish that people can have some pretty reprehensible views, some pretty nasty views, they can be awful, but lawful.”

“It is when they threaten the safety of others, then that is something different, but that would rely on an assessment.”

Listen to the full interview

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air