Māori Party vice president says far right Canadian pair should not speak in Aotearoa

By Moana Makapelu Lee
  • Auckland

Far right Canadian speakers have been granted visa entry by Immigration NZ where they plan to speak at a public event in Auckland. They're known for their controversial views on immigration, feminism and Islam. However Māori Party vice president says they're not welcome.

Māori party vice president Kaapua Smith says Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux should not be given a platform to speak in New Zealand.

"I don't agree with their views at all. I don't think that they should be given a platform to speak at all in Aotearoa.”

“I recognise that they have rights of freedom of speech but I don't think they should use those rights to whakaiti or impinge on other people's rights and that's what I think they do."

Southern is touring Australia and New Zealand for her 'free speech tour'.

She told RNZ she hopes to educate NZ audiences on why feminism, open borders and transgender children will ruin countries.

Smith says "Absolutely I think their views are damaging I think as a community I think we need to make a really strong stand against racism, against sexism."

Earlier this month Auckland Mayor Phil Goff tweeted that the pair would not be speaking at any Council venues and that venues should not be used to stir up ethnic or religious tensions.

"I think by denying them a platform to spread those words in NZ is a really powerful way of doing that" says Smith.

In a statement Minister of Immigration Iain Lees-Galloway says INZ's decision in no way condoned their 'repugnant' views. 

“I understand that many people would prefer it if Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux never set foot in New Zealand.”

“However the Immigration Act and immigration instructions have clear criteria for the granting of a visa, including certain character requirements, all of which I have been advised the pair meet.”

They pair are expected to speak New Zealand in August.