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A person holds a sign advocating for trans rights (Photo by ANDREJ IVANOV/AFP via Getty Images)
A person holds a sign advocating for trans rights (Photo by ANDREJ IVANOV/AFP via Getty Images)

SocietyMarch 20, 2023

Anti-trans campaigner’s NZ visit under review

A person holds a sign advocating for trans rights (Photo by ANDREJ IVANOV/AFP via Getty Images)
A person holds a sign advocating for trans rights (Photo by ANDREJ IVANOV/AFP via Getty Images)

Whether Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull can enter the country without a visa is up in the air after tensions at Melbourne event.

Controversy surrounds the upcoming visit by Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, the British anti-transgender campaigner on a global tour who is scheduled to visit New Zealand next weekend for two public events. During an appearance in Melbourne over the weekend, supporters performed Nazi salutes.

The Rainbow Greens had already penned an open letter saying the Standing for Women group founder poses “a significant risk and threat to public order and the public interest” and demanded she be barred from entering the country.

On Friday, Immigration New Zealand confirmed Keen-Minshull, who also goes by the name Posie Parker, was part of the visa waiver programme between New Zealand and the UK. As a UK passport holder, she has a NZeTA (a New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority) granting her automatic entry into the country. The final decision on her entry would be left up to the “discretion” of a border officer, a spokesperson said.

This morning, that decision had changed and is now under review. “INZ is now reviewing whether in the light of the events at the weekend Ms Keen-Minshull is still able to travel to New Zealand on the basis of the NZeTA that she holds without obtaining a visa first,” a spokesperson said.

The events being referred to by INZ are Keen-Minshull’s public appearance in Melbourne, where supporters marched the streets shouting anti-transgender slurs, performing Nazi salutes and carrying banners with messages like “Destroy paedo freaks”, Newshub reported. Opposition protesters chanted “Posie Parker you can’t hide, you’ve got Nazis on your side.”

In its open letter, the the Rainbow Greens said Keen-Minshull had a longstanding track record of hateful speech and the incitement of violence towards trans and gender diverse communities. “Both public order and the public interest are likely to be threatened by the entry of Keen-Minshull and her planned tour of hate across our country,” it said. “There is, accordingly, a need for action to preserve public order and uphold the public interest by denying any request for a visa or visa waiver made by Keen-Minshull or, if a visa has already been granted, revoking that visa or refusing her entry permission under it.”

If Keen Minshull is rejected entry into Aotearoa, it wouldn’t be the first time INZ has flip-flopped over the decision to allow controversial figures into the country. In 2012, it initially approved a visit by former heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson before changing its mind when a charity set to benefit from his visit pulled its support. He hasn’t visited the country since.

In 2014, Rapper Tyler, the Creator found out his Visa had been revoked while at LAX on his way down under to perform with his group Odd Future at the Eminem-headlined Rapture festival at Western Springs. He later wrote the song ‘Smuckers’ about the experience, a song that included the lyrics, “I got banned from New Zealand / Whitey called me demon / And a terrorist / God dammit I couldn’t believe it”. He’s performed her twice since, in 2020 and again in 2022.

A 2015 Chris Brown concert also sparked outrage over the R&B singer’s 2009 assault conviction against his then-girlfriend Rihanna. Brown called off the Australian and New Zealand tour before INZ released its decision. He hasn’t performed here since, but rumours are circulating that he may try again this year.

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