The High Court court has dismissed several rainbow groups’ call for a judicial review of Immigration NZ’s decision not to block the entry of an anti-transgender activist into New Zealand.
A coalition of rainbow groups, including Auckland Pride, Gender Minorities Aotearoa, and InsideOUT Kōaro, on Thursday evening filed for a judicial review and also sought an interim order preventing Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull from entering New Zealand.
Keen-Minshull, also known as Posie Parker, didn’t have legal representation at an initial teleconference. The Free Speech Union joined as a third-party intervener in the case.
Following the judgement, InsideOUT said it was “extremely disappointed”.
“We express our love and gratitude to our communities who have rallied to support us taking this issue to the High Court,” the group said on Twitter.
Auckland Pride also expressed disappointment.
“We’re incredibly humbled by the support we’ve received and proud to have stood up for our communities.”
The Free Speech Union said: “This is the only right result for a nation that values tolerance, the ability to debate, and free speech.”
Immigration NZ reviewed Parker’s case earlier this week after violence erupted at a rally she held in Melbourne last weekend. Police officers were allegedly assaulted, people were arrested and among those demonstrating was a group of neo-Nazis with a “destroy paedo freaks” sign.
However, the agency found “there is no reason to believe that she is, or is likely to be, a threat or risk to the public order or public interest”, general manager Richard Owen said on Wednesday.
“As a result we have determined that Ms Keen-Minshull does not meet the high threshold to be considered an excluded person under Section 16 of the Immigration Act 2009.”
The Act says no visa or entry permission may be granted if the minister believes someone is likely to be a threat or risk to security, public order or public interest, or is a designated terrorist.
Immigration Minister Michael Wood at the time said he would prefer she “never set foot in New Zealand”.
“I find many of her views repugnant, and am concerned by the way in which she courts some of the most vile people and groups around including white supremacists,” Wood said.
“The decision on whether to suspend her NZeTA sits with Immigration New Zealand and they have assessed that she meets the criteria set out in the Immigration Act and regulations. This assessment took into account the events in Melbourne that occurred last weekend.
“I have been advised that this case does not meet the threshold for Ministerial intervention.”