The New Zealand mainstream media has this week made women's rights campaigner Kellie-Jay Keen (Posie Parker) its public enemy number one. 

I'M WRITING THIS the night before Posie Parker's first speaking event and her political opponents have become increasingly frenzied in their opposition to her. Much of that frenzy has been whipped up by a partisan media that has made no attempt to give her a fair hearing. Having decided from day one that she is an 'anti-transgender activist' and not a 'women's rights campaigner' it has been all downhill from here.

There has been no attempt to explain Parker's politics in a considered and rationale way. She has been smeared by the mainstream media as, variously, 'a member of the far right', a 'neo-Nazi', 'a white supremacist' and 'antisemitic'. I'm surprised that she has not, so far anyway, been accused of strangling cats in her spare time, although Newshub  did absurdly allege she was making white supremacist 'hand signals' when she was just fiddling with the zip on her jacket. This is what passes as journalism these days.

The claim that Parker is a neo-Nazi or a supporter of neo-Nazism (her opponents can't seem to be decide which it is), has arisen because her Melbourne event was gatecrashed by the far-right National Socialist Movement. It performed Nazi salutes and displayed signs which accused transpeople of being child abusers. 

It did not take long for Australian politicians and the media to associate Posie Parker and her supporters with the neo-Nazi group. Leader of the Australian Greens Adam Bandt said:  'I’m disgusted by the anti-trans rally in Melbourne yesterday, protected by their allies: saluting neo-Nazis.'

The Australian Jewish Association took a different view. It assessed the situation and came to the conclusion the neo-Nazis were simply opportunistic gatecrashers. It tweeted: 'AJA unreservedly condemns the Nazis who invaded the rally. These ugly thugs saw an opportunity to hijack the event for their own publicity.' 

The organiser of the Melbourne event, Angie Jones, told a Melbourne radio station that the neo-fascists had no love for Parker or her supporters either: 'They had nothing to do with us. We find their views abhorrent, and they find us abhorrent. On Twitter they said they despised us and that we were trying to turn people into lesbians.'

None of this has been reported by the New Zealand mainstream media. It has been intent on discrediting Parker and has given her opponents free licence to repeat the same falsehoods in this country. 

So Green Party MP Ricardo Menéndez March was not challenged to substantiate his claim when he described Parker as 'antisemitic'. He also smeared her as a neo-Nazi.

And one of her most high-profile opponents has been Shannon Lal. He has been especially prominent in the media including appearances on TVNZ, RNZ, Three and Today FM. He has repeatedly accused Parker of being 'a member of the far right' and a Neo-Nazi. He has also not been asked to provide evidence for these claims. Lal has even got away with claiming that his very life is under threat from Parker's supporters.

In a column published by the NZ Herald he writes: 'Last week Keen-Minshull hosted an anti-trans rally in Melbourne that was supported and attended by neo-Nazis who marched on the streets doing the Nazi salute.'

The only mainstream journalist who has emerged from this dismal debacle with any credit has been Today FM's Rachel Smalley. This is the same station that shut down two of her colleagues, Leah Panapa and Miles Davis, for talking on-air about a 'pregnant woman' rather than a 'pregnant person'.

In a considered column Smalley writes:

'I have been wary of stepping into this space for a long time because it is a challenging issue to discuss. I have watched as brave women have raised their hand and questioned their safety, but what follows is awful - the abuse, the verbal violence, and the impact on their lives and careers has been severe. It is a viciousness that I have never seen before. It is wrong. It is entirely acceptable to raise these issues without fearing for your life, your career, your sanity and your livelihood.

'I never thought, in my time, having spent years trying to elevate the voice of women, that we would see Labour and Green MP's advocating and politicking to silence the voices of women. Shame on you all.

I am not anti-trans and I am not pro-Posie Parker. But I will absolutely die in a ditch to protect Parker’s right to speak. I don't ever want to see a time when the voice of women is silenced. Nor do I want to live in a New Zealand that bans people from these shores because their commentary is disagreeable or disruptive. That is not a democracy. It is a dictatorship.'

Whether Posie Parker's opponents like it or not, she has raised issues that need to be debated. The New Zealand mainstream media has declined to encourage such a debate and chose instead to vilify Parker. Its behaviour has been nothing short of disgraceful. It should not have to be reminded that there is no justification for trying to suppress views simply because you happen to disagree with them.  


  1. Is this a left winger, or a right winger speaking?
    "These angry kids, why are they angry at us and not their government? Why aren't they angry at global corporates that are taking over everything, undemocratically, unelected; powerful people that are stealing these kids' futures."
    This is verbatim from Posie Parker's self-recorded live stream from the car she was in driving towards the Albert Park rotunda today.


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