Statement on our Judicial Review against the Minister of Immigration

Gender Minorities Aotearoa, InsideOUT Kōaro, and Auckland Pride have together decided not to continue the Judicial Review against the Minister of Immigration for his decision to allow Posie Parker (Kellie Keen-Minshull) into Aotearoa.

While we continue to believe the Minister’s decision was unreasonable and unlawful, because Posie Parker posed a risk to public order, the damage has been done by Posie Parker’s visit and there would be a significant investment of time, resources, and potentially funds that would need to be put towards a Judicial Review that could take a considerable period of time to be determined.

We believe that Justice Gendall’s judgement on our urgent application for Interim Orders, while ultimately failing, was significant and sent a clear message from the High Court.

The Judge affirmed that Posie Parker presented a risk to Aotearoa’s rainbow communities, potentially the public order, and was aligned with far-right groups. 

The Judge stated “It is not disputed Ms K-M’s views are harmful to minority communities. Nor is it disputed those communities are particularly vulnerable to harm and discrimination. They deserve protection, and harmful views must be condemned.”

Justice Gendall said “Had the Minister determined that Ms Keen-Minshull was likely to be a threat or risk to public order and therefore excluded from New Zealand for the reasons identified by the Applicants, it is also reasonably arguable that this would represent a justified limitation on her right to freedom of expression.” 

He went on to say that “There are reasonable grounds to accept the Applicants’ argument that in a competing rights analysis, freedom of expression may in some circumstances, need to give way to the right of vulnerable communities to be free from discrimination.”

The Judge affirmed that the Minister of Immigration retained the ability at all times to prevent Posie Parker from entering the country under section 16 of the Immigration Act.

The Judge also affirmed that our case was properly brought, and was within our charitable purposes.

We took this case on to send a strong message to the Minister of Immigration that his failure to act was dangerous and would not go unchallenged. Our organisations refused to stand by while our communities were under threat, a decision justified by the alarming and demonstrable rise in hatred and disinformation directed towards trans and gender diverse people.

We are immensely grateful for the support from our community and allies for fundraising for our legal costs. Our costs relating to the case while not finalised are limited, and any additional funds raised will be split between our organisations to continue supporting, uplifting, and advocating for trans and gender diverse communities.

While this result is not what we hoped for, we’re so proud of our communities and the amazing show of support for transgender human rights, including multiple community groups coming together and organising protests, over 6,000 attendees at these events, media reports which recognised the situation well, and a massive swell in support from across the country. Kia kaha, kia māia, kia manawanui. We’re so impressed.

The Judge’s full ruling can be read here. 

Photo credit: Becki Moss, RNZ's The Detail.