The elected official sacked from his day job over Facebook posts critical of Muslims and multiculturalism has made a bullish appearance at the local body he sits on.
Paul Davie attended a scheduled monthly meeting of the Portage Licensing Trust in New Lynn last evening and said he was being vilified for voicing concerns about the United Nations compact for migration.
The meeting, of the body that operates bottle shops and hospitality venues in part of West Auckland, was attended by almost 20 members of the public. About two-thirds appeared to be supporting Davie.
Among them was his wife, Kathryn Davie, who wore a glittery pink hat and held up a sign reading, "The truth will prevail".
The Davies parted company with Ray White last week after screenshots of historic comments they apparently posted on Facebook were supplied to journalists after the Christchurch terror attacks. At the meeting, Paul Davie blamed the "left".
In one post, linking to a video, Paul Davie appears to say: "How can anyone after viewing this possibly think Islam and Sharia does not and will not present a threat to any non-Muslim nation?"
Another post, apparently written by him in October, said: "Multiculturalism is and always was a doomed dogma."
Kathryn Davie, in May last year, apparently wrote "civil war is coming" and linked to an article about support for te reo policy in Wellington.
And in another post, she appeared to link to a video from Australian Senator Fraser Anning and the need to stop Muslim immigration immediately with the words: "Too right."
When Linda Greenalgh, the woman behind an online petition calling for Davie's removal from the trust, addressed the meeting, at Bricklane bar and restaurant, Davie said he felt like he was being "hung, drawn and quartered".
He asked her whether she was involved with left-wing organisations including the Unite Union. Greenalgh said she was not. She said she started the petition, which almost 1000 people have signed, because she was coming from a position of love not hate.
When she said the nation had started to think about the possible links between everyday racism and the murder of 50 Muslims in the attacks on two mosques in Christchurch 11 days ago, one person in the audience shouted "bollocks". Another said it was a "long bow".
At no point did the Davies deny making the comments. When Kathryn Davie got up to speak she warned those present there was a risk of anonymous people trawling through their social media history to find historic posts they could use to criticise them.
A member of the public said they shouldn't post things if they didn't want them to be found. Kathryn Davie replied that it was a free country.
Approached after the public session, during a break before the trust moved on to usual business, neither Paul or Kathryn Davie would comment further.
Asked to expand on the slogan on her banner, Kathryn Davie said there would be a statement when they were ready. Asked multiple times if he denied making the Facebook comments, Paul Davie would only repeat that he would release a statement when it suited him, not the media.
At the end of the public session, trust president Ross Clow asked people to respect the rights of others to hold opinions they didn't agree with. He also warned the other elected members present of the defamation laws.
Approached after the meeting Clow said that did not water down his comment on Friday that Davie should "come to his senses" and stand down "for the good of the community". Clow said that's what he would do. On Friday he had also said Davie's comments in no way reflected the views of the trust or its other members.
The law governing the running of the trust provides no legal avenue for removal of a member, even if the trust wanted to.
Ray White confirmed it had parted company with the couple, who worked as real estate agents in Blockhouse Bay, when the company's New Zealand chief executive released a statement last Thursday.
It said the Facebook comments were at odds with the company's stance on "tolerance and respect towards others above all else". "Any member whose values are not aligned with ours is inherently not a match for our group."
The Davies have deleted their Facebook pages and Trade Me real-estate profiles, but screenshots of the posts in question were sent to media.
Addressing the meeting, Kathryn Davie said whoever distributed the screenshots had given her a "gift because I'm absolutely happy to be away from work because I've got lots of other things to do".
Earlier, a member of the public said she signed the petition because she was opposed to racial hatred.
"This is one of the most super-diverse communities in New Zealand and you do not represent us," she said to Davie, adding that standing down was the only honourable thing he could do.
"You need to put some mirrors in your house," Davie replied.