Contentious far-right speaker Lauren Southern has brushed off the controversy over her Australasian tour saying it was bringing both sides together in the name of free speech.

Meanwhile, Australian media have taken a swipe at Auckland mayor Phil Goff, labelling his ban on Southern and co-speaker Stefan Molyneux using council venues a "fatwa".

Southern is a Canadian YouTube star and conservative activist who has sparked global controversy on her far-right opinions.

Southern was barred from the UK earlier this year for distributing "racist" flyers reading "Allah is a Gay God" and "Allah is trans" outside a restaurant in English town Luton.


Former Australian politician Ross Cameron addressed what he called the "fatwa" in an interview on Sky TV, but Southern laughed it off and said, despite the opposition, the majority of New Zealand and Australia had been immensely supportive.

Controversy broke out over Canadian writer Stefan Molyneux speaking in New Zealand. Photo / File
Controversy broke out over Canadian writer Stefan Molyneux speaking in New Zealand. Photo / File

In the Islamic faith a fatwa is a nonbinding but authoritative legal opinion.

In the interview, Southern said the media and politicians had repeatedly accused her of spreading racist bile however, "the reality is, we have had filled rooms wherever we've spoken, and in New Zealand the left and the right have been coming together and saying we believe in free speech".

"It's just been a beautiful thing so we will be speaking in Auckland despite all the opposition, despite all the hate," she said.

Cameron said he too was encouraged by the diverse group of people in support of the event.

He said despite some people having a monolithic view, many of those people still came out to support Southern through a fundraising page set up to raise money to legally challenge the mayor's decision to ban the pair using council venues.

"That broad palette of opinion has come together behind you to say, 'whether we disagree with you or agree with you, you're entitled to express your view in New Zealand'," Cameron said.

About $50,000 was raised in one day.


The tour entailed Molyneux and Southern holding events where they would share stories, opinions, inspiration and Q&A sessions.

A new, yet to be announced venue has been secured for the New Zealand leg, and they were set to speak on Friday.