Trade Me has pulled "It's okay to be white" T-shirts off its website after the company was slammed by Kiwis and the Human Rights Commission.

Nelson seller vjm_publishing was selling both stickers and T-shirts for sale, saying the slogan will show buyers are "capable of thinking for themselves".

"An 'It's okay to be white' T-shirt will let people know that you are not a racist who thinks that a child can be born into sin if others with the same skin colour have acted badly in the past.

"Wear this shirt as a white person to troll your local Communists, or wear this shirt as a brown person to troll stuck-up middle-class urbanites. Either way it's funny!"

Four large sheets of stickers were being sold for $12.
Four large sheets of stickers were being sold for $12.

The slogan is prominently used by far-right groups including neo-Nazis and white supremacists.

Trademe's head of trust and safety George Hiotakis confirmed in a statement that the company has removed the sale of these items last Thursday evening.

Previously, the company told Newshub it didn't intend to remove the post as they believed the listing did not breach its rules and regulations and it didn't "cross the line".

"When we were first alerted to these items, we err on the side of letting legal listings run.

"We knew there was some ambiguity associated with this phrase so it's been a tough one for us to wrestle with.

"But we listen to our community and we will change our mind if we feel there's a good reason to do so."

Hiotakis said they pulled the listings as they attracted a lot of complaints.

"New Zealand has told us that they don't want to see this sort of thing on Trade Me and we agree, so this slogan will not be allowed to be sold on any item on our site."


A spokesperson for the Human Rights Commission told the Herald there is no place for this type of message in New Zealand.

"Material of this nature is not likely to meet the high threshold set out in section 61 and section 131 of the Human Rights Act.

However, this phrase is known to be associated with white supremacist groups around the world. Despite what the advertisements say, it seems likely that the stickers and t-shirts are intended to convey a message of intolerance, racism and division. There is no place for that in New Zealand."

The phrase is known to be associated with white supremacist groups around the world. Photo / Trade Me
The phrase is known to be associated with white supremacist groups around the world. Photo / Trade Me

The seller has previously been banned from other social media websites.

A post on the seller's own website claims he was temporarily banned from Facebook for saying "Hitler didn't do anything wrong".

The seller also suggests on his website New Zealand should "euthanise all our MPs to prevent further suffering".

In 2017, posters with the words "It's okay to be white" were plastered around Napier, leading to fury and frustration from the local council.

Three posters were pasted together on a specially built sign pillar directly opposite the Sound Shell and just a short walk from the Napier i-Site Centre where hundreds of visitors from two visiting cruise ships disembarked.

At the time, Napier mayor Bill Dalton said: "Sadly, you can't prevent that sort of thing. It's the act of a nutter and it achieves nothing."

Hawke's Bay Tourism general manager Annie Dundas agreed, saying it was "crazy" and unsettling to hear, as so many people did so much to keep the city and the region looking its best.

She said anyone seeing such posters should tear them down, or report them to the council and their staff would deal with them.

"We don't need to see that sort of rubbish."