A post by the New Conservative NZ party on Facebook slamming children's books with portraits of LGBTQIA+ characters did not go as planned, with Facebook users thanking the party for the "great book suggestions".
"In New Zealand, we now have children receiving drag queen instruction in places such as the Kapiti coast and Tauranga," the New Conservative NZ wrote on Facebook.
"And the following are more books being quietly pushed out to your children. In libraries, in public, in schools, wherever you as a parent are not. Example: From the 'Schools essential' site, is 'Red A Crayon's Story', where Red is his colour, but he identifies as blue."
"New Conservative is the only party standing against the gender ideology being subjected upon our children," the post adds.
The post has received more than 3000 comments in three days, with the overwhelming majority of people thanking the party for "recommending" the books.
"Thanks for sharing some great books! Your party appears to be stuck in the 1950s. Thankfully most of NZ has moved on in their thinking," one person wrote.
"Thanks for bringing my attention to some fabulous books. I will go buy some to read to my son. Sorry to see your opinion is so out of keeping with the opinions of your supporters. Perhaps time to read these books and adjust your views," another Facebook user said.
"Oh awesome, I didn't know about all of these books before and am thrilled to see you promoting a diverse range of stories and families," someone else replied.
"All these books look lovely! What a great way to advertise them," another commenter said.
"Fantastic books! Was looking to buy some LGBT resources for our beautiful 3 kids! Thanks for advertising! Go live in a cave," someone else wrote.
The post included photos of some of the books the New Conservative party thinks should not be read by children, including: "Daddy, Papa, and Me", "Heather Has Two Mommies", "Julian is a Mermaid" and "I am Jazz".
People also use the widely popular comments thread to suggest other books to add to the reading list.
"I thought you guys were outdated bigots, but this recommended reading list has totally changed my mind. I can't wait to see you extend this new championing of diversity to your candidates and policies. Fantastic work team. I'm buying multiple copies for my local, school, kindy and library. Rainbow love to you all," someone said about the post.
"There are so many wonderful positive statements written here supporting this wonderful literature. I want to take a chance to thank the New Conservative NZ for opening a platform for us parents to give our children the opportunity to be inclusive in all areas of society. And thank you for allowing us open minded, supportive people for having a chance to comment on the close minded," a Facebook user wrote.
Contacted by the Herald, New Conservative Party leader Leighton Baker said he had not seen the comments on the post but reiterated that the party's position is that "there is inappropriate content going into children's books into schools and libraries".
"We have been quite open in our standard that we should be allowing children to be children and we should not be sexualising children," Baker added.
The party leader says children should have "the freedom to enjoy life and not be sexualised from a young age" and accused society of "not allowing them to grow at their pace".
"We have massive issues with youth suicide and I believe it's because we are sending them mixed messages," he said. "I expect people to not force their ideology on children. No adult content for our children."