About 30 supporters of a Malaysian movement pushing for electoral reform, Bersih, gathered outside the Pak 'n Save supermarket in Royal Oak on Saturday evening in a show of solidarity with their counterparts rallying in Kuala Lumpur.

In Malaysia, at least one person died, many were injured and 1600 protesters were arrested as about 20,000 marched to challenge Prime Minister Najib Razak's Government.

Malaysian elections are expected to be called early next year. The Malaysian demonstrators are demanding changes to the voting process, calling for the use of indelible ink to prevent multiple voting, equal media access for all political parties and the cleaning up of electoral rolls.

New Zealand supporters discussed the Kuala Lumpur protest as it happened and were briefed by those who received regular mobile phone updates. "Malaysians everywhere are fed up with corruption, vote-buying and multiple voting, and we want to see a free and democratic election back home just like the ones we have in New Zealand," said spokesman Tan Tee Seang.

"We condemn the violence of the Malaysian authorities and the police."

According to the 2006 Census, about 14,500 Malaysians live in New Zealand. The Auckland gathering was one of many held in more than 20 cities around the world.

The Straits Times said hundreds gathered in public squares and in front of Malaysian missions in Australian cities including Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney.