Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson says she has received death threats after she supported a decision by Auckland Mayor Phil Goff to refuse a venue to a controversial pair of Canadians accused of hate speech.
"Got death threats towards me and my kids from supporters of those two who Goff refused to hire a venue to. My skin has thickened but have blocked for decency. Keyboard warriors," Davidson tweeted on Saturday evening.
Earlier, Davidson had shared on Facebook a media post about Goff's decision to deny access to Canadian pair Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux, who hold far-right views on topics ranging from feminism and immigration to Islam.
Their nationwide tour has now been cancelled.
"Good to use our freedom of speech to say your racist bigoted views aren't going to be catered for here. Thanks Phil. These two can get out," Davidson wrote in her Facebook post.
"Edit: People don't need to waste their time and positive energy reading the tears on this page who are upset at me taking a public stand against this pair with their vile views. This is to be totally expected and an indication that I'm speaking out exactly as I should be."
Davidson said she had deleted the comments but was now trying to retrieve them to pass to police, according to Radio NZ.
Her posts ignited a social media debate about free speech. While the majority were supportive of Davidson using her profile to speak out against hate speech and racism, others continued to attack her personally.
Davidson later wrote: "I hope it doesn't upset too many people that I am not wasting my time reading the tears on my page from people who are upset at a Māori woman political leader from using my platform to say I abhor the vile crap that these people are espousing and will stand up against them at every opportunity.
"Try not to lose too much sleep over the fact that I'm not here for your hateful words. I won't be wasting my time, not even sorry.
"White supremacists you are done. Get out."
Goff tweeted on Friday that venues shouldn't be used to stir up ethnic or religious tensions.
"Views that divide rather than unite are repugnant and I have made my views on this very clear. Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux will not be speaking at any council venues."
Southern and Molyneux had been due to speak next month at the Auckland council-owned Bruce Mason centre on Auckland's North Shore.
Southern was banned from entering the UK earlier this year for her part "in the distribution of racist material in Luton", according to the BBC.
Pressure had been mounting on Immigration NZ to deny the pair entry with members of New Zealand's Muslim community and the Auckland Peace Action publicly among those expressing concern.
But promoter David Pellowe said the tour was instead cancelled when Goff moved to bar the pair access to Auckland Council venues.