Pauline Hanson is being lined up for her first public speech in New Zealand - and the visit could reignite the debate over freedom of speech.

The Australian senator, whose One Nation party is best known for wanting tighter controls on immigration, is due to visit in November.

She's been invited by longtime admirer John Lehmann, president of the newly revived Government Accountability League, a group dormant for almost 20 years.

"I spoke to her the other day and it looks pretty promising. I think we can safely say that it will be happening in Auckland," the retired businessman said this week.


Lehmann said Hanson would talk about the deterioration of the relationship between Australia and New Zealand. He blamed "backdooring" migrants who did a "penance" in New Zealand to qualify for life in Australia.

Hanson's office did not respond to queries about her visit.

Lehmann's group was first active in the second half of the 1990s. Membership peaked at about 13,000, he said.

It shares many of Hanson's views, including advocating for tougher rules on immigration.

He put the group on ice to focus on being a father and parent but said he now has more time on his hands.

There's a sense of deja vu about his latest plans.

A "New Zealanders only" meeting in 1996 was ditched after Pakuranga College and Manukau City Council refused that stipulation at their venues.

The council relented after the league said the meeting would be open to all.


Hanson was invited that year too. She didn't come, but later visited in a private capacity.

Lehmann is planning one or two meetings in the run-up to Hanson's visit this year and intended to apply the "Kiwis only" rule.

"We'll be interested to see if they start baulking next time we advertise it as a New Zealanders-only meeting. Hopefully they've matured a wee bit but when you've got people like Phil Goff in there who knows."

Goff, as Auckland Mayor, effectively banned Canadian speakers Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux from council venues this month over their far right views on topics from feminism and immigration to Islam.

A group called the Free Speech Coalition threatened, then withdrew, urgent court action. Both sides claimed victory in subsequent press releases.

Lehmann intended asking Auckland Council for a venue and said Goff had no right to withhold one that belonged to "the people" and to interfere with the democratic process of free speech.

Goff said on Friday; "I don't agree with much of what Pauline Hanson has to say, but she's as free as anyone to apply to RFA (regional Facilities Auckland) for venue hire and they will consider it based on a range of grounds including security."

The office of the Human rights Commission said it was unlawful to deny people access to a place based on prohibited grounds of discrimination, which included nationality and citizenship.

Hanson has been a polarising figure in Australian politics.

She used her maiden speech in Parliament in 1996 to propose a big reduction in immigration, particularly from Asia, and criticised policies on indigenous affairs.

Hanson is pushing for Australians to have a vote on migration at their next general election.

"The question to be put would be along the lines of 'what level of immigration should we be taking into Australia?' or possibly even asking people 'what is the population they can see that would be sustainable for Australia's way of life and standard of living?'," she told The Australian in June.

She has consistently rejected charges of racism.

Lehmann said his organisation predicted in 1996 the problems that immigration would bring, including pressure on the housing market and infrastructure.

"I'm not saying we're Einsteins or anything like that but a halfwit could see what the problems were going to be as well as the social cohesion aspect too.

"Of course we were slammed as racists and rednecks ... but it's all come home to bite them on the bum now because what we foresaw has come to fruition and that's the same sort of thing that Pauline Hanson has been on about for roughly the same period of time as what we've been on about."

Amid plans for a political party, the league drafted policies including scrapping the Treaty of Waitangi, employment contracts for MPs and a ban on immigration, other than on humanitarian grounds, until issues such as housing and education had been resolved.

As he did 20 years ago, Lehmann describes himself as a realist rather than racist.

"I don't care what a person's colour is it doesn't worry me in the slightest. It's got nothing to do with their ethnicity it's got everything to do as to the value they offer us as a country and provided they want to fit in and that's all-important because like a lot of people I'm tired of wandering around and seeing people dressed up as Dulux colour charts in all these crazy outfits and you wonder actually where you are at times.

"If they come in here they start integrating into our way of life if they don't like our way of life let them go back but as a civilised society, which we still are, I think we object to certain cultural practice whether it's circumcising young girls or slaughtering pigs on the back lawn.

"There is certain things we just do not want and will not tolerating in this country and we have every right as a Kiwi to object to it and be very vocal about it because who wants it?"

Another league initiative was its 1996 "Dob a wog" campaign to root out overstayers.

Stopped after a public and official backlash, Lehmann maintains it was a success.

"We didn't care where people came from. They could have come from England or Germany or France or Congo. If they're here in New Zealand illegally they should be spun around and shot out because a lot of these guys are taking jobs off Kiwis and are into all sorts of criminal activity."

Did he accept some people may be offended by the word wog?

"Well they may well do, they may well do but who cares. It's only those who are either very PC or possibly can identify with the word wog that would be offended, but the bottom line is that the immigration line got swamped with tipoffs."

He pulled the pin on plans for a political party because he wanted the league to remain independent and so members could "shoot our mouths off".

The problems facing New Zealand had heightened during the league's hiatus. Lehmann railed against social engineering "which we've seen telling us what we should eat and how we should bring our kids up. That's got nothing to do with government."

And he said John Key's Government had driven down wages which deterred First World migrants from moving to New Zealand.

Lehmann made headlines two years ago when he wrote on then Associate Tourism Minister Paula Bennett's Facebook page that a "bit of sexual violence never hurt anyone ... LOL".

The comment followed Bennett's criticism of slogans on Wicker Campers vans that prompted a public backlash because of their sexual or anti-women overtones.

After an outcry, Lehmann said his comment was out of context but admitted it was tasteless and said he didn't in any way advocate violence.

Asked whether he liked any current politicians, he praised the Prime Minister: "As politicians go, one of the ones that I think is pretty straight up and down is Jacinda Ardern but time will tell because she's only new to the job and she's only young."