Controversial philosopher Peter Singer has found a new venue to speak at after earlier having a speaking slot cancelled because of his controversial views about killing disabled babies.

Auckland's SkyCity last week pulled the plug on a planned June 14 appearance by Professor Singer after activists said they would protest his talk.

Singer's tour was focused on his non-profit organisation The Life You Can Save, with all proceeds going to support it.

But activists were alarmed by his belief that parents of severely disabled babies should be allowed to ask doctors to euthanise them.

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SkyCity last week said "some of the themes promoted by this speaker do not reflect our values of diversity and inclusivity".

However, Trusts Arena this week allowed Singer to instead use its Te Atatu venue, saying it would be a breach of freedom of speech not to do so.

"Allowing Singer to speak at the Trusts Arena would be consistent with this part of the Bill of Rights. Arguably, refusing him permission to speak would breach it," it said.

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Alt-right personality Lauren Southern didn't get to speak in 2018 when Auckland Council refused to let her use its venues. Photo / Supplied
Alt-right personality Lauren Southern didn't get to speak in 2018 when Auckland Council refused to let her use its venues. Photo / Supplied

SkyCity's cancellation of Singer's talk earlier had echoes of Auckland Council's refusal in 2018 to allow its venues to be used by alt-right Canadian speakers, Stefan Molyneux and Lauren Southern.

However, Singer's promoter had argued that he was a respected academic, and perhaps the most widely read modern philosopher in the world.

Singer said he had never had a venue cancel on him before and been "welcomed" as a speaker in New Zealand many times before, even spending a month as an Erskine Fellow at the University of Canterbury.

SkyCity's cancellation was an attack on free speech and "extraordinary" because it appeared to be based solely on one newspaper article, he said.

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"If New Zealand has become less tolerant of controversial views since then, that's a matter for deep regret," he said.

Variously recognised as the most dangerous person in the world and Australian Humanist of the Year, Singer currently serves as a Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University and Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne.

His 1975 book Animal Liberation has been credited by some as triggering the modern animal rights movement. He was also an early campaigner, in the 1960s, for legal abortion, and has been a proponent of voluntary assisted dying.

Australian-born philosopher Peter Singer's team had spent the past week looking for a new venue for his June speaking tour after SkyCity cancelled his event. Photo / File
Australian-born philosopher Peter Singer's team had spent the past week looking for a new venue for his June speaking tour after SkyCity cancelled his event. Photo / File

His 2009 book, The Life You Can Save, helped create a movement aimed at getting people to give more of their personal wealth to the charities that most effectively tackle poverty.

Yet, on the flip side, his views on disabled children have caused an uproar around the world.

He has been labelled "Professor Death" by the Wall Street Journal, called a Nazi by protesters in Germany and attracted the ire of many in the disabled community.

Singer argued that parents sometimes already make the decision to allow babies with serious disabilities to die by not giving life-supporting medical treatment.

That should be extended to give them the choice to ask doctors to end the lives of these babies swiftly and humanely.

But Dr Hunhana Hickey, who has used a wheelchair since 1996 and was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2010, told Newshub these views hurt the disabled community.

"He's one of a kind when it comes to his expertise in animal rights, however, he's not an expert in the area of disability," Dr Hickey told the media outlet.

"His views against disabled people have been picked up by the abled community over the years and a lot of his views have been used against us."

However, Dr Hickey said while she would vigorously debate and work to counter Singer's ideas, he had the right to express them.

"Singer's material may be considered controversial by many," the Trusts Arena said in its statement this week.

"But it does not appear to be "threatening, abusive or insulting" or 'likely to excite hostility against, or bring into contempt, any group of persons in New Zealand on the ground of colour, race, or ethnic or national origins' as per the [Human Rights] Act", he said.