Phil Goff bans far-right Canadian pair from speaking at any Auckland Council buildings

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff has moved to ban a controversial Canadian pair known for their far-right views from speaking at any Auckland Council owned buildings, saying views that divide rather than unite are repugnant.

Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux, who're best known for their far-right alternative views on everything from feminism, gender and immigration to Islam, are due to give a talk in Auckland next month.

Mr Goff has tweeted that the pair will not be speaking at any Auckland Council venues, saying these 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," the mayor wrote.

Mr Goff faces a raft of replies from critics accusing him of being "anti free speech and anti debate", describing his tweet as "authoritarian" and accusing him of "dividing rather than uniting". 

"It's only called 'stirring up ethnic or religious tensions' when whites or Christians dare to speak up for themselves," one person wrote.

Another wrote: "Harden up Phil and hear alternate views".

Auckland's mayor says strong spending in infrastructure was needed in New Zealand's biggest city, where traffic congestion is a huge issue.
Source: 1 NEWS

Mr Goff responded: "Let me be very clear, the right to free speech does not mean the right to be provided with an @AklCouncil platform for that speech."

Earlier this year, Ms Southern was banned from entering the UK on the grounds of her involvement "in the distribution of racist material in Luton", according to the BBC.

The New Zealand Islamic community voiced their opposition to the visit last month, RNZ reports.

New Zealand Federation of Islam Associations president Hazim Arafeh says the federation has written letters to the Immigration Minister, Minister for Ethnic Communities and the Human Rights Commission asking for Lauren Southern to be denied entry.

"[She] abuses her right of freedom of speech. She's just going to give a talk in which she's just going to insult all of us," Mr Arafeh said.

"I don't think insulting Muslims comes under free speech, that's an abuse of freedom of speech.

"I'm talking on behalf of 50,000 to 60,000 Muslims in New Zealand who are going to face a very hard time by all the comments she is going to make."

A petition with more than 1500 signatures has also been launched on change.org appealing to the Immigration Minister to deny Lauren Southern entry.

However, Ms Southern, who is a journalist, activist and film-maker, said she should be allowed in.

"As soon as there are people who want to shut down free speech and freedom to come and even visit your nation just because of a differing opinion you can tell you've got the bug of progressivism," Ms Southern said.

"The bug of this almost very totalitarian left-wing ideology which will not end well for you."

She said herself and Mr Molyneux would talk about a range of issues affecting New Zealand.

"Immigration, western culture, the preservation of western culture and largely the infectious liberal or far-left ideologies that are coming and working their way into our media and why they will lead to the economic, social and political fall of our nations."

Ms Southern said what she had to say was not hate speech.

"[Hate speech] is just a fancy word to describe speech that is unpopular during that day and age," she said.

"A few hundred years ago, I wouldn't be able to question the divine rule of whatever god is in my land, I wouldn't be allowed to be pro-gay or pro-mixed race marriages, today it's you're not allowed to be anti-mass migration, you're not allowed to question crazy LGBTQ politics."

Canadian conservative and libertarian activist Lauren Southern. Source: rnz.co.nz



Owner of dog who became internet sensation after Kawakawa escape speaks with Seven Sharp

A Bay of Islands woman told TVNZ1's Seven Sharp she is "never going to live this down" after footage of her rescue dog Lily dragging a bakery's flag down the main street of Kawakawa went viral around the globe.

CCTV footage of the freedom-seeking furball's runner — accompanied by Yakety Sax, the song made famous by the Benny Hill Show — has been viewed more than 500,000 times since it was posted to Facebook last night.

Lucie Green, a volunteer with Bay of Islands Animal Rescue, was taking the basset hound for a walk last week when she decided to stop at a local business to buy Lily a treat.

The basset hound, named Lily, was tied to a large flag outside a dairy. So she took the flag with her on her wild escape. Source: Facebook/James Mcdonald

But the Basset Hound received a fright and bolted despite being tied to a large Coca-Cola flag forcing Lucie to give chase.

"For an animal with just little legs, my god she can run," Lucie told Seven Sharp.

Lily, Lucie and the rogue flag brought Kawakawa's State Highway 1 strip to a standstill, the whole escapade captured on CCTV.

"My partner owns a local CCTV company I got to the office and I told him what had happened.

"He didn't tell me he'd done it, but he edited footage and put the music on and uploaded it to Facebook and tagged me in it.

"I knew it was trouble when basically by the time we'd gone to bed last night it had hit 100,000 views," Lucie said.

The basset hound, named Lily, was tied to a large flag outside a dairy. So she took the flag with her on her wild escape. Source: Facebook/James Mcdonald

Thousands of people have since commented on the video, with many of them admiring the dog’s spirit.

"I'm laughing my guts out it's so funny," wrote Facebook user Annie Hicks.

Lucie does see the funny side of events however.

"They say every dog has their day, so I guess Lily is enjoying her 15 mins of fame." 

Lily made a run for it when owner Lucie Green stopped at a shop in the Northland town. Source: Seven Sharp


Tracking down New Plymouth youth MP candidates after Andrew Little's 'hip' appeal

Labour MP Andrew Little released a tongue in cheek video encouraging young people from New Plymouth to get involved in politics today.

The video inspired TVNZ1's Seven Sharp to travel to Mr Little's old school to find the perfect candidate for its new youth MP.

Judge for yourself if New Plymouth Boys' High students Thomas Foy and Jarrod Wilson have what it takes in the video above.

Tamati Rimene-Sproat is on the case after the Labour MP's piece of political theatre. Source: Seven Sharp

TODAY'S
FEATURED STORIES

Watch: Take a tour inside Kate Sheppard’s former house where suffragists worked to get women the right to vote

Suffragist Kate Sheppard's old house in Christchurch goes up for auction next month - so Seven Sharp host Hilary Barry took a tour.

Ms Sheppard was instrumental in gaining New Zealand women the right to vote in 1893. She carried out important work for the suffrage movement in the house during the late 19th Century.

Today saw celebrations around the country marking 125 years since women gained the right to vote in New Zealand.

Jacinda Ardern has indicated the Government is interested in buying the house for the nation. It's expected to fetch in excess of $3 million when it goes under the hammer on October 17.

Hilary Barry met with the home's current owner Julia Burbury who showed her around the dwelling set on one acre of gardens.

The house has a category one heritage listing.

The piece of New Zealand history in Christchurch, worth more than $3 million, is up for auction. Source: Seven Sharp


Mum distraught as son turned away from Hutt Valley High School because he didn't have permanent address

Being homeless has become an obstacle for one mother wanting to give her child an education.

Helen Taitapanui and her son were turned away from Hutt Valley High School last week because they don't have a permanent residential address.

Ms Taitapanui, is currently battling cancer and lives in a motel with her teenage son while they wait for a permanent home.

"We've got to be glad that we've got that when we know that a lot of our families are out there living in cars," Ms Taitapanui told 1 NEWS.

However, this was a problem when she tried to enrol her son at a local school.

"The response was it's against their policy to register children living out of a motel. you had to have a residential address," Ms Taitapanui said.

She complained to the Ministry of Education and shortly after Hutt Valley High School reversed its decision.

Ms Taitapanui says her son's excited about going back to school.

"I know once he steps back into the realm of education he'll be well and truly away."

She hopes by speaking out, another unnecessary obstacle will be removed for the homeless.

Being homeless threw up an unexpected obstacle for a mum wanting to educate her child. Source: 1 NEWS