Sky News host Andrew Bolt has raised concerns over whether conservative Australians would be allowed into New Zealand after documents revealed Rebel News reporter Avi Yemini was banned from entering the country for having "a propensity to agitate people with opposing views".
Talking to Yemini on The Bolt Report, the Sky News Australia broadcaster labelled the Jacinda Ardern government's decision to 'sinister' and questioned even if he would be allowed to enter New Zealand under the same political scrutiny.
"That's a real worry where the New Zealand government stops people from coming in if they've got opposing views," he said.
"In which case I won't be visiting New Zealand any time soon because obviously I oppose their pernicious race politics for one. It's just crazy."
Bolt dismissed the notion pushed by media outlets that the decision wasn't politically motivated, noting documents obtained by Rebel News through freedom of information (FOI) indicate a clear political motive to stop Yemini from flying to Wellington to report on an anti-government protest in August.
"The documents say they want to stop you for your opposing views," he said.
"Opposing views to the government's views, without actually saying what views we're talking about here. I mean that strikes me as extremely sinister.
"That is indeed political censorship do you feel though if it was about your opposing views on lockdowns that a government should be justified in stopping you when you were there actually to report the views of others in New Zealand."
The FOI documents show the New Zealand government feared Yemini's “propensity to agitate people with opposing views”, not because of a minor criminal conviction, as widely reported by the media.
The bombshell documents also reveal how a media request and a subsequent report from The New Zealand Herald triggered the sequence of events which resulted in Yemini's ban.
The article published by the newspaper featured several unsupported claims and other misrepresentations of Yemini collected from the internet which were later cited by NZ authorities as facts in his case.
NZ immigration official Sarah Clifford advised Yemini at the time that his refusal was a 'decision of her own' after reading the story in The New Zealand Herald.
But a stunning Interpol leak from Wellington to its Canberra counterpart revealed that Police were actively seeking a reason to prohibit Yemini and colleague Rukshan Fernando from entering the country.