Sky News commentator Andrew Bolt has condemned the New Zealand government for refusing Australian journalist Avi Yemini entry to report on an anti-government protest on Tuesday.
"What they're getting you for is that, and this is not pleasant. It's embarrassing for you. And a lot of people think worse of you.
You had an argument with your then wife, you threw something, a cutting board and it hit her on the head and you got fined, I think, three and a half thousand dollars.
You were not jailed. So on that grounds, people may not like you, but you did not breach New Zealand's regulations for coming in.
And I think here's the issue. Whether people like you or not, whether they like your politics or not, it's about free speech. And what it seems to me is that they've picked on this as an excuse to deny a journalist they don't like, cheered on by the media of all things, to stop you from covering a protest they don't want to occur", Bolt said to Yemini.
Australians are free to enter New Zealand unless they were:
- convicted of an offence and were sentenced to a prison term of 5 years or more
- convicted in the last 10 years of an offence and were sentenced to a term in prison of 12 months or longer
Yemini is currently crowdfunding his appeal, answering Andrew Bolt:
"I couldn't have said it better myself. That's exactly what's happened. And the proof will be in the pudding because it was unlawful, and I will get in. And it shows that that entire headline, that they've run all today, is absolute bollocks."
The notable Sky News conservative commentator went on to slam the media reporting:
"And for the media to cheer this on in New Zealand, I mean, talk about, you know, licking the hand that muzzles you, it's just disgusting. Like I say, free speech is not about allowing the speech only of people you like, it also includes allowing, particularly allowing the speech of people you don't like.
And whether you like Avi, if you think of him as a hero or you don't, this is about free speech.
And New Zealand, you should be ashamed of yourself."
Jacinta Adern's government is currently handing out $55M to New Zealand news corporations the Media Minister deems worthy.