Police with armed back-up are continuing to door-knock people who are posting what is regarded as anti-Muslim material online.
A former probation officer was visited by police who said he had posted anti-Muslim and anti-Government messages online, and asked if he had firearms.
Peter Daly said they left his Rangiora home after about 10 minutes.
“They were standing at the gate. We argued like hell and I said: ‘You’re not coming in here, you’re accusing me’. . . two of them could have come here and spoken to me nicely. All my neighbourhood is wondering what the hell is going on,” he said.
Mr Daly said he was unable to apply for a firearms licence because he has a criminal record, and is questioning why he was targeted by police.
He asked police for evidence he was posting anti-Muslim and anti-Government material. He said police were unable to produce any.
Mr Daly’s Facebook page has postings about Islam and Muslims.
“I have mentioned a few things on Facebook in regard to Muslims overseas. Nothing in regard to the Al Noor Mosque, like the way they burn people and the way they stone their women on assumptions of adultery and so forth,” he told The Star.
Police would not discuss the visit to Mr Daly.
Deputy Commissioner Mike Clement said as part of an ongoing response to the March 15 terror attacks, police are conducting visits to some firearms owners and individuals about concerning behaviour.
“These visits are carried out as a result of police receiving information about concerning behaviour. Many of these are from members of the public who are being vigilant as we have asked them to be and have rightly passed their concerns on to police,” said Deputy Commissioner Clement.
Some visits result in police being satisfied that there is no risk to the public and that is the end of the matter.
“Some may require further interventions, such as seizing firearms or arrests. This is normal policing and what the public rightly expects.
“The police presence during these visits is based on a risk assessment and the fact that those being visited have access to firearms. As such, police must respond in a manner that protects officers and the public as enquiries are undertaken.”
Deputy Commissioner Clement said police are confident the visits have been conducted in a professional and appropriate manner.
Mr Daly is asking the police under the Official Information Act request to find out the reason for the visit.
“It’s not as if I have gone round to Al Moor Mosque with a pig’s head or a weapon. It was just over the top.”
Mr Daly previously worked as a probation officer for the Department of Corrections for eight years and has a periodic detention assistant warden for 10 years.
New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties chairman Thomas Beagle said it is always concerned when police are used to investigate people for their political views.
“As the impact of an investigation has a detrimental effect on key civil liberties such as freedom of expression and freedom of association.”
But he said police have a duty to investigate crime and credible threats of violence.