“I stand by my views, made both in my opening speech to Parliament earlier this year and restated at the Big Gay Out on Sunday February 9.
“Colin Craig has said that gay relationships aren’t normal and that New Zealand women are promiscuous, I think those views are offensive.
“I and the Green Party are proud of our record of fighting for rights and freedoms for New Zealand women and the gay community. I think our position on these issues and Colin Craig’s are very different.
“It is clear to all that my statements were made within the context of political speeches, at the beginning of an election year.
“It is only right that politicians robustly set out their positions, and I think that if Colin Craig wants to enter the political debate he needs to accept the criticisms that are going to come his way. That is just part and parcel of robust political debate.
“Colin Craig now has a track record for making allegations of defamation if someone says something about his views that he doesn’t like. I don’t plan to back down from my statements because of a lawyer’s letter.
“New Zealanders want to hear freely from their politicians. Colin Craig appears to want all our statements run past lawyers. We are not going to engage in that style of politics.
“This election offers real choices for New Zealanders. And my message to women and gay New Zealanders is that I and the Green Party back your rights and freedoms.”