McDonald’s says it has begun lifting the blocks on some gay websites in its New Zealand restaurants.

The fast food giant was criticised by gay website GayNZ.com for blocking non-sexually explicit gay websites on its customer wifi network.

The company said yesterday it would begin lifting the blocks on the Rainbow Youth and Agender websites, as well as the website for New Zealand Family Planning.

But it says it will continue to block GayNZ.com because of some “sexually explicit” third party advertising. The company has offered to meet the site’s editor to discuss how the ban could be lifted.

The gay website had pointed out that other sites which were deemed to be “family friendly” had far more explicit and sexual content on user discussion areas, yet were not blocked.

McDonald’s began installing wifi in its restaurants in December and says it is now New Zealand’s largest free internet provider.

An email from the company to New Zealand media said the chain would continue to “actively discriminate against access to all sexually explicit and pornographic material in restaurants”.

It added: “We would also like to stress that it was never our intention to discriminate against the gay community.

“Our review process is of course on-going and we’re absolutely happy to check out websites on a case-by-case basis, if our customers believe some have been unjustifiably blocked.”