25 January 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Free Speech Union notes the appointment of Meg de Ronde as the new Chief Executive of the Human Rights Commission, the first ever to hold this role, and welcomes the opportunity for a reset towards core human rights at the Commission, says Jonathan Ayling, spokesperson for the Free Speech Union.
'Free speech is the foundational human right, on which our freedoms of thought, assembly, press, protest, and many others are founded.
'Yet, under Paul Hunt, the Human Rights Commission has failed to operate as the bulwark of free speech that it is supposed to be. Instead, it has supported calls for censorship and justified the stifling of debate and speech. A reset is needed.
‘Ms. de Ronde has a broad range of experience fighting for human rights, and we look forward to working with her to fight for the speech rights of all Kiwis.
With her previous work with Amnesty International, an organisation founded primarily to defend those imprisoned for their speech, we call on her to continue the important work of defending free speech in New Zealand.
'Without the freedom to engage without fear in robust debate, our country will continue down a divided path that is unable to address the complex issues we face. With Ms. de Ronde's appointment, we call on the Human Rights Commission to return to its primary mandate: championing the core human rights of New Zealanders.'
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