30 October 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Free Speech Union Ready For Round Two Of Government’s Proposed Hate Speech Laws
Justice Minister Kiri Allan today guaranteed that she will have hate speech laws introduced to be implemented by next year’s election. The Free Speech Union guarantees that we will lead the coalition of Kiwis opposing these laws, ensuring Kiwis basic freedoms to speak are protected, says Jonathan Ayling, spokesperson for the Free Speech Union.
‘When the hate speech proposals were introduced last year, nearly 20,000 kiwis submitted. It was the most successful public consultation on any policy issue, with 80% of submissions opposing the laws. It remains clear that New Zealanders don’t need the Government restricting their fundamental right to free speech.
‘The simple fact is that hate speech laws don’t work. They cannot be written in a wat that clearly defines what is and isn’t hate speech. Kris Faafoi couldn’t give assurances that any proposed law wouldn’t be vague and open for abuse. This Minister is also unable to ensure that basic liberties are not threatened by this legislation.
‘Inevitably, “hate speech” becomes defined by whoever is the Government of the day, opening the law up to abuse by those would seek to impose their own beliefs on Kiwis through the force of law. These laws shut down important conversations and force people into polarised corners.
‘There will be many groups and organisations invested in this fight, and we intend to lead a broad coalition to ensure that hate speech laws remain unthinkable to any Government that values the rights and freedom of its citizens to speak and believe freely.’
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