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SHARP CONSPIRACY: May The Force Be With You

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SHARP CONSPIRACY: May The Force Be With You

A sharp suggestion for filling in this week’s census form has been circulating like wild-fire on the Internet in New Zealand over the past week. To date Scoop has now received this email – with a range of different subject lines - from at least 15 different sources. Then this morning in the Sharp Stories inbox is some legal advice concerning the census email. Could merely sending this email constitute an act of conspiracy?

THE EMAIL….

“Question 18 deals with religion. If, like me, you believe in no one specific religion or just simply object to answering that particular question, then please consider the following alternative...

We are trying to encourage people to tick the 'other' box, and then fill their religion in as "JEDI" - all Star Wars fans will understand, but the point of the exercise is two-fold...

1. If 8000 people throughout New Zealand do this then JEDI will become an officially recognised religion, which would be a laugh, and

2. It's a bit of an experiment in the power of email, as that has been our primary means of communication (that's not to say that you can't tell others about in other ways).

I urge you to do the above and pass this message/idea on to as many of your friends, relatives etc as you can, so we can reach the magic number of 8000. Be swift as we don't have a lot of time left!

May the Force be with you.”

THE ADVICE…

Statistics Act 1975

44. False statement---Every person commits an offence who knowingly makes, in any schedule filled in or supplied pursuant to this Act, or in answer to any question asked him under the authority of this Act, any false or misleading statement or any material omission.

46. Other offences---Every person commits an offence who---
(a) Without lawful excuse, acts in contravention of or fails to comply in any respect with any provision of this Act or any requirement imposed under this Act; or
(b) Wilfully deceives or attempts to deceive the Statistician or any employee of the Department in the exercise of any powers, duties, or functions under this Act.

47. General penalty---Every person who commits an offence against this Act for which no penalty is prescribed elsewhere than in this section is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $250 or, in the case of a body corporate, not exceeding $1,000.

Crimes Act 1961

310. Conspiring to commit offence---(1) Subject to the provisions of subsection (2) of this section, every one who conspires with any person to commit any offence, or to do or omit, in any part of the world, anything of which the doing or omission in New Zealand would be an offence, is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years if the maximum punishment for that offence exceeds 7 years' imprisonment, and in any other case is liable to the same punishment as if he had committed that offence.


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