Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Lee Drags Heels Over Media Gagging Provisions

ACT Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks today made a renewed call for Sandra Lee to take action over media gagging provisions in the Local Electoral Act.

“A month ago I wrote warning all newspaper editors on this matter. The Newspaper Publishers Association immediately voiced its concern, and was promised an officials’ briefing by the Minister the next week – yet this has still not happened. It is quite wrong for the Minister to sit on her hands like this.

“I pointed out the draconian consequences of section 135 while the Minister was forcing the Act through during an unscheduled sitting of Parliament on the morning of the Budget. She labelled my comments at the time ‘predictable’ and said she would get a legal opinion. She then claimed to have one, but said she would get another. We still haven’t anything the media can rely on. The Minister chose to push this legislation through under urgency – now she needs to show some of the same urgency in fixing her mistake.

“The local body elections are coming ever closer. If not amended, this legislation will place massive restrictions on our country’s newspapers and broadcasters during the elections.

“The new section 135 means that you are liable to a fine of up to $1,000 if you publish or broadcast comments promoting a local election candidate without them having had the opportunity to censor it. Radio talkback, as we know it, would be impossible.

“In addition, while you remain free to publish critical commentary on candidates, you could also be ensnared by this legislation if your commentary can be taken as an indirect attempt to promote candidates not criticised.



“This issue should concern ratepayers and any New Zealanders who want to protect the freedom of robust debate through the media. Most of us welcome the expression of opinion by experienced journalists who have to cover council meetings as long as its clearly labelled opinion. They will have valid and informed views on who is performing well and who isn’t.

“Freedom of speech is a fundamental right in our society. Ms Lee should stop the delaying tactics and repeal this and other provisions immediately to restore straightforward freedom of speech,” Mr Franks said.

Ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Mosque Shooting Response: Ban On Military Style Semi-Automatics And Assault Rifles

Military style semi-automatics and assault rifles will be banned in New Zealand under stronger new gun laws announced today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says... Related parts used to convert these guns into MSSAs are also being banned, along with all high-capacity magazines.

“An amnesty will be put in place for weapons to be handed in, and Cabinet has directed officials to develop a buyback scheme...All semi-automatic weapons used during the terrorist attack on Friday 15 March will be banned." More>>

RNZ Report: No Mention Of Right-Wing Threat In 10 Years Of GCSB/SIS Docs
There is not one specific mention of the threat posed by white supremacists or right-wing nationalism in 10 years of public documents from the Security Intelligence Service or the GCSB. More>>

Two Minute Silence Friday: Auckland Mosques Opening Their Doors To All
Mosques in the four corners of Auckland will open their doors on Friday night for people of all faiths to gather in remembrance of the 50 lives lost in the Christchurch shootings. More>>

SCOOP COVERAGE: CHRISTCHURCH MOSQUES TERROR ATTACK
For the Latest: Scoop Search - Christchurch
 

Gordon Campbell: On The School Climate Strike

Locally, the school strike has won a ton of support for bringing climate change to the fore. Yet the strikers don't want mere expressions of support. They want action. More>>

ALSO:

"Grabbed And Struck In The Face": Greens Co-Leader Attacked While Walking To Work

Green Party co-leader James Shaw was the victim of an unprovoked attack when he was walking to work in Wellington. More>>

ALSO:

████████ ████ ███: Latest OIA Statistics Released

The latest statistics cover 110 agencies that collectively completed 18,106 official information requests between July and December 2018, a 16.4% increase on the 15,551 requests for the previous six months. More>>

ALSO:

'Hit And Run' Inquiry: New Legal Action Over Secrecy

The lawyer representing the Afghan villagers in the inquiry into Operation Burnham has launched legal proceedings calling for a judicial review in the investigation. More>>

ALSO:

From Hydro Plan To...: Mokihinui River Land To Join Kahurangi National Park

A total of 64,400 hectares of conservation land in the Mokihinui River catchment on the West Coast north of Westport, including 15 km of riverbed, is being added to Kahurangi National Park. “Adding this area, roughly half the size of Auckland City, to Kahurangi is the largest addition of land to an existing national park in New Zealand’s history,” Eugenie Sage said. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels