Parliament

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

 

ACT Party Protects Free Speech About Villains

ACT Party Protects Free Speech About Foreign Villains

Thursday, September 20 2001 Stephen Franks Press Releases -- Justice, Law & Order

After months of government attempts to add a chunk of new privacy law, the Statutes Amendment Bill will proceed in Parliament today without the Privacy Act changes. Any member can veto a provision in a Statutes Amendment Bill. ACT Justice spokesman Stephen Franks explained why ACT vetoed those parts.

"The changes restrict dealing with information from the European Union and other countries which have privacy laws. In essence the intention is that New Zealanders must not act in a way which would get around those foreign countries' laws.

"ACT approaches privacy laws with suspicion. In many countries, including New Zealand, privacy laws can conflict with freedom of speech, and can shelter conduct that should be exposed to the disinfecting sunlight of disclosure.

"We were prepared to support the new code provided a simple clause was added to ensure it could not be used to stifle debate in and from New Zealand. We must value free speech about matters overseas, whatever the governments of foreign countries might think. For example if New Zealanders wanted to let others in the world know personal details of Indonesians responsible for brutalities in East Timor, even if Indonesia passed a law to suppress such information and, New Zealanders should not be indirectly bound by such a law.

"Instead of trying to stipulate all kinds of exceptions in detail, ACT proposed a simple statement of principle. We suggested a clause to read along the lines: 'This part 11A of the Privacy Act is subject to section 14 of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act'.

"Section 14 is our legislative protection of freedom of expression. It is subject to 'reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society'.

"The Privacy Commissioner and the Ministry of Justice officials would not accept the overriding importance of our Bill of Rights freedom of expression. With that warning of what may lie behind the new code ACT concluded it had no alternative but to use its veto power on the Bill.

"The Minister of Justice and the Privacy Commissioner will no doubt regroup to get their way. ACT's move has ensured that any specific amendment bill can be properly considered by a select committee. The potential abridgement of New Zealanders' freedom of expression can then be fully debated in the House," Stephen Franks said.

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Scoop 3.0: How You Can Help Scoop’s Evolution

Entering into its third decade of operation, the Scoop news ecosystem is set to undergo another phase of transformation and evolution.

We have big plans for 2018 as we look to expand our public interest journalism coverage, upgrade our publishing infrastructure and offer even more valuable business tools to commercial users of Scoop. More>>

 
 

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>

ALSO:

Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>

ALSO:

Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>

ALSO:

Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>

ALSO:

United Future History: "All Good Things Must End"

'We’re extremely proud of what we’ve achieved over the past 15 years, working alongside the government of the day, both National and Labour.' Mr Light told members on Monday. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Outcome, And The Hobbit Law

Somehow the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal has come lurching back from the dead – and as predicted in this column last week, the member countries gathered in Vietnam have announced a deal in broad principle, shunted aside until a later date the stuff on which they don’t agree, and declared victory. More>>

Agreeing To Differ: Greens Maintain Opposition To TPPA
“The Green Party has long opposed the TPPA. The new proposed deal, which came out of the weekend’s talks, still contains key ISDS concessions to corporations that put our democracy at risk, so our position remains the same,” said Green Party trade spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman. More>>

ALSO:

Monitoring Report: A New Chapter For Children’s Rights In New Zealand?

The Children’s Commissioner is calling on the country to embrace children’s rights to ensure their overall well-being. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election