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EFB's Abhorrent Principles Untouched

Electoral Finance Bill's Abhorrent Principles Untouched

The Electoral Finance Bill is the most serious assault on free speech and political expression ever seen in the developed world - and the recent amendments to it have changed nothing, ACT Leader Rodney Hide said today.

"Absolutely nothing has been changed by these amendments - they simply fiddle with the details and leave the Bill's abhorrent concept and principles untouched," Mr Hide said.

"Free speech is vital to a democratic system, but this Bill indefensibly restricts the ability of New Zealanders to fully participate in the political process - under this Bill, New Zealanders will have to register with the Government in order to express a political view every election year; political expression and debate will be subject to Government regulation and control.

"It's shocking that the Greens, New Zealand First and Labour have signed up to a Bill that undermines Kiwis' ability to express their political views freely and openly. It is unnecessary, unjustifiably restricts political expression and breaches fundamental human rights.

"This isn't a Bill to regulate political Parties - it's a Bill to regulate every New Zealander. The country is right to be upset and angry over what the Labour-led Government and its support Parties are doing - after all, free speech is something that previous generations of New Zealanders fought and died for; it's now to be taken away from us in peace-time by the Government rushing legislation through before Christmas," Mr Hide said.

ENDS

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