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Let Mutu Speak!—Brash

Let Mutu Speak!—Brash

Maori Studies professor Margaret Mutu should be allowed to express her opinions even if those opinions are highly objectionable, says ACT New Zealand leader Dr Don Brash.

Professor Mutu is in hot water for saying white immigration should be restricted on account of the 'supremacist attitudes' of some whites.

Ngapuhi leader David Rankin has called for her sacking and laid a formal complaint under the Race Relations Act.

The Act makes it an imprisonable offence to publish or utter words likely to excite hostility or contempt towards anyone on the grounds of ethnic or national origin.

"Nobody could disagree with Margaret Mutu's views more strongly than I do, as will be very clear in a speech I'm giving tomorrow," says Dr Brash.

"But it's the Bill of Rights by which we should be guided in matters like this.

"It says, 'Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and opinions of any kind in any form.'

"The Race Relations Act provisions are in breach of that principle and should be scrapped. The point has been made many times that under them, one could be jailed for telling an Irish joke!

"I have no problem with Margaret Mutu or any other academic expressing controversial opinions, as long as they respect the right of those who disagree with them to express their opinions also.

"It's a classic case of, 'I disagree with what you say but defend to the death your right to say it," Dr Brash concludes.

ENDS

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