Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


‘Hate speech’ laws threaten freedom and democracy

17 March 2005

‘Hate speech’ laws threaten freedom and democracy

Maxim Institute today warned the Government Administration committee inquiry that so called ‘hate speech’ laws are totally unnecessary and threaten freedom of expression and the democratic process.

“Further legislation to prohibit ‘hate speech’ is not warranted and would be an unjustified limitation on the rights of free thought, free expression, and freedom to practice religion which are expressly affirmed by the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990,” said Maxim’s legal counsel, Nicki Taylor.

“Existing legislation already provides adequate restraint on speech and publication so there is no need for any more laws. The inquiry is considering a solution that is looking for a problem,” said Mrs Taylor.

Maxim Institute submitted that any new restrictions on ‘hate speech’ would be an unconstitutional use of Parliament’s power.

“The inevitable consequence of this sort of legislation is a reduction in freedom of expression which violates our Bill of Rights. Once a legislature begins to restrict fundamental rights and freedoms on a legally undefined and unsupported basis, it puts itself in a dangerous position,” said Nicki Taylor.

Maxim submitted that group protection which restricts the freedom of expression limits the ability of all citizens to participate equally in the democratic process.

“Political discourse would be severely limited, no longer would we all be equal before the law and democracy is ultimately undermined. ‘Hate speech’ laws make the government of the day the arbiter of what is right and wrong and would shut down political dissent.”

“The inquiry should quickly conclude that new laws are not needed,” said Nicki Taylor


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Cyclone Gita: Metservice Forecasts Gita To Impact New Zealand - Be Prepared

Cyclone Gita is expected to approach New Zealand from the northwest early next week. There remains some uncertainty with regards to the speed and track of Gita, but the passage of this system across New Zealand on Tuesday and Wednesday is likely to bring a period of highly impactful severe weather.

People should be aware of the potential for coastal inundation, especially where high waves,low atmospheric pressure and strong onshore winds come together ... More>>




Commerce, Etc: Thicker Bright Line For Real Estate

Revenue Minister Stuart Nash has confirmed the bright-line test on residential property sales will be extended from two years to five years in legislation currently making its way through Parliament.More>>


Prison Inspections: Reports on Manawatu and Paremoremo Released

The Office of the Inspectorate today released reports into Manawatu Prison and Auckland Prison (Paremoremo), the first two resulting from a programme of inspections of New Zealand prisons. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On National’s Leadership Contest

National needs a new leader able to: (a) compete with, undermine and defeat a currently popular and politically adept Prime Minister; (b) define whether National now sees itself as being a traditional conservative party or a modern neo-liberal one; (c) devise a strategy that addresses National’s chronic lack of a viable coalition partner More>>


Whistle Blowers: Government To Review Law On Protection

Work has begun on a review of the Protected Disclosures Act 2000, Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins said today. More>>


Christchurch: PM Launches 100% Electric Car Share Offering

The Southern Hemisphere’s biggest deployment of pure battery electric cars and largest pure EV car sharing model was officially launched in Christchurch today by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. More>>


Carer Pay Equity: Mental Health And Addiction Workers To Be Included

Dr Clark met yesterday with unions and employers to confirm the Government has agreed to negotiate an agreement to extend the Care and Support Pay Equity Settlement to mental health and addiction support workers. More>>


Hybrid Plan: America’s Cup Village Proposal Released

The proposal incorporates elements of the Wynyard Basin option, agreed by the council in December and publicly notified last month, and the Wynyard Point variant explored by the Government. More>>


Sallies' State of the Nation: Poorest Left Behind in Economic Boom

This year’s report shows that for many New Zealanders incomes have hardly moved, welfare needs have increased and rents are rising faster than incomes. This comes despite more jobs being created and GDP rising... More>>





Featured InfoPages