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

 

Prohibition of Gang Insignia in Government Premises Bill

MEDIA RELEASE – For immediate use, 7 November 2012

Prohibition of Gang Insignia in Government Premises Bill could breach rights

The Prohibition of Gang Insignia in Government Premises Bill is inconsistent with the right to freedom of expression protected by the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990, the New Zealand Law Society says.

The Bill prohibits the display of gang insignia in government premises.

Presenting the Law Society’s submission on the Bill to Parliament’s Law and Order Committee today, Robert Hesketh said the Bill should not proceed past select committee stage. If it does proceed, the Law Society recommends that key provisions be redrafted.

Although it does not comment on the policy underlying the Bill, the Law Society believes the Bill is drafted too widely and breaches the right to free expression – as was the case with similar measures enacted in 2009 to prohibit the wearing of gang insignia in the Whanganui District.

The Law Society also believes the Bill is unnecessary. There were already a variety of existing laws covering the actual behaviours the prohibition of gang insignia was designed to address, Mr Hesketh said.

The Law Society says the prohibition would limit a range of free speech, including culturally or politically significant expression which may not be intimidatory or confrontational.

“Gang insignia” is widely defined in the Bill and does not differentiate between displays of insignia that are intended to intimidate or confront, and displays that are not, the Law Society says.

If the Bill is to proceed, the Law Society recommends that the definition of “gang insignia” should include the requirement that the signs, symbols and representations that display gang affiliation would also tend to intimidate the public or incite confrontation between gangs.

The Law Society also recommended the offence should be changed to state that no person may display gang insignia at any time in government premises where such display could reasonably be seen as giving rise to a real risk of the occurrence of intimidation, harassment or intimidation, Mr Hesketh said.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Ch-Ch-Changes At IRD

job cuts aren’t happening at the IRD, exactly. Instead, there’s apparently a ‘transformation’ in store, and jobs won’t be axed ; no, they will be ‘transformed’ before our eyes into… non-jobs, if you happen to be among the unlucky legion of 1,900 who are being lined up for transformation, which seems to work rather like a secular version of the Rapture.

Except that at IRD, not even your shoes will be left behind. More>>

 

Christchurch Mental Health: Hospital Too 'Awful' For Reviewers To Visit

Jonathan Coleman has to stop the stalling over a new building for mental health services in Christchurch to replace the quake damaged Princess Margaret Hospital, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark... More>>

ALSO:

Greens Call For Govt Action: Children Sick Because Of NZ Housing

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians president-elect said today that children with preventable respiratory illnesses are being re-admitted to hospital because they're being sent back to cold, damp homes. More>>

ALSO:

Less Tax Cut, More Spending: Labour Launches Fiscal Plan

“Labour will invest $8 billion more in health, $4 billion more in education and $5 billion more for Kiwi families through Working for Families, Best Start and the Winter Energy Payment than the Budget 2017 projections for the forecast period.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Greens’ Room For Political Pragmatism

The Greens here are currently being criticized by the commentariat for not making the same kind of pragmatic choices that sunk the Democrats in Australia. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Being Humane About Welfare, Child Support, And Tax

It made for an unusual Venn diagram, but Greens co-leader Metiria Turei and Finance Minister Steven Joyce were briefly sharing some common elements this week in the set that says – hey, don’t use the powers of the state in ways guaranteed to make the system you’re trying to defend worse, not better. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election