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Free Speech Coalition claim against Phil Goff

New causes of action added to the Free Speech Coalition claim against Phil Goff.

3 October 2018

The Free Speech Coalition has amended its original statement of claim to include new actions against the Auckland City Council and Mayor Phil Goff for banning Canadian speakers Stefan Molyneux and Lauren Southern from hosting event in a council owned building.

“The Free Speech Coalition’s legal team has added three new private law causes of action against the RFA and the Mayor,” says Patrick Corish, a member of the Free Speech Coalition.

The Free Speech Coalition claims that Regional Facilities Auckland has breached its contract and breached the Fair Trading Act 1986. In addition, the Free Speech Coalition claims that Mayor Goff has breached the Fair Trading Act 1986 with his misleading statements on twitter and to the press that he would personally not allow the speakers to speak at any Auckland venue. According to Court papers filed by the Council’s lawyers this is in fact not what the Mayor did, nor did he even have that power.

“While we would rather this be settled out of court, without a commitment to uphold the rights of Aucklanders to receive diverse views, even those that are controversial or offensive, Auckland Council and Mayor Goff must answer for their decisions,” says Mr Corish.

Editor’s notes:

Will the Mayor be required to give evidence?

As the case now involves both private and public law causes of action there is a possibility that the Mayor will be called to give evidence and be cross examined in this matter.

The Free Speech Coalition is advised that the trial is likely to take 3 days and be set down for early 2019.

What is our case now?

Our case remains the same in addition to the new causes of action. We maintain that the decision to cancel the event was in breach of fundamental civil rights as well as breaching Regional Facilities Auckland’s licensing agreement to meeting public law standards.

Does this need to go to court?

Given the violation to Aucklanders’ right to receive information, believe court action is necessary to send a signal to the Courts that the ‘thugs veto’ in not justification for limiting the freedom of expression. This necessary lawsuit is forward looking, preventative and protective in the light of this new threat to free speech.


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