Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

PM’s confusion over hate speech law deeply worrying

“Jacinda Ardern’s confusion over hate speech law should be deeply worrying to anyone concerned with protecting freedom of expression”, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

Asked this morning about new hate speech laws, Ardern said there were gaps in the current law and ‘threats to people based on their religion’ is was not covered. She’s wrong. Threatening a person is already illegal under the Crimes Act.

Earlier this year on the AM Show, Ardern said her Government was focussed on restricting speech that would likely lead to harm or violence against others. But inciting a person to commit violence is also already an offence.

“In that same interview, she went on to say the Government would target ‘examples where when you see it, you know it’. This is the danger of hate speech legislation: it is deeply subjective.

“Threatening people or inciting violence should absolutely be illegal. But using tests as subjective as ‘insulting’ or ‘offensive’ to criminalise speech is dangerous.

“The Justice Minister is on record as saying he wants to add new ‘protected categories’ to the Human Rights Act, strengthen its enforcement, and follow the UK’s lead on hate speech law. Andrew Little has also said our hate speech law is seldom used, which means he has two options: give it teeth or get rid of it.

“No person has been prosecuted under the ‘racial disharmony’ provisions of the Human Rights Act since 1979. Section 61 is ineffectual as it is, so the Government wants to strengthen it. In other words, we would end up with a true hate speech law. We would find ourselves in a similar position to the UK. In that country, people are being detained for tweeting unpopular opinions.

“ACT believes a strengthened Human Rights Act would be dangerous, and we should therefore get rid of our hate speech laws completely.

“Freedom of expression is a critically important value. We cannot solve our most pressing problems if we are not able to try new ideas, discard those that don’t work, and seek out better ones. That can only be achieved in an open society in which free thought and open enquiry are encouraged.”


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The Rivals For The Covid Saliva Testing Dollar

If you want a good insight into what the limits of tiny, barely discernible steps to reduce poverty actually look like, delve into the latest Statistics Department figures on poverty in New Zealand Most of the nine measures utilised reveal little or no progress in combatting poverty over the 21 months to March 2020... More>>


 

Government: Reserve Bank To Take Account Of Housing In Decision Making

The Reserve Bank is now required to consider the impact on housing when making monetary and financial policy decisions, Grant Robertson announced today. Changes have been made to the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee’s remit requiring it to take into ... More>>

ALSO:


RNZ: Alert Levels Remain

There are no new community cases of Covid-19 today, the Ministry of Health has confirmed.
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says at least half of the Papatoetoe High School community have been tested and the results that have come through so far have all been negative... More>>

ALSO:

Stats NZ: Latest Release Of Child Poverty Statistics

All measures of child poverty were trending downwards, prior to the COVID-19 lockdown, across the two years since year ended June 2018, Stats NZ said today. The COVID-19 lockdown in late March 2020 affected Stats NZ’s ability to collect data from households ... More>>

ALSO:


NZ Initiative: New Report Highlights How Our Housing Crisis Could Worsen If We Don’t Act Now

If New Zealand politicians thought the housing crisis in 2020 was bad, the worst is yet to come, warns a new report by The New Zealand Initiative. In The Need to Build: The demographic drivers of housing demand , Research Assistant Leonard Hong ... More>>

Parliament: Kiwi MPs Among The “Most Educated In The World”

New analysis of MP qualifications reveals New Zealand’s Parliament is one of the most educated and highest qualified in the world, and significantly more educated than Australia’s. The research, by Mark Blackham of BlacklandPR and Geoffrey Miller ... More>>

The Dig: An Illogical Ideological Struggle

Dig beneath all the trade wars and the arguments to the effect that the USA should not permit China to achieve economic and technological superiority, or even parity, and you find the real reason behind the conflict... More>>

Travel: Government Eases Visa Restrictions For Visitors In New Zealand

Visitor visa holders will be able to stay in New Zealand a little longer as the Government eases restrictions for those still here, the Minister of Immigration has announced. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels