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This Is About Controlling New Zealanders’ Lives

I want to be very clear with New Zealanders, the National Party will reverse any attempts Jacinda Ardern’s Government makes to criminalise speech beyond the threshold of ‘inciting violence,’ Leader of the Opposition Judith Collins says.

“This is an opportunistic grab at one of our most fundamental rights and New Zealanders can be assured that we will fight this on their behalf.

“To frame these proposed laws as a response to the atrocity in Christchurch is disingenuous at best. There is no evidence to support the idea that ‘hate speech’ laws would have prevented the massacre.

“The National Party condemns vile speech that is intended to insult, but there is a big leap from condemning it to criminalising it.

“This is about control. It is about ensuring that only approved opinions are allowed and making questioning those opinions criminal. The matter of who decides what opinions are acceptable is unclear.

“The Prime Minister has delegated the task of imposing these laws on New Zealanders to a minister who doesn’t understand how the laws will work himself. He cannot tell us what ‘hatred’ looks like nor what the threshold for punishment is.

“I am calling on Jacinda Ardern to front these proposed ‘hate speech’ laws herself. If she is going to erode our democracy and control our speech she needs to own it.

“New Zealanders are entitled to hear from their Prime Minister as to why it is she thinks she is entitled to control even our most core rights.

“I will not be allowing her to palm the issue off to others. It is too important; preserving our democracy is too important. I will be going directly to the Prime Minister to get answers for New Zealanders. I certainly hope she has better answers than Minister Faafoi.”

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