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Free Speech Union Welcomes Announcement Of Kīngitanga Hui And Applauds Call For Constructive Dialogue

In response to growing concern at the Government’s policies regarding the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi, the Kīngitanga has announced a national hui to which ‘all are invited’, to foster dialogue and greater unity on these contentious issues. This is a positive response and the sort of leadership we need to ensure that New Zealanders are able to speak openly on these important questions, says Jonathan Ayling, Chief Executive of the Free Speech Union.

“Differences alone do not cause division- it is the manner in which we address them that does. All New Zealanders have the right to be free, frank and fierce in their speech. This should be done while embracing opposing views with a spirit of manākitanga and kotahitanga; care for one another and with a desire to have unity despite our differences.

“Where so many would seek to silence discussions that have the potential to cause division, Kiingi Tuheitia’s royal proclamation will create an environment where all Kiwis can kōrero and wānanga; we have written to him to applaud this decision to facilitate a tolerant and inclusive discussion, and to offer our support in this endeavour.

“Inflammatory rhetoric exists on both sides of this discussion, yet the way to beat bad ideas is with better ideas; not silencing opponents or resorting to personal attacks and dogma. As New Zealand seeks to consider this complex debate, we call on all actors to take up the Kiingi’s kaupapa and use free speech and constructive dialogue to set a path forward.

“Kia rangona te kōrero!”

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