15 APRIL 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Justice Minister Andrew Little has shown how new anti-speech laws would be twisted to suit the political elite, says the Free Speech Coalition. This is in response to Mr Little’s statements suggesting it should be easier to complain about (and sanction) speech like that contained within a ‘One Law for All’ pamphlet.
“We now see just how low the bar for defining ‘hate speech’ can go,” says Free Speech Coalition member Dr David Cumin. “The cause of equal citizenship is one supported by a large proportion of New Zealanders. Even if it was a minority position, these New Zealanders should have the same right to make their case as those with opposing views, such as Andrew Little.”
“Instead, we see the Justice Minister threatening to use his position of power to shut down the voices of political outsiders. This move would conveniently protect Mr Little’s own political position and set a precedent to shield other ‘politically correct’ views from challenge. It’s a perfect example of how new speech suppression laws can and will be twisted to stifle opposition to those in power.”
“Existing laws against harassment and the incitement of violence can, and should, be enforced on an objective basis. The kinds of laws promoted by Andrew Little are far more open to biased interpretation based on the prejudices of the elite political class.”