I am more alarmed today by the proposed hate speech laws than I was on Friday when they released.
Simply because it is now clear that key government figures don’t understand their own laws – meaning they don’t understand what they’re about to do.
This morning in a TV interview, the Prime Minister made several inaccurate statements about what the law is going to do.
First, she said this new law isn’t changing much. We already have a law that punishes people if they incite violence against people of certain nationalities and ethnicities, and all they’re doing is expanding that to include religion and so on.
“We're expanding the group, it's not about lowering the threshold.”
Wrong. Not true at all. This is substantially lowering the bar
Under the current law people only get prosecuted if they incite violence. Under the proposed law people will get prosecuted for insulting protected groups.
It’s in the discussion document, it says: “"The law would change so that a person who intentionally incites, stirs up, maintains or normalises hatred against any specific group of people … would break the law if they did so by being threatening, abusive or insulting”.
Insulting is a very, very low bar.
Secondly, the Prime Minister said ‘political opinion’ won’t fall under the protection of this law
“In the interview from the Nation, they implied political opinion was included, it is not"
Wrong. That is not true. Her government’s own discussion document says political opinion may be included.
Now, you will have heard the Justice Minister Kris Faafoi fumbling round on our show on Friday on this. The same thing happened on Newshub on Saturday.
He couldn’t give specifics, he couldn’t answer questions, and what answers he was forced to give were alarming: he admitted millennials who stir hatred against boomers might go to jail.
I can’t believe Faafoi and the PM would deliberately try to mislead us with inaccuracies so we don’t get alarmed at what these laws will do.
So more likely, neither of them understand what they’re proposing to do, which means they don’t know how bad this law is.
They should take a look, because many of us who have looked are not comfortable.
Heather du Plessis-Allan is a journalist and commentator who hosts Newstalk ZB's Drive show.
This isn't a hate speech law, this is a control speech law. There's no good reason to enact it for hate speech because the existing law already does the job.
This is a Left-wing government who are obsessively secretive and have a long-term agenda to drastically change NZ which they deny putting into practice...despite putting it into practice vis a vis Maori wards, the new National History Curriculum etc!
They know that to push on with their plan they have to be able to intimidate and muzzle people and shut down debate - that's the only way they can get it to fruition.
I'm afraid they are behaving like most extreme left-wing governments who believe the State is all-powerful and the citizen must be made to comply - goodbye free speech!!
Australians have found out the hard way that leftist and activist groups use hate speech legislation to stifle comment, values and opinion.
Criticize or disagree with their policies, actions and values and the cry goes up that they are insulted and offended and therefore the critical comments constitute hate speech.
We have this attitude already when commentators speaking against Maori activist demands are labelled racist.
This slovenly reflexive response is a convenient substitute for a rational and coherent response to the criticism or comment.
Another aspect which came out in the Australian experience was that the rush-so-complain mob could do so at no financial cost while those accused had to hire a defense lawyer assuming they could afford one.
All in all it seemed safer to keep your mouth shut and that's exactly what a left wing government would like the non left citizens to do.
Activist groups of course will continue to speak and demand freely with their continual litany of complaints.
I don't trust this government and neither should you!
The governments true colors are getting revealed day by day.
"Secondly, the Prime Minister said ‘political opinion’ won’t fall under the protection of this law"
We know that that can change overnight, and probably will if dissent becomes apparent.
Think about it, why would they not include political opinion in the law, shutting down all forms of free speech is one method of control that requires no need of force.
We don't learn from history do we, these thing have all be tried before with no success. Including China, North Korea, Russia, East Germany and various others along the way.
Well said Heather.
The crucial word here is "insulting"
The U.K. had a law that made "insulting" speech classified as hate speech. There were ludicrous cases of a young man being arrested for hate speech because he told a cop that his horse was gay. There were also arrests of people who criticised a religious cult. One lady who posted on line that there are only two genders was arrested.(insulted the trans folk)
U.K. has apparently since removed the "insulting" from it's legislation.
The word insulting is indefinable, it is totally subjective.
It is the object who defines it ... "I feel insulted by what so-and-so said. That's hate speech. Dial 111. Arrest that person !!"
They are relying on the apathy of the majority of NZ people who will not read the document. I have downloaded the document and after 10mins of reading it (not finished yet) I am VERY concerned about the prospect of this becoming law.
PLEASE people if you never read another document read this and make a submission. We only have until the 6th August.
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