The Herald reports:
National Leader Simon Bridges is backing the Government’s plans to review New Zealand’s hate speech law but is warning against limiting free speech in the process.
Over the weekend, Justice Minister Andrew Little said he would fast-track a review of the Human Rights Act, which could see a crackdown on hate speech.
He said the current hate speech laws were not strong enough and needed to change.
Bridges said he agreed with Little having a look at the law and told RNZ: “I think he is doing the right thing having a review”.
But he warned against fast-tracking legislation that would change the law.
Bridges said that this type of legislation was “so fundamental to society that it can’t be rushed or fast-tracked”.
“Freedom of speech is so incredibly important to us as a society.”
Massey University regards Don Brash advocating against Maori seats as hate speech. If the law was changed, Brash would no doubt end up with multiple complaints laid against him with the Police, because people disagree with his advocacy.
Act Party Leader David Seymour is also advising caution on any changes to rules that might impact free speech.
“When the Government makes it its role to start working out which opinions are right and which are wrong and which ones should be punished, that’s when you get into real difficulty,” he told RNZ.
He said a new hate crime law would exacerbate divisions and fail to stamp out prejudice in New Zealand.
Does anyone think the UK is a less divided country, despite having had hate speech laws for a couple of decades?