David Seymour announced:
“ACT’s Freedom to Speak Bill will repeal parts of the Human Rights Act and the Summary Offences Act which make insulting and offensive speech unlawful. ACT believes that, while it should be a crime to incite or threaten violence, nobody should ever be punished for insulting or offensive speech. Distinguishing hate speech from genuine criticism is impossible.
“The Freedom to Speak Bill will also specify that the Harmful Digital Communications Act only applies to complainants under the age of 18. Online bullying of children is a major problem. It is important that there is an agency and a set of guidelines for resolving bullying of children online. However, doing so also restricts the right of free expression. While this may be tolerable in the case of children, or those communicating with children, adults should not be able to use hate speech sanctions to silence critics.
If the bill gets drawn from the ballot, I would hope National and NZ First vote for it at first reading to send it to select committee.