This is worse that I imagined.
A common assault has a one year maximum sentence. Labour wants people to spend up to three years in jail for speech crimes.
Including political belief in hate speech laws is a grave threat to free speech. There may be a case for laws against vilifying someone for immutable characteristics such as sex and age and disability but to extend that to religious and political belief is just staggering.
If you use insulting language against a political party, to the degree it is seen to be inciting hatred, then you could be jailed.
Could you imagine Winston Peters being able to complain to the Police everytime I attack NZ First?
It could also affect those on the left, who often demonise people for their political speech.
If a leftie calls the New Conservatives a bunch of bigots, then that could be seen as inciting hatred and they could face prosecution.
If someone attacks the ACT Party as hating poor people, then that could be inciting hatred on the basis of political opinion, and off to the Police.
Ridicule Destiny Church, and they could sic the Police on you.
You could even have the neo-nazis in Action Zealandia use these provisions to claim calling them neo-nazis is inciting hatred against them and this law would protect them.
I urge everyone to join and donate to the Free Speech Coalition to fight against this repressive law from a repressive party. Note that once this law is passed I won’t be able to call Labour repressive as that could be inciting hatred against them.