What Is Freedom of Speech?
Freedom of speech, classified under ‘freedom of expression’ in the Bill of Rights Act 1990 states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and opinions of any kind in any form.”
The Act also guarantees freedom of thought, conscience, and religion without interference (section 13).
There are of course, limits to free speech - our current laws ensure that if someone incites violence to people or property, then that speech is a legal offence. There are laws in place regarding discrimination too, which have been operating successfully for decades.
There will never be enough laws to prevent bad people doing bad things. This is part of the human condition. We need to protect and maintain the balance between the rule of law, and the freedom of the people. NZ Sovereignty believes there is absolutely no need to alter the Bill of Rights Act 1990.
Why Is Freedom of Speech Important?
The right to freedom of speech is the cornerstone of democracy. The free flow of speech and the written word maintain a healthy tension - some call this the 'Yin and Yang' of life. Free speech allows ideas and issues to be discussed, argued over, grappled with, and consequently a sensible path for mankind is maintained. History has proven that if governments become too heavy handed in their interference in freedom, then unrest follows soon after. There are telling signs that NZ is heading this way with increased protests and petitions concerning various threats to our freedom over the past year. The government and mainstream media (MSM) blames the alt-right. Do not believe this - we are simply average kiwis who want to protect our democracy.
Freedom of speech gives society the opportunity to articulate the full gambit of ideas, from the ugly to the brilliant - this is particularly important in areas where there is a power imbalance, such as that which is inherent between the government and the populace.
What Is Hate Speech?
Obviously hateful speech exists. Twitter is a prime example where one can see countless examples of speech towards groups of people or individuals that could be deemed 'offensive', ‘hateful’ or ‘hurtful’. But these are subjective terms and unless they incite violence or harm, they are not considered a legal offence.
Hate speech on the other hand, is a term currently being referred to a lot in the MSM. The inference is that it is speech which should be restricted and enforced by the law in New Zealand. The aim of hate speech is presumably to prevent one person potentially or actually offending another.
There are so many variables in this potentiality. For example, one group of people may be more easily offended than others, depending on their vulnerabilities, belief systems or culture. Certainly two people can hold extremely varied opinions as to what falls under "hate speech" and what does not. Time, location, context, culture, education.......there are so many possible factors that could skew one person's view of hate from another. The question must be asked, "who is qualified to make such a judgement?"
The repercussions of hate speech laws, if introduced, will change New Zealand society drastically. Unity and trust are just two of the likely casualties as individuals and groups turn against each other, and the law becomes a weapon in the hand of the "offended" party. Lines will be drawn in the sand - lines which history has shown often lead to the polarisation of society, untold oppression, civil unrest and ultimately a police state.
Is Freedom of Speech Really Under Threat In NZ?
We hear all of these encroachments happening overseas, but this could never happen in New Zealand right? Wrong……
In 2018 alone, we had three serious attacks on freedom of speech; The cancelling of Stephan Molyneux and Lauren Southern from a council venue because of "security" issues, the removal of former National Leader, Don Brash from speaking at Massey University, and finally, in the last hours of parliament for 2018, Winston Peters announced that the Pact had been signed. Clause 17 contains some alarming implications on freedom of speech.
Mr. Peters admitted to being the driving force behind the PACT, though this statement came as quite a surprise considering his long history of championing tighter immigration controls. Prime Mininster Jacinda Ardern’s comparable silence on this matter is deafening - one wonders if there has been some kind of deal cut where Winston Peters takes the heat? After all, he is nearing retirement. Things just don't add up.
Who is Fighting For Our Rights?
National Party leader Simon Bridges has publicly stated that hate speech laws need to be looked into. This has been a disappointment to a great many New Zealanders. We can only hope that Simon Bridges will have a change of heart and step in strongly in defence of freedom of speech before it is too late.
The New Conservative Party publicly promote freedom of speech and are willing to fight for it within parliament if elected. They also strongly opposed the UN Global Migration Pact. The ACT Party also has continuously promoted freedom of speech and is against any attempt by the coalition to implement hate speech laws. Additionally the New NZ Party and One NZ Party support free speech and oppose the UN Pact.
Rightminds has many newsworthy articles on free speech and the UN Pact.
The Free Speech Coalition (FSC) was birthed out of the controversy surrounding the cancellation of venue on public speakers Lauren Southern and Stephan Molyneux. The FSC have since launched a petition in support of free speech. Please sign this. Soon it may be too late.
New Zealand Sovereignty is fighting for freedom of speech to remain. We believe the current laws are more than adequate to protect our citizens. The people should decide in the open marketplace of ideas, what is, and what is not acceptable to say. No one person owns ‘the truth’ (save God himself) – therefore, no one person can decide what “hate speech is.” Any attempt to legislate this will result in imbalance.
Is NZ Sovereignty Associated With Any Political Party?
New Zealand Sovereignty stands for principles, rather than political parties.
We are not afraid to call out any party or parties, such as the current New Zealand Coalition Government, if they stand against the aforementioned principles which we hold close to our hearts.
We are also more than willing to promote political parties who encourage and support the principles we stand for. We are hoping that several parties will speak out strongly about these issues as the 2020 election draws closer.
What Is NZ Sovereignty’s ultimate goal?
Our primary objective is to be a key voice in the championing of free speech. We also want to get our country out of the UN Global Migration Pact so that we have unfettered sovereignty over our borders once again.
We also aim to see this current coalition government voted out of parliament – this is vital in order to achieve the above two goals, as clearly this government seeks to curtail free speech, and it was this government led by Jacinda Ardern that signed the Pact.
In our view these are the two key issues which should dictate how Kiwis vote in the 2020 election.