“ACT will not stand by while the Government tries to criminalise New Zealanders for free speech,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“The Government’s proposed Hate Speech Laws will create a divided society and will put an already growing cancel culture on steroids.

“ACT has had more than 31,000 people sign our petition against the Government’s proposed laws. The depth of feeling across the country is clear.

“The ACT Party has today made a submission on the Government’s proposed Hate Speech Laws. We can’t stand by while the Government introduces a law it doesn’t understand.

“Our submission states that the laws will not achieve the Government’s aims, there will be unintended consequences and they are incompatible with the rule of law.

“The intention of bringing about a kinder world with more respectful public discourse is a noble one. However, there is no evidence that new hate speech laws will achieve the Government’s aim of less harm and more social cohesion. In fact, they will have the opposite effect.

“It is not clear what speech will be covered by the new laws and this will have a chilling effect on non-hate speech.

“We believe that arbitrary and seemingly politically motivated prosecutions will lead to some groups suppressing their views.

“It’s time for the Government to back away from this law which will only serve to divide New Zealanders against each other.”

ACT's submission can be found here.