ACT defeated the Government’s first attempt to introduce hate speech laws and we’ll kill off hate speech laws 2.0.

“This afternoon, the Department of Internal Affairs began to do Labour’s bidding for new hate speech laws after Andrew Little, Kris Faafoi, and Kiri Allan failed to convince voters they were a good idea. ACT will continue to fight them and we will win again”, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“DIA has released a consultation document on proposed changes to censorship laws in New Zealand. It signals an alarming shift in how the media and others can express themselves.

“DIA is proposing to create a regulator with far more significant powers over online content than currently exist. Anyone with a ‘platform’ – e.g. a mailing list – would be subject to the regulator, covering many organisations.

“More concerning is that codes would be drafted without Parliamentary scrutiny or public engagement. Industry, NGOs, and academics will write the codes which dictate what you’re allowed to say online.

“Creating codes like this without input from democratically-elected representatives is a licence for people with an agenda to impose their viewpoints on the rest of us. This is not democracy or free speech - it’s Orwellian.

“To be clear, ACT doesn’t not have a problem with the Chief Censor’s current oversight of extreme and illegal material. What we are against is the imposition of the worldview of an unelected and unaccountable regulator on the ability of ordinary New Zealanders to express their views.

“This proposed change opens the door for beefed up hate speech laws, which will create a divided society and put an already growing cancel culture on steroids.

“The depth of feeling across the country is clear. Almost 43,000 people have signed ACT’s petition against hate speech laws. I expect even more will be against this wider attempt to control free speech.”

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