“Justice Minister Kiri Allan has watered down Labour’s Hate Speech laws because Kiwis rejected Labour’s attempt to strip away their freedom of speech, but even in their current state they are not compatible with a free and open society and ACT will repeal them,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Preventing freedom of expression on religious grounds is a significant restriction. It is important that we are allowed to call out examples of religious persecution without fear of being prosecuted. What is currently happening in Iran is an example of this.

“Labour has accepted the principle that they’re wrong by backing down on many aspects of the proposal. This is a win for New Zealand and the result of ACT’s three years of campaigning for free speech.

“Minister Allan should have done a full backdown instead of engaging in this face-saving exercise. Punting many of the proposed changes to the Law Commission shows that if Labour somehow makes it back into Government next year then previous proposals will be right back on the table as well.

“National’s Justice spokesperson Paul Goldsmith refused to commit to repealing the laws when directly asked three times on Newshub Nation. ACT is clear that we will repeal it.

“Freedom of expression is one of the most important values our society has. We can only solve our most pressing problems in an open society in which free thought and open enquiry are encouraged.

“ACT will continue to defend the critical principle that nobody should ever be punished on the basis of opinion.”

Press Contact

[email protected]