ACT is proud to have played a principled role in defending freedom of expression in New Zealand, in response to the Justice Minister’s instruction to the Law Commission to halt work on hate speech legislation.

ACT believes the first role of the state is to protect people from tangible attacks on their person or property. Hate speech laws, as planned by Labour, sought to go far further by protecting people from unpleasant opinions.

The best response to those sharing hateful opinions is condemnation and counter-argument – not to create new government powers that could be turned against peaceful citizens.

As in many areas, the Government is not going as far as ACT would like, but it is going further than it would without ACT. We will continue to advocate for stronger action to defend freedom of expression, such as abolishing the anti-speech Human Rights Commission.

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