Hate speech law weaponised against Hobson's Pledge

Wed, 01 May, 2019

A request for the Human Rights Commission to investigate Hobson’s Pledge shows how easily hate speech laws can become weaponised, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

The New Zealand Māori Council today said it had asked the Human Rights Commission to investigate Hobson’s Pledge for inciting racism and violence.

“The idea that all New Zealanders should be treated equally before the law is a genuinely-held political view. There is nothing inherently racist or violent about it.

“What the New Zealand Māori Council is proposing is that the Human Rights Commission be asked to endorse these kinds of attacks by applying state power to the respondent.

“Hate speech legislation is now being used as a political weapon.

“Ironically, the complainants viciously attack those they’re complaining about, saying ‘They may wear suits and drive around in late model expensive European cars...but they are nothing more than a gang of misfits that seek to incite hate and divide the country.’

“A greater irony is that the complainants say the respondents would take us back to the dark ages. Asking a king or tribal leader to settle political scores is exactly what happened in the dark ages.

“If the Government broadens our hate speech laws, we will see more New Zealanders hauled before a state agency for simply expressing their political views. That really would divide the country.”