“Jacinda Ardern has admitted in Parliament today that she hasn’t ruled out including political opinion in her proposed hate speech laws,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“Ardern is twisting and turning her position on hate speech so much she could almost qualify to represent New Zealand in gymnastics at the Olympics.
“She told the AM Show yesterday that political opinion will not be a “protected group.” The discussion document and cabinet paper say they’ll expand to all the categories in Section 21 of the Human Rights Act. That includes political opinion (s21(j)).
“Today in Question Time she said it has been left out of the document when it hasn’t. Then she went on to say that if submitters wanted it in included then she would consider it.
“The proposed laws are a confusing mess. Both Ardern and Justice Minister Kris Faafoi have been roundly criticised by media and the public for how they’ve handled the proposals. Thank god we still have free speech for them to receive the criticism they deserve.
“This law has failed at the first test for a law, clarity. From here the Minister and the Prime Minister will only cause more confusion, and damage New Zealanders' basic rights. They should cancel his ham-fisted attempt to put cancel culture on steroids.
“ACT will continue to fight this law which will do nothing but divide society even further and ultimately increase hateful attitudes in our society.”
ACT's petition to protect free speech can be found here.