Auckland Council & Phil Goff do not have a leg to stand on.

Dr David Cumin is a member of the Free Speech Coalition that is taking Phil Goff and the Auckland Council to court for their anti-free speech actions against speakers Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux.

In?his affidavit?Cumin clearly explains why the council’s actions are not only anti-free speech but are also illogical and go against everything that the Auckland Council has done previously with regard to who they have allowed access to public facilities.

Credit: SonovaMin

His first argument is that public venues are not allowed to discriminate against people with regard to their political views, race, gender, religion or sexual orientation. Phil Goff has described the political views of the speakers in derogatory terms and made it clear that he does not support any council venues being made available to speakers with those kinds of views.

The advertising for the council venue, however, states that the venue is available for anything.

Cumin’s second argument is that Goff’s claim that the Auckland Council cannot be seen to be supporting the political views of the speakers is illogical given the following points.

  1. Unless an?event is sponsored by the Auckland Council no one would infer that it was supported by them. When things are sponsored by the council it will be stated clearly in the promotional material for the event.
  2. Unless an event is introduced by the Mayor or an official or employee of the Auckland Council?in their official capacity no one would infer that the event was supported by the Auckland Council.
  3. No one would infer that an event was supported by the Auckland Council just because the event organisers had hired publically available council facilities or because it was listed as an upcoming event on an Auckland Council website.
  4. The Minister of Immigration the Hon Iain Lees-Galloway granted the speakers’ visa’s at the same time as expressing his disagreement with their political views. No one would infer that the granting of visas by the Ministry of Immigration means that the ministry supports the political views of the speakers. In the same way, no one would infer that hiring out a council venue means an endorsement of the speakers’ views.

Cumin’s third argument is that the Auckland Council have not acted in this way before. Previously all kinds of ‘ repugnant and offensive’ groups and speakers with diametrically opposed points of view have been allowed to hire the facilities.

  1. Conferences have been held at their facilities by multiple different political parties.
  2. Pro Israel and anti-Israel groups have used the venue
  3. Oil industry and anti-fossil fuel groups have used the venue
  4. It would make no logical sense to infer that hosting these different groups means that the council supports their views, therefore, it makes no sense to suggest hosting Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux would be seen as an Auckland Council endorsement of their views.

Cumin listed many examples of? “offensive events” that the Auckland council?allowed including the laugh your head off?world?tour of controversial and disgraced comedian Kathy Griffin.

He also expressed his concern that a “Thugs veto” was being used to shut down free speech as Goff and the council have tried to justify their ban by saying that dealing with possibly violent protestors opposed to the speakers would be too much for the New Zealand police to be expected to handle.

For more details, you can read the affidavit in full here.

 

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