Does NZ Want Censorship?

Stephen Franks
Free Speech Coalition

Earlier this week I sat down with Patrick Corish and National Party MP Simon O’Connor for the latest episode of the Free Speech Coalition Podcast.

Has New Zealand stopped being proud of freedom? Does it now want censorship – authorities deciding what can’t be discussed?

We agreed on seeing a generational shift against freedom of speech and the pursuit of truth through debate. Patrick, as a representative of millennials, was not reassuring with his observations of others his age.

I urged a difference between protection of free speech and free expression: unlike the New Zealand Courts, my view is that the justifications for freedom of speech do not necessarily extend to freedom of expression. We surveyed the merits of David Seymour’s Freedom to Speak Bill and National’s opposition to the UN Migrant Compact (from a free speech perspective).

I was critical of the last government for allowing the Human Rights Commission to turn into a predictable group using taxpayer money to preach partisan politics at voters.

I had not previously spoken to Simon but was pleasantly surprised. If he is typical the National Party may have woken to the potential they’ve unleashed for the abuse of Executive and Tribunal powers.

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