Free Speech Union

Responding to the video posted on TikTok by jesuspreachingNZ, the Free Speech Union says the video shows everything that is wrong with the Government’s vague and dangerous hate speech proposals.

“New hate speech laws haven’t even been written yet but police are already out on our streets determining what hate speech is, claiming the street preachers are apparently ‘very close to the line’,” says Free Speech Union Campaign Manager, Jonathan Ayling.

“Interestingly, the officer in the video makes the point that what the preachers are saying is ‘subjective’. That is precisely the problem with these laws – what counts as ‘hate speech’ is based on wholly subjective notions.”

“The Government has failed to state clearly where it draws the line with speech it intends to criminalise, preferring to tell us that we ‘’know it when we see it’. Now, the Police have taken it upon themselves to define that line.”

“While we can’t be sure what transpired before the video, ultimately it will be the police who are charged with enforcing these proposals. While the ambit for successful prosecution may be high, overseas experience has shown law enforcement to consistently overstep the mark and has created a structure allowing for legal harassment of the state against citizens, even if they are ultimately found not guilty.”

The Free Speech Union is dedicated to stopping these proposals before they do further damage to our social fabric and is encouraging kiwis of all stripes to submit against them at before submissions close August 6.

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