New Zealand First Member’s Bill to protect Freedom of Speech

Today New Zealand First will introduce a Member’s Bill that will protect New Zealanders' right of free speech. 

The “Protection of Freedom of Expression Bill” will ensure that no organisation or individual, when acting within the law, is unreasonably denied use of a public venue for an organised event or gathering due solely to holding a differing opinion or belief. 

It achieves this by setting out responsibilities for facilitating free speech in public venues.     

“A vital part of a functioning democracy is to ensure that everyone can have their say within the law” says New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. 

“Public venues paid for by taxpayers and local ratepayers should be available to anyone wishing to utilise those venues, and not be exposed to the ‘thinly veiled totalitarian thought police’ that have become so prevalent in New Zealand.” 

It will ensure that all organisations are granted freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly, and freedom of association, when acting within the law, utilising any publicly owned facility. 

“This Bill upholds New Zealander’s right to freedom of expression and the right to say, ‘I disagree.’” 

There have been multiple instances of public authorities and venues attempting to shut down, cancel, or censor organisations and speakers solely because they hold contrary views. 

“This cancerous cancel culture is an attack on the very fabric of New Zealand society”. 

As stated in the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 - “everyone has the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and opinions of any kind in any form.” 

“New Zealand First will continue to defend the right of every New Zealander to exercise that freedom.” 

“We refuse to accept these basic rights being taken away by certain pressure groups, causes, or influenced authorities.”