Hate speech: creating a climate in which silence is the best form of defence against heavy-handed Thought Police

The Government has announced a raft of initiatives in its response to the recommendations from the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Terrorist Attack on Christchurch Masjidain.

We are told it is not considering the introduction of specific hate crime laws.  But a law to deal with “hate speech” – clearly intended to further crimp our freedom of speech to some degree – is another matter. 

While hate speech legislation has been promised, and is expected to be announced after the release of the Royal Commission of Inquiry report later today, specific offences for more serious hate crimes will not be coming.

Reaction to the royal commission’s report wasn’t the only matter dealt with by ministers in the past day or two.

The Beehive website shows: 

  • Contact tracing in New Zealand will get a substantial boost from tomorrow with the addition of Bluetooth tracing to the NZ COVID Tracer app.  
  • The Government is delivering on a key commitment to better protect security guards’ pay and conditions by adding them to Schedule 1A of the Employment Relations Act. 
  • Te Ahu o te Reo Māori will be expanded as a nationwide initiative for up to 10,000 teachers, leaders and support staff who wish to strengthen their use of te reo Māori,

But the most significant  news was the Government’s response to the recommendations to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Terrorist Attack on Christchurch Masjidain. Continue reading “Hate speech: creating a climate in which silence is the best form of defence against heavy-handed Thought Police”

Now that ‘binding’ has been defined (sort of), let’s anxiously wait for the meaning of ‘hate speech’

The Government seemed to be in a bind about the cannabis referendum to be held at the general election next year.  The dilemma was about whether the referendum should be binding.

Referencing a leaked cabinet paper, National Party drug reform spokeswoman Paula Bennett threw doubt on how binding the referendum would be. 

National declined to release the paper to protect the source (something of an impediment when it comes to establishing the credibility of claims against political opponents) but said only one of four referendum options due to be discussed by Cabinet yesterday might compel the Government to act on the outcome.

The other three possibilities would not be technically “binding” because the government would not be obliged to act on them. Continue reading “Now that ‘binding’ has been defined (sort of), let’s anxiously wait for the meaning of ‘hate speech’”