SUBMISSION BY NZ OUTDOORS PARTY ON INCITEMENT OF HATRED / HOSTILITY LEGISLATION PROPOSALS.
Prepared and lodged by Co-leader- Sue Grey LLB(Hons), BSc (Biochemistry and Microbiology), RSHDipPHI
6th August 2021
email@example.com Ph 022-6910586
This submission is lodged by the NZ OUTDOORS PARTY, a registered political party under the Electoral Act.
The NZ OUTDOORS PARTY has a rapidly growing and active membership, who value freedom and New Zealand, including its people, tikanga and environment.
The NZ OUTDOORS PARTY promotes connection of New Zealanders with each other and with nature.
The OUTDOORS PARTY promotes:
- democracy where people play an active role in decision making, knowing their views are valued and will be listened to.
- freedom from excessive government and international interference in the lives of New Zealanders;
- more self-sufficiency for New Zealand and New Zealanders,
- better care of our water, land, soil, wildlife and of our people.
- natural and organic regenerative approaches to agriculture to promote community wellbeing and thriving rural communities and local businesses.
- “localism” to encourage and empower local people to support their local communities and have an active role in decision which affect the health and wellbeing of their community;
- food and body sovereignty;
- transparent representation and informed decision making which will promote a long-term vision for protecting and promoting the interests of all New Zealanders, our children and grandchildren.
The NZ OUTDOORS PARTY wishes to be heard in person on this submission.
The NZ OUTDOORS PARTY opposes the proposed amendment to hate speech legislation, also known as “Proposals against the incitement of hatred/hostility”.
1) Reference to the Christchurch terrorist attack as a justification for removing fundamental rights and freedoms is flawed. It is a heavy handed over-reaction to actions by one man who had only recently arrived in New Zealand and who was issued a gun license and authorised by police to purchase a large amount of ammunition contrary to standard operating procedures and usual best practice requirements.
That person ignored both our homicide laws and norms of humanity. It is most unlikely that they would have read or been influenced by hate speech laws. Conduct inciting hate of a particular religious group is in any event already covered by the existing hate speech laws. Most New Zealanders are good people. Any law that interferes with their freedoms, or creates fear of arbitrary punishment by their own representatives is bad law.
2) The proposal is draconian legislation which undermines fundamental human rights and freedoms, including the freedom of speech and expression which are the very essence of humanity.
The proposed amendments would result in a fundamental shift away from New Zealand customs and traditions inherent in a free and democratic nation.
3)The definitions are too wide and too open to interpretation. They will potentially make many New Zealanders criminals at the discretion of the enforcers. It will make it too easy to target individuals who offer alternative views.
4) The focus should be on leading by example to model and empower individuals and communities to find resilient and creative solutions to challenges.
This proposal sends the opposite message and will create and promote an unhealthy victim and “dob in your neighbour” mentality where it is too easy to shoot the messenger rather than understand the driving forces behind conflict. This creates the risk of a generation that is too sensitive to criticism. This will change the nature of our society.
5) Instead of closing down communications we need to encourage different interests to connect, listen to and learn from each other to find creative solutions.
New Zealand had already gone down a very unfortunate fear driven and divisive path over the last few years. Massive sums of public funds have been used on PR and communication budgets to influence and mislead the public, to the detriment of common sense.
6) The solution is not fear and threats, but to create a healthy environment based on respect and good communication where basic needs are met and people and communities are engaged in decisions which affect them and work together to find solutions to help them thrive.
Communities who are connected and encouraged to engage in wide-ranging conversations on values, ethics, philosophy and innovative solutions will feel empowered and thrive.
7) Elected representatives, public servants and all who are involved in making laws and implementing laws must understand their primary duty is to the people.
There are natural limits on the role of government and its interference in the fundamental freedoms of individuals, including the freedom to think, speak and express. Our representatives’ actions are constrained by these natural limits, by public law principles, and by the requirement they must always act based on reason and transparent evidence and in the public interest.
8) Our representatives cannot and must not legislate how people think or feel. That is Orwellian.
We must encourage individuals and communities to engage constructively based on a healthy culture rather than from fear of punishment.
9) What is insulting to one person is not to another
Lets build resilience rather than negativity. Lets focus on what we do want, rather than allocating resources to negative conduct.
This legislation will see the courts clogged by those who are most resourced to test the law and bullies who attempt to shut down their opposition.
What constitutes inciting hostility, abusive or threatening speech?
10 One matter of extreme concern is the proposed restriction on expression of political opinion. Encouraging people not to vote for a political party for example because of a proposed policy, could easily be construed as being an offense under this legislation.This is an unjustified interference with democracy. There are always thought leaders whose views may be unpopular at times. That is an important part of democracy and evolution. These views are important and should not be closed down to protect the status quo.
Lets learn to celebrate different ideas, table and discuss them all, and then as a community promote the best, rather than have a self nominated gatekeeper try to restrict our views and our humanity.
Most New Zealanders are good people. Any law that interferes with their freedoms, or creates fear of arbitrary punishment by their own representatives is bad law.
We believe these changes are completely unnecessary and see no point in commenting on them individually.
The NZ Outdoors Party would like to be heard in support of this submission.
Sue Grey LLB(Hons), BSc (Biochemistry and Microbiology), RSHDipPHI