Thought Police Prompt FSC to Ponder Podcast

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Submitted by administrator on Wed, 2019-05-29 02:53

Free Speech Coalition

Dear Supporter,

Is calling a politician the name of a fairy tale character worthy of Police action?

Over the weekend, the head of a Rotorua ratepayers’ association was accused of “age, gender, and race-based hate speech” after he published a Facebook post stating: “Beware the charismatic pitch of the Pied Piper” referring to local councillor Tania Tapsell. According to reporting by Stuff:

"He has referenced me as a Pied Piper who lures away vermin and children and this level of hate speech is totally unacceptable," Tapsell told Stuff.

She said the decision to refer the post to police was made by a confidential council committee, and while not at her request, she believes that "given the risk of harm to myself and others that was the right decision" [...]

"His rants have gone too far so I'm standing up for all the people who have been offended by his hate speech."

Referring political opponents to the language Police

As soon as we saw what was going on we publicly condemned the Council for calling the Police to try to intimidate a political opponent. It diverts Police from real crime. Politicians who won’t meet argument with argument, and instead ask the state to punish critics are not fit to hold power.

An example of how ‘hate speech’ laws would really be used

We have called on the Police to clearly state that they cannot censure offensive opinions because our laws explicitly allow for robust discussion. We have also called on the Human Rights Commission to stand up for the right of free expression. (Refer below to the interview with Stephen Franks on this issue).

Free Speech Radio?

A couple of supporters have suggested we start a ‘free speech podcast” so we can fight for free speech on the airwaves and dive deeper into free speech issues in interviews and commentary.

We are keen to do it and are fundraising for the $2,168 to buy the professional podcast recording equipment.

Podcast equipment

If you would like to see a free speech podcast, click here to donate to our fundraiser for the equipment.


If you have any suggestions for guest interviews, drop us a line by replying to this email.

Thank you for your support.

David Cumin
Free Speech Coalition

Recent Media coverage:

MagicTalk: Stephen Franks on a complaint to the Law Society about Golriz Ghahraman tweet - 23 May 2019

MagicTalk: David Cumin on Rotorua Council's complaint to Police - 27 May 2019

Recent Blog Posts:

Journalists have an interest in free speech - 28 May 2019

Is New Zealand a Racist Country? | NZ, racism, hypocrisy & free speech - 18 May 2019

Why Golriz Ghahraman should not be the guardian of our speech - 28 April 2019

Free Speech Coalition · New Zealand

Up and Running

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Free Speech Coalition

Dear Lindsay,

A few weeks ago David emailed to ask for your help to buy podcasting equipment for the Free Speech Coalition. I am delighted to report, that thanks to your generous support, we have just published the first three episodes.

You can subscribe to our new podcast via Spotify. Once approved by Apple and Google respectively, become available on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcast (likely to be in the next few days).

You can also listen online. The first three episodes are:

Episode 1: Rachel Poulain interviews Ani O'Brien (Speak Up for Women)

Rachel Poulain interviews Ani O'Brien of the Speak Up 4 Women campaign about the problems she has encounters with the anti-free speech movement while promoting women's rights.

Episode 2: Jordan Williams interviews Reynold Macpherson & Don Brash

Jordan Williams interviews Reynold Macpherson and Dr Don Brash. Mr Macpherson is a Rotorua mayoral candidate who was accused of hate speech for responding to councillor Tania Tapsell's encouragement for young people to stand for council by stating "beware of the charismatic pitch of the Pied Piper". Dr Brash is a former Leader of the Opposition and was banned from speaking at Massey University last year.

Episode 3: Dr David Cumin interviews Grover Norquist

Dr David Cumin interviews Americans for Tax Reform founder Grover Norquist on the difference between the United States approach to free speech and New Zealand's approach, and the role that media plays in information and censorship.

If you have any feedback or suggestions on who we could approach to interview please don’t hesitate to email us!

Thank you again for making this work possible.

Patrick Corish
Free Speech Coalition

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