My Submission to Government re: Proposed Hate Speech Laws

Olivia's picture
Submitted by Olivia on Mon, 2021-07-05 23:46

by Olivia Pierson

The government’s discussion document is here:

Personal submissions from NZers can be submitted here until August 6th: https://consultations.justice....

Go ahead and have your own say!


Submitted to Incitement of Hatred and Discrimination in Aotearoa New Zealand Submitted on 2021-06-30 12:25:06

Proposal 1:
Change the language in the incitement provisions so that they protect more groups that are targeted by hateful speech
Do you agree that broadening the incitement provisions in this way will better protect these groups?


Why or why not?:

Hateful speech is not a crime and should remain not a crime.
Inciting violence, death or grievous bodily harm toward an individual or individuals is a crime and should remain a crime.

In your opinion, which groups should be protected by this change?


“Groups” is sloppy political rhetoric by those who advance collectivist groupthink. There is no such entity as a group, there are only individuals.
Legal individual rights and citizen protections apply to individuals.

Do you think that there are any groups that experience hateful speech that would not be protected by this change?
Groups not protected:

Indeed. All individual citizens who do not actively identify with a particular group, which is most of NZ.

Proposal 2:
Replace the existing criminal provision with a new criminal offence in the Crimes Act that is clearer and more effective
Do you agree that changing the wording of the criminal provision in this way will make it clearer and simpler to understand?


Why or why not?:

No. The waters have already been muddied by Section 61 which encourages groupthink along the lines of race, colour and ethnicity.
All NZ citizens are individuals deserving of protections under the law concerning their physical safety, including their private property, no matter what race they are.

Do you think that this proposal would capture the types of behaviours that should be unlawful under the new offence?


Why or why not?:

Nobody needs to be protected from verbal abuse or insulting speech by the law.
It is already a criminal offence to incite violence, death or grievous bodily harm toward any individual.

While nobody enjoys being insulted or verbally abused, it should not fall into the category of being a crime unless it meets the threshold of libel or defamation causing actual harm to a person’s good name or reputation.

Proposal 3:
Increase the punishment for the criminal offence to up to three years’ imprisonment or a fine of up to $50,000 to better reflect its seriousness
Do you think that this penalty appropriately reflects the seriousness of the crime?


Why or why not?:

It is utterly ridiculous to even consider sending people to prison or fining them for offending someone’s feelings. This is an abuse of state power.

If you disagree, what crimes should be used as an appropriate comparison?
Proposal Three: If disagree what crimes should be used as comparison:

Exercising the right to an expressed opinion should not be a crime unless it meets the high threshold of libel or defamation causing significant damage to a person’s reputation.

Proposal 4:
Change the language of the civil incitement provision to better match the changes being made to the criminal provision
Do you support changing this language in section 61?


Why or why not?:

Hatred and contempt are feelings. No law, either civil or criminal, should be making legislation around people’s feelings. This is absurd on its face.

Do you think that any other parts of the current wording of the civil provision should be changed?


Why or why not?:

The Human Rights Act should not trump our Bill of Rights Article 14:
Freedom of Speech
"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."

Proposal 5:
Change the civil provision so that it makes 'incitement to discrimination' against the law
Do you support including the prohibition of incitement to discriminate in section 61?


Why or why not?:

People should be free to judge/discriminate in their expressed opinions about anything or anyone without fear of the law. What matters is that all citizens are equally protected under the law when it comes to physical harm, injury or property. This new law will create crimes with no actual victims.
Hurt feelings are not a basis on which to create laws.

Proposal 6:
​Add to the grounds of discrimination in the Human Rights Act to clarify that trans, gender diverse, and intersex people are protected from discrimination
Do you consider that this terminology is appropriate?


Why or why not?:

It’s utterly appalling to legislate around hurt feelings.

Do you think that this proposal sufficiently covers the groups that should be protected from discrimination under the Human Rights Act?


Why or why not?:

This proposal will do nothing except create totalitarian laws which discriminate against a citizen's right to freedom of expression and open debates. It is anti liberty, anti civilisation and anti human flourishing.
It will only create a seething underbelly of hatred toward our laws and towards those who write them and those who enforce them.
In short, this entire proposal will turn our democracy against itself by creating unprecedented divisions amongst its people.
It’s undemocratic.

Do you consider that this proposal appropriately protects culturally specific gender identities, including takat■pui?
Not Answered
Why or why not?:

MoJ's Form

Graham Hill's picture

It seems to me that the MoJ form frames the debate.

What of the reverse onus of proof etc

I assume that the answers will be tabulated into some form of data matrix as a matter of processing ease.

Free speech is determined by philosophy but some legal drones call that being 'academic'; however, ideas have real-world consequences once out of the universities such as the 17thC puritan revolution and Marxism and Critical Theory. Thus:

(1) Collectivists (Marxists Socialists etc) want uniformity of opinion and thought;

(2) Neo-Liberals seem to be individualistic and want a series of "freedom froms" and little in the way of correlative duties-aka social obligations. My experience of certain legal neo lib i[group] was that it was not interested in other people's opinions- it is only their free speech particularly if it is at odds with theirs. Added to which there is an anti-intellectual tendency in neo liberlism;

(3) the Classical liberal position is pro the individual and free speech and the rights of the individual, freedom from paternalism; people are to be robust but are also to have inbuilt morality and judgment aka decency. Mill mentions minority discourse is to be polite when confronted with dominant discourse;

(4) The Conservative position has absorbed the former as the collectivist's mindset has advanced in our culture. It accepts the values we have inherited and I would say that it is pro-John Milton's Aeropagitica, that the value in free speech is to ascertain the truth as a social good. A culture of PR spin and lies is doomed. It points to intellectual freedom and freedom of conscience.

The Conservative position assumes the Mitonian vision which in my view is the right one to hold. Yet as Michael Knowles says in Speechless (2021) it tends to:

Conservatives have failed to thwart political correctness because most do not understand what it is. They have portrayed political correctness and its derivatives, including “wokeism” and “cancel culture,” as “censorship,” which we must oppose in the name of “liberty.” These bumper sticker arguments reveal that conservatives understand as little about liberty and censorship as they do about political correctness.

I have written pieces to move from the 'bumper sticker arguments' to get on to the next rung of the ladder of understanding, for BFD et al which I cannot get published. as I do not fit the publication style criteria. I understand that. People will raise their reading age to know. Yesterday, I received my copy of Mark Levin's American Marxism which is a good place to start to get substantive arguments up and running . It is to be noted that one (maybe more) Special Rapporteurs to the UN on Free Speech have counselled against hate speech legislation. Flow on 2nd order consequences, and the Woke Clerisy are not good at this, militate against the rush to hate speech

I do think that s 61 HRA 1993 should have religion added to it so as to protect Christians among other faiths. And incitement left as it is. "Stirring up" is too vague and elastic. would it involve the state as a plaintiff if there are protests and differing opinions? Noting that the 'misinformation witch hunt is rolling out here as it is in the USA.

The real essence involved or crux is that of freedom of conscience, that which defines the individual. That has a religious origin. It also holds that human nature exists and exists over time. It also has standards about objective nature.

Marxists do not accept this and Gramsci's advocated the need to upend common sense which is based on experience and physical reality. Marxist's argue for the social construction of the world. Groups 2,-4 above are suffering from false consciousness. Critical Theory advocates reject the law, objective knowledge and the western civilisation. Thus we get galimatias like Geology is racist; 2+ 2=4 is 'white patriarchal supremacy

Following Rousseau, they say society is at fault and all can be fixed with legislation and people are plastic non-entities and can be moulded and re moulded thereby. THs was said when the firearms legislation arrived

This is actually the real debate. for earlier pieces. Not all the old ones are up yet but many are featured on Solopassion thanks to Mr Perigo.

(No subject)

Judi McFarland's picture


Excellent Judi!

Olivia's picture

Thanks for that, it is very good.

My Submission

Judi McFarland's picture

Proposal 1: NO
Free speech is an absolute, inherent in Freedom that underpins civilized society.
The government's ONLY responsibility is the protection of Individual Rights, and that includes protecting the conditions that promote Freedom. Freedom is the only condition that supports human life. An Individual must be free to think, to make choices, in accordance with his/her rational self-interest. It is this condition that propels mankind toward a more prosperous society where each individual, in justice and in nature, is able to live his/her own life free from interference from others. It is Freedom that has enabled Man to bring himself out of the caves and rise to the greatest, most prosperous and most benevolent civilization that has ever existed. Free speech is a fundamental absolute corollary of freedom to think, make choices, gain knowledge, act and prosper. No one, no other, no group, no gang, no government or any other entity has a right to silence another human being.
The fact of a 'survey,' of asking the question, rests on the Individual (respondent) being able to think. Without free speech, there will be no thinking, no knowledge, no innovation, no human advancement. So, NO.
Proposal 2: NO
The Law as it stands is adequate, sufficient, enough to respond appropriately to any infringement of another person's right to think and act.
A Law must remain Objective. The proposed changes introduce an unacceptable level of subjectivism and vagueness as to render it impossible to know how to interpret it, to whom it will apply, what a penalty would actually penalize. A non-objective Law is a contradiction in terms - it cannot be applied equally to all or any individual, and has no place in our judicial body. Every Man and Woman is equal before the Law.
Proposal 3: NO
To even contemplate initiating legislation that would penalize 'insult' is to remove one's self from the realm of human interaction.
The very idea of amending our current legislation in the manner proposed is an 'insult' and offense to any rational human being. The very wording of this question strongly indicates that the promoters have already determined the proposed amendment will be come Law, and are giving only lip-service to soliciting genuine, good faith input from affected parties. I do not sanction this farcical process.
Proposal 4: NO
Government shall make NO Law that undermines the freedom of the Individual to think, to make choices, to act according to his/her rational self-interest. Any infringement on the conditions for Freedom is to undermine Freedom in its entirety - there is no half-way, there are no degrees of Freedom. A Man/Woman is free, or is a slave to some external entity other than himself/herself. A Man/Woman must be free to gain knowledge; gaining knowledge depends upon learning, listening, speaking, communicating all manner of ideas and thoughts. NO GOVERNMENT and no other entity has a right to prevent the free transmission of ideas.
Proposal 5: NO
Humans are thinking beings. Thinking requires discrimination, discrimination is judgement. We exist through making judgements, identifying similarities and differences, conceptualizing sensory perception into usable data towards understanding our existence. In order to live and thrive we must discriminate between what is good (for life) and what is evil (against life). To include the proposed prohibition of incitement to discriminate is to wipe out the very means by which humans survive and live.
The ONLY terminology that is acceptable in law is: INDIVIDUAL. With that: each, every, all, are equal under the Law.
The proposal goes against every basic necessity of Freedom that applies to each and every human being. This precludes any group, collective, tribe, gang, caste, or any other division of individuals into collective order.
Government shall make NO law that infringes on the rights of the individual. Each is a thinking, discriminating being who requires Freedom to live. Individual Rights are not to be granted nor penalized, nor revoked at the whim of any government - not yesterday, not today and not tomorrow.

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