I have some great news — we have achieved a compressive victory against Palmerston North City Council who tried to de-platform the feminist group Speak Up for Women because the Council did not like their views.

This afternoon, the High Court granted the injunction Speak Up for Women sought (and we have been supporting) and has ordered the Council to host the event, as it was planned, tonight at 6.30 in the Palmerston North Library.  

Meanwhile, in Auckland, Speak Up for Women settled with Auckland Council and the event will go ahead on Sunday. We supported this decision. During the legal proceedings, it was disclosed by Auckland Council that they had identified a unique critical risk with the event proceeding at the original location of the Ellen Melville Centre. At this stage we can’t go into precise details of that (the Court has suppressed the particular risk).

But given this risk, Speak Up For Women agreed to the Council’s offer of the new location. The Council will also be issuing a public statement before 5 pm today which in and of itself will be a win compared to how they have previously treated freedom of speech. 

You can read the Court’s decision here. The reasons will follow (likely next week) and you’ll be the first to get them. 

Thank you to all who have chipped in to support this effort. Only with the support of thousands of New Zealanders can we stand up to defend free speech and put the would be censors on the back foot, like they are today.

Thank you for your support, 

Jordan Williams

Free Speech Union