from David Cumin of the Free Speech Union
The Department of Internal Affairs has released proposals seeking significant content regulation for media and online platforms. We must push back to keep our internet and press free:
This week, we released polling showing that only 25% of Kiwis know about the major censorship steps the Govt is planning.It’s hate speech law for the internet and stands to be the biggest reform of our digital speech rights ever. If Kiwis don’t know about it, they can’t have their voices heard (if you want to know more, read our briefing material here, or our submission to the Department of Internal Affairs).
Over 10,000 New Zealanders have submitted against these reforms. It’s a major issue and with their help we’ve taken a strong stand. But we need you to help make it stronger. Submissions are about to close, so please do it now.
Giving an unaccountable regulator the power to decide what content can be ‘shadow-banned’ is the definition of censorship by stealth. We’ve knocked back major attempts at silencing New Zealanders before. I’m confident, if you stand with us, we’ll do it again.
The New Zealand Free Speech Union is a registered trade union with a mission to fight for, protect, and expand New Zealanders’ rights to freedom of speech, of conscience, and of intellectual inquiry. We envision a flourishing New Zealand civil society that values and protects vigorous debate, dissenting ideas, and freedom of speech as cultural cornerstones.
As a trade union, we will promote members’ collective employment interests with a particular focus on the protection of their freedom of speech from employer interference. If you feel that your job could be placed in jeopardy because of thoughts or opinions you express in your private life, or if you simply want the reassurance of having the support of a community dedicated to defending free speech, then become a member today. Free speech is the bedrock on which all our other freedoms rest, yet it is currently in greater peril than at any time since the Second World War.
One of the wins of the trade union moment in the early 20th century was the 8-hour day, and the concept of employees not remaining servants to their masters once they’ve clocked off.
That is the principle we need to reestablish – to stop employers, or others, trying to get people fired for having so called ‘unacceptable’ or controversial views.
The Free Speech Union is a response to the rise of cancel culture and intolerance of free speech. We have unionised to fight the increasingly frequent instances of people suffering employment consequences for perfectly legitimate expressions of free speech.
- The University of Canterbury dragged one of their academics through a lengthy disciplinary process for a paper critical of New Zealand Universities’ connections to the Chinese Government.
- A high school teacher was doxed by a blogger and investigated by his employer for wearing a MAGA hat at an Auckland BLM rally.
- An Auckland Transport staffer was harassed and intimidated on social media for a comment on a private Facebook group which was totally unrelated to their role at Auckland Transport.
Too often employers are trying to gag their employees — or impose restrictive political views on their employees — even outside of work hours under the guise of ‘diversity’, ‘tolerance’, ‘values’ or other ironic terms.
Whatever it takes, we will defend your right to speak freely, without fear of being punished. Become a founding member here.
If you think there’s a risk you’ll be penalised for exercising your legal right to free speech, whether it’s in the workplace or the public square, you need the protection of the Free Speech Union. Only with you – and with thousands like you – can we defend free speech.
Independent media outlets committed to truthful stories and not political propaganda are who this government has in its sights: