Submission to the Ministry of Justice regarding proposals against incitement of hatred and discrimination

TINZ is generally supportive of the proposals for change.

A stable and thriving economy and society rely on integrity systems that facilitate checks and balances on power, transparency of decision-making and information, the ability to speak up about wrongdoing, and to see this investigated; It also relies on the ability for people to explore issues, participate in public debate and policy formation.

Our interest in this topic focuses on the balance between the free exchange of ideas and the responsibility that comes with that due to the impact that the voicing and influence of ideas can have on others. It is clear that there are communities and individuals who are more likely to be the targets of victimisation and discrimination. Our law needs to offer them protection. At the same time it should not generate either the perception or the actuality of unreasonable control over opinion, political positions and the exploration of ideas. There is a genuine risk that increasing legal control will further strengthen the belief of those who hold and promote hateful views. It is a difficult balance.

We appreciate the need to keep the law current. However we strongly encourage? more public discussion around what is intolerable speech, as our community becomes increasingly diverse - culturally, socially and politically. There is a need for more careful consideration and research into how to counter polarisation of political thought (across the political spectrum) that might engender hatred. We also urge structured monitoring of the impact of this legislation over time.

Read our complete submission.

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