Online speech regulator to protect Maori rights...what about everyone else?

With all that has happened this week, and with the focus on the election, I am asking you to take a moment to speak up for equal speech rights.

The Department of Internal Affairs released a proposal for a new way to regulate social media and traditional media platforms.

Like any proposal that comes from this Government, the recommendations in this document are yet another departure from equality before the law. Among the many proposed changes, there are specific protections proposed for Maori to be able to speak freely without the limitations applied to others.

This is an outrageous affront to the human rights of every New Zealander who does not have Maori heritage. It is vital that we respond to these proposals with strong opposition. 

We have provided some information and suggested comments on our website and a link to the tool on the Free Speech Union website.

It is clear that there is an intention to restrict open dialogue in media and on online platforms. What is very important for Hobson's Pledge supporters like you to know, is that these kinds of restrictions would apply directly to the communications from advocacy groups. We cannot allow ideological regulators the power to shut down the work that we do.

I know this is yet another submission tool, but this is about what information you will be able to see online in the future. It is about what groups like Hobson's Pledge will be able to talk to supporters about. It is not an exaggeration to say that this is another attack on the fundamentals of democratic engagement.

Please make a submission today. 

Do it today. There are just five days until submissions close.

As we defend our democracy this election, the reality is that without the ability to share information and engage in public discourse we would have already lost.

Please take the time to make your voice heard, before it is too late.