NZBORA

In New Zealand, freedom of speech doesn't have to be, and currently isn't, exclusively concerned with preventing the state from punishing people for speech. Nevertheless, people sometimes claim that freedom of speech has to take on that narrow meaning.

(With Colin Gavaghan)

As a society, must we let obnoxious provocateurs have a public stage? How do we decide when others must bear the burden of their speech?  

Up until about a week ago, I and most of New Zealand hadn’t the faintest clue who Lauren Southern or Stefan Molyneux were. Having better things to do than mine the seamier veins of the internet, I still haven’t really engaged in any depth with this pair of Canadian alt-right provocateurs’ “message” (such as they have one beyond “let’s make a buck from owning the libs”).  

An Attorney-General's Report that says a Government-supported Bill is an unjustifiable restriction on freedom of expression, claims of a ban on the phrase "ballet teacher", none of which turns out to be that exciting after all (probably).

First they came for the charter school ‘teachers’, and I did not speak out ... because honestly I don’t have a strong opinion on the whole charter school thing

Then they came for the ballet teachers …

Hold on a second, they’re coming for the ballet teachers?

Wearing a wig is not a form of expression. Depending, that is, upon the sort of wig it is. And why the person is wearing it. Maybe. Hope that clears things up for you.

The Court of Appeal handed down its decision yesterday on whether, under the NZ Bill of Rights Act 1990, Phillip Smith has an expressive right to wear a wig.

The Court of Appeal has upheld Arthur Taylor's challenge to the ban on prisoner voting under the NZ Bill of Rights Act ... except that he personally shouldn't have been able to bring the case in the first place, and he still won't be able to vote. But still - exciting!

I've been writing on the issue of prisoner voting generally, and jailhouse lawyer Arthur Taylor's various challenges to the 2010 law preventing it in particular, for quite some time now.