To: Hon Kiritapu Allan
Minister of Justice
Tēnā koe Minister,
While we welcome hate speech reform to protect religious groups we, and the organisations and individuals who have signed this open letter, urge you to protect every community targeted by hate.
Now is the time to protect women, takatāpui and Rainbow people, and disabled people, who are all communities targeted by extremism, hate speech and hate crimes. We recognise the expert evidence of risk and lived-accounts, which all too clearly point to the importance of broadening protections to ensure all are made safe.
The need for protection is not theoretical. Many signatories to this letter work with or are themselves people who have lived-experience of extremism and hate speech, and the violence that follows it. Not only do they have to live with these experiences, they are further disempowered by having no recognition of that trauma or legal recourse.
We emphasise the findings of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch masjidain on 15 March 2019, which were in no way limited to the addition of faith groups to our already defunct Hate Speech laws. Instead the Royal Commission implored the Government to formulate a ‘workable legal framework’ to address hate speech, hate crimes, and to become properly responsive to emerging forms of modern extremism.
To that end, the Government formed He Whenua Taurikura, whose second national hui on combating extremism was held just last month. Such hui only work if Ministers entrusted with implementing legislative action are properly responsive to the latest trends and risks brought to our attention, by experts and communities. In the context of the presentations made at that hui, to exclude women, takatāpui and Rainbow people, and disabled people from protection, would be dangerous.
Now is the time for you to act boldly by putting these recommendations into law to make this and future governments responsive to the communities targeted by extremism and hate.
Ngā mihi nui,
Green MP and spokesperson for Ethnic Communities, Justice, and Refugees
Dr Elizabeth Kerekere
Green MP and spokesperson for Rainbow Communities, and Chair Te Mātāwaka
Green MP and spokesperson for Disability, and Women
To: Hon Kiritapu Allan