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Dr Muriel Newman

Dr Muriel Newman

Political Correctness Threatens Free Speech

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It is said, that free speech is a sign of a healthy democracy, but are people really free to speak their mind in New Zealand today?

At one time it was OK for someone to be offended by what others said. They were told to toughen up and get on with life.

In the eighties, our great Kiwi entertainer Billy T James, epitomised free speech: Rangi gets a job felling trees up North. At the end of his first day, the foreman comes to check on his work. Rangi has felled only one tree. ‘What the hell’s going on here, Rangi?’ Rangi says, ‘This bloody saw’s no good, boss.’ The boss says, ‘Here, give us a try.’ He starts up the chainsaw. Rangi looks startled. ‘What’s that noise, boss?’

It was of course, all intended to be good fun, but even Billy T was called a racist towards the end.

Parliament passed a law to protect free speech in 1990. Section 14 of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act states, “Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive and impart information and opinions of any kind and in any form”.

But in 1993, those rights were tempered by the introduction of the Human Rights Act. Section 61 restricts free speech by making it an offence to express ‘threatening, abusive, or insulting’ opinions likely to ‘excite hostility’ or ‘bring into contempt’ any group of persons on the grounds of ‘colour, race, or ethnic or national origins’

Under Section 131, anyone breaching the law by inciting hostility, ill-will, contempt, or ridicule, could face a criminal conviction: “Every person commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months or to a fine not exceeding $7,000”.

However, the Human Rights Commission makes it clear, that our right to free speech protects people making controversial or offensive remarks – unless they are inciting serious ethnic tension or unrest: “Only where there is the potential for significant detriment to society can the right to freedom of expression be limited”.

A further safeguard to free speech exists in the form of Section 132 of the Act, which requires the express approval of the Attorney-General before any prosecutions can proceed.

The Commission advises anyone taking offense at someone’s remarks to address their concerns to the publisher or broadcaster, as well as the Broadcasting Standards Authority, the Advertising Standards Authority, or the New Zealand Press Council. They also suggest “the best action is for people to take their concern to the person’s employer… Most have codes of conduct that do not tolerate racially offensive comments.”

So while our right to free speech is protected in law, these days speaking freely can have a significant social cost. That’s especially the case when the debate touches on such issues as gender and race, which have become a focus for politically correct activists promoting their cause and imposing their values onto others.

Anyone critical of their agenda is likely to be hounded and persecuted by the PC brigade – their objective is to intimidate and silence opposition, by making people afraid to speak their mind in case they get attacked. And these new age vigilantes can be found everywhere, but especially on social media, in the media, and in the Human Rights Commission.

Yet, expressing personal views, no matter how messy or clumsy, is the essence of free speech in a democratic society – and the very reason why it is protected in law. In robust debates, people can be undiplomatic or thoughtless about what they say and how they say it, but that’s OK. What’s not OK is to socially criminalise someone to deter others from speaking out.  

We saw this all too clearly a couple of years ago when Kevin Roberts, the executive chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi, attracted a storm of protest from feminist groups for saying he didn’t believe there was a lack of gender diversity in the advertising industry.

Massey University Chancellor Chris Kelly suffered the same fate for explaining that a shortage of vets in rural areas was partly caused by women vets taking time off from their careers to raise a family.

In both cases, feminists twisted their comments, claiming they were sexist and insulting to women. That’s not what was intended in either case, yet both men were forced to resign.

This week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator, broadcaster and champion of free speech, Lindsay Perigo, believes that the battle for free speech in New Zealand has already been lost:

“The Fascists of the Left have won. Free speech in New Zealand is dead.

“Free speech’s strangulated status became obvious, if it were not already, when the National Business Review cravenly capitulated and removed Sir Bob Jones’ most recent column from its website. That was the column in which he proposed replacing Waitangi Day with Maori Gratitude Day: I have in mind a public holiday where Maoris bring us breakfast in bed or weed our gardens, wash and polish our cars and so on, out of gratitude for existing…

“A seemingly disparate development coincided with the Jones brouhaha. The High Court rejected an appeal by Louisa Wall, Labour MP for Manurewa, against an earlier finding by the Human Rights Tribunal that two cartoons by Al Nisbet, published by Fairfax, about a new taxpayer-funded Free Food for Schools programme were not in breach of Section 61 of the Human Rights Act.

“One of the cartoons depicted a group of dark-skinned adults, dressed as children, eating breakfast at school and saying, Psst . . . If we can get away with this, the more cash left for booze, smokes and pokies. The other showed a dark-skinned family sitting around a table littered with Lotto tickets, alcohol and cigarettes and saying, Free school food is great! Eases our poverty and puts something in you kids’ bellies.

“The High Court ruled that while the cartoons were undeniably insulting, they were not in breach of the law.”

But the High Court ruling had a sinister side in that it directed newspaper editors to ‘reflect’ on the publication of ‘objectively offensive’ material.

Lindsay Perigo believes this will result in the eventual ban of the publication of all such material.

We’ve seen this before.

After the Human Rights Commission announced in 2015, that they had begun monitoring newspapers for articles they perceived to be negative to Maori and therefore ‘racist’, there was an immediate drop off in any such stories.

It’s probably the reason why most New Zealanders are completely unaware that our entire coastline has been claimed by opportunistic Maori tribal groups – newspapers haven’t been reporting it.

That’s why we published all tribal applications to the High Court on our NZCPR.com website HERE – to enable the media and the public to see for themselves, what claimants are after. Some of the claims include the right to “take” dolphins, whales, seals and penguins, along with all species of fish, shellfish, and birdlife. Some are after sand, gravel and all other minerals. Many want their whole claimed areas declared wahi tapu in keep the public out.

All of this would undoubtedly be of great interest to newspaper readers, yet the fact that most editors have not reported it would suggest they are afraid of being called racists by the Human Rights Commission. They no doubt want to avoid the hassle and risks of responding to such accusations.

But in capitulating to the Human Rights Commission’s politically correct agenda, these editors are failing to uphold their crucial Fourth Estate public watchdog role, and as a result, are letting down the public and the principles of their profession.

Political correctness is now having a hugely detrimental impact on free speech in New Zealand. But it’s not just stories about race that are being suppressed.

When did you last see balance in articles on climate change in the media, explaining that while the Armageddon computer model predictions of climate scaremongerers are dire, real-life evidence shows that the climate is continuing to change within the bounds of natural variability?

And when did you last see a positive story about gender balance highlighting the fact that the pendulum has now swung too far against men? Look at teaching – the lack of male teachers in the profession is a national disgrace. Everyone knows that children need male role models – especially those growing up in homes without fathers. Yet just 12 percent of primary school teachers are male and only two percent in the early childhood education sector.

The response to this crisis by the Ministry of Education, where over 77 percent of employees are women, is pathetic. They claim they have been told by the Human Rights Commission that they cannot discriminate in favour of male teachers in their recruitment programmes – because men are not a disadvantaged group! 

Surely the politicians pushing for gender equality in the State sector should now be weighing in and calling for more males in the education profession!

The anti-male bias, driven by feminists, is changing how people speak.

An on-line writing tool produced by Purdue University, demonstrates how students are being instructed against using language that could be ‘offensive’ to women. They suggest replacing words with “man” in them, such as ‘mailman’, with alternatives such as ‘mail carrier’, and they recommend using gender neutral pronouns such as ‘they’ and ‘their’, instead of the generic male pronouns ‘he’ and ‘his’.

In fact, pronouns have been the focus of a great deal of controversy in Canada. In 2016, “gender identity or expression” was incorporated into the Canadian Human Rights Act and Criminal Code, as prohibited grounds of discrimination. This required the pronouns ‘he’ and ‘she’ to be replaced by the gender neutral ‘they’ or any of the raft of new politically correct made up words, such as the ‘co’, ‘xie’ ‘ze’, and ‘ey’, that might be preferred by transgender people.

Their new law is based on the radical view that a person’s gender identity is fluid and can move at different times in their life: “People may identify with a concept of gender that is aligned with the sex they were assigned at birth, or they may identify with a gender that is different from their sex assigned at birth or simply self-identify with a non-traditional or non-stereotypical concept of gender.”

This federal law change was strongly opposed across Canada, including by Dr Jordan Peterson, a Professor of Psychology, formerly of Harvard University and now of Toronto University, who refused to use “preferred” pronouns: “I don’t recognize another person’s right to decide what words I’m going to use, especially when the words are non-standard elements of the English language and constructs of a small coterie of ideologically motivated people. I’m not willing to mouth words that I think have been created for ideological purposes.”

In standing up to this politically correct onslaught, Professor Peterson rose from relative obscurity to become a national and international hero, speaking out against the excessive regulation in the PC universe, saying “Enough is enough – I can’t stand it anymore!”

In his view, conceiving gender to be a social construct is akin to claiming the world is flat, and he adamantly opposes politically motivated legislation that attacks free speech and forces people to become ideological puppets.

While these sorts of politically correct excesses haven’t reached New Zealand as yet, vigilance is clearly needed as it may only be a matter of time before they do.

As a staunch defender of free speech, I will leave the last words to Professor Peterson: “People often defend freedom of speech on the grounds that citizens must retain the right to criticize their leaders. That’s true, but it’s not the fundamental truth. Freedom of speech protects our societies from nihilism and despair. Freedom of speech allows us to identify the problems that beset us, to formulate solutions, and to reach consensus on the solutions. There is nothing in the absence of freedom of speech but tyranny and slavery.”


Do you believe political correctness is undermining free speech in New Zealand?


*Poll comments are posted below.


*All NZCPR poll results can be seen in the Archive.

Click to view x 120


No doubt Maddi
The other thing that is becoming intolerable is TV announcers all pronouncing Maori names as some idiot has told them and not as they would naturally. John
100% yes Monica
And how! The do gooders and useless b****-rds have taken us over completely. Jim 
When did people lose the ability to laugh at themselves? Mitch
And where will it end? Brian
Your article says it all. Max
Sadly, there is nothing new about this Laurie
I agree with Lindsay. It’s too late. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t protest vigorously at every opportunity. I like the way President Trump responds to noncence. Like Sir Bob he is very clever at showing them how foolish they are publicly. Erin
It’s bad now and will only get worse. TOBY
I am scared to reply in case it is not PC Warren
It sure is. Clark
Agree!! We should not be so offended by other opinions, rather take them for what they are – someone else’s opinion! Sandra
Time to stop the nonsense and let people say what they think without all the social media rubbish that mainstream media promulgate because they can’t be bothered doing any journalism Mike
Absolutely Mike
Absolutely  Andrew
Its encroaching on every area of life in NZ. When ever you disagree with the Governmentg policy on all those touchy subjects, it swings into action to silence you or brand you a sexist, racist, put your comments in the category of hate speech, and of course your bigoted and unloving, climate change denier and of course when you want immigration cut back, even though Auckland can not cope with the people coming in waved. Doctor LEVY Medical Health is the latest to tell us this. But no our Politicians know better. Just keep those numbers rolling. Cars clogging streets, sewage pipes can’t cope and spillages into our once pristine beaches all up he East Coast Bays. But no we would not dare cut back on immigration. Our politicians have to do their bit to please the globalists. To hell with the right to protect our own sovereignty. Lets not have any borders, let all sorts of cultures in which clash with our laws, so we can have cultural wars and chaos like many Nations around the world. Then The UN can step in and say let us control your Nation and everything will be wonderful. Unellected grey suited individuals telling us how to run our country and penilsing us if we do not obey. Look what happening in Britain with Brexit exactly this scenario Look at the hate against America, because the president wants to put America first. Then the pope says you can’t build walls. Pray tell me what is around the Popes palace. Plus a private police force. Spare me political correctness actually comes out of communism. Check it out. Dene
YES, and the SCUM that drives it should be publicly named. Athol
We are losing our RIGHTS to decide for ourselves -, We have been told too much sugar, and salt , is no longer good for us WHY? Many things we need are increasing in prices rapidly and more so every time there is an increase to wages and more money is needed to pay for increases What happened to OUR RIGHTS? We are becoming a Dictatorship— we will lose our RIGHTS and FREE SPEECH sooner than one realises if we do not stand up for our RIGHTS  Marylin
Political correctness is heavily weighted against normalcy. Graeme 
Free speech is gone in NZ, thanks to leftist/green bed wetters, the Human Rights and Race Relations commissioners. We will become an even more Police State under a Labour government. Maureen 
Absolutely. Democracy is gone and Dictatorship reigns – scary – scary Fiona
The idea that statements of fact can be offensive is insane. Facts don’t care about peoples feelings. Kenneth
This is a result of pc minorities getting a voice when in fact they should be ignored Mike
We are more and more being told what we can and can’t say. I will continue to say it as I see it. No one will tell me what I can and can’t say. This is most evident when ever anyone criticizes anything to do with maoris or maybe muslims. Tirades of racist, bigot, redneck etc. spew from those critical. We should not be put off by those types of attacks. Neil
PC is now an embedded disease that has blurred lines between common decency toward others and freedom of expression Stan
Political Correctness is a form of cultural Marxism. I have suffered first hand from our local newspaper who censor what goes in the paper. It is an example not only of media bias, but provides an unrestricted platform for left-wing/progressives to push their political ideologies. I agree with Lindsay Perigo at present it is a myth that we have lost democratic governance in New Zealand and free speech. The Foreshore and Seabed debacle is a further example of a long line of race-based legislation without ever asking for a public vote on the issue. Good article Lindsay.  Tom
Way to far. Geoff
I will have to seriously consider whether to renew my NBR subscription. Alec
Free speech in New Zealand,Who are you kidding. I would like to say what I think and know is correct but I am worried about ending up in hospital for brian surgery ordered by the P.C. brigade. The commission and the dame cannot be trusted. Johan
Absolutely. New Zealand is way down the path in restricting free speech as pointed out that NO Media coverage has been given on Maori coastal claims. Weak governments and media are being bullied by minority groups. My Canadian grandchildren have experienced the consequences of the gender law, each child being asked how they wish to be addressed when they are just kids. where are their rights to just be. The world needs more Jordan Petersons who refuses to be intimidated.  Sam
Everything and everyone is offended by minor happenings. Women have become to precious and should try standing on their own feet rather than needing a sisterhood all jumping up and down. Get out there people, add another layer of skin and enjoy other people who just may not be as “sensitive and delicate” as you are. And as for Govt’s setting PC rules – what a laugh!!!!!! Enjoy Free Speech and fight for it. Elizabeth
Without a doubt David
With little doubt, we follow the western world down the rabbit hole. Andrew
Absolutely! Mark
Feminism and the UN are using the very same fascist methodologies used by National Socialism and Communism, deliberately by design and intent..  Bryan
I wrote 3 times to National politicians about the extreme bias shown towards Maoris and I didn’t get a single answer. Paul
I am totally disillusioned about future democracy in NZ. It, free speech & journalism are dead in this country. Voting Bridges & Bennett to National party leadership does NOT help with the Maori mumbo-jumbo rhetoric we all live under. We need Fox news and a strong PM like J. Collins here, not the pc communist one we have now. Monica
People use what is said to support their own beliefs in a negative manner, instead of listening and actually understanding what is being said. John
People use what is said to support their own beliefs in a negative manner, instead of listening and actually understanding what is being said. John
Female school teachers are largely to blame for promoting this bias. Rex
Just look at North Korea Peter
Increasingly so Bo
I’m tired of political correctness. Its big children’s nonsense.  John
Yes, yes, and yes. It’s about time we all took a good look at ourselves and the direction we are going and damn well pull our heads out of our bums and start before we suffocate. Gavin
I am sick of it and it is brainwashing the young. All driven by the left academics Lenise
The silent majority don’t speak up because of fear that they will be targeted by the extremists on the left who try to silence any body who disagrees with them by ridiculing them and harassing them into silence. I dislike intensely the elite Maori Iwi who are ripping the rest of us off and it sickens me that the media never report or ridicule people who say something against them being ripoff merchants. If you want to have a fight in your family favour one of your children and the favoured one will be hated by the rest of their siblings.If you want to trouble in your country favour some of your people That is why the anti Maori sentiment is growing in New Zealand. Colin
Without a doubt. Paul
Gollie gosh i used love my shella . Soon she will only be a person. Sad but true Angus
Lets get back to basics and honest opinions and stop being precious Laurel
political correctness and lying also. Truth is fallen in the streets. Catherine
Free speech is free speech; if people don’t want to hear it walk away. Eric
There is no informed debate anymore, not for fear of offending but for fear of being ostracised. Kevin
A great article that says what we know but the government does not want to know  Edward
Gone too far already. Martin
PC is insanityand must be corrected. Ronmac
Social media may be playing the “Can’t say what we think” card as we will upset the PC brigade. However whenever two or more people get together and chat away I find this PC bull is forgotten and people tend to say what is on their minds. I am of an age now that I call a spade a spade. If the PC crowd don’t like it they can stick it in their ear. Dennis
Free speech is now confined to private conversations/. Are we next to have a political spy system like the old communist nations/ and what happenef then/ free speech is largely limited to private conversations. Are we soon to have political spies like those that existed in East Germany and Russia? Alan
PC is a form of deceit.  Sarah
PC has been taken to far Bryan
Time to put an end to this minority contrived poppycock and tell them to shut up. If they get offended – live with it! Steve
Yes. it sure has and pretty much everyone realises that but most “are afraid to say so in public”. Andrew
Yes and it has done for many years now . Roy
I struggled for PC words today to describe a person suffering from dwarfism without using the word dwarf. I ended up telling my five year old grandson that some people are very tall and some very short. His mother later explained “dwarf” carefully but in the privacy of her own home.  Ann
Those who feel offended will find a reason. , Brian
Probably not PC to say this, but to think otherwise is simply sticking one’s head in the sand. Of course, if I represent some “minority” of ANY type, I can shriek like a banshee and claim discrimination if I’m not allowed to say what MY views or feelings are… It’s all very selective. Andy
Not only in NZ. We are dealing with a global phenomenon which has been put in place by Socialist Marxist Lobbyists to control and supress views which oppose their Ideology driven agendas. And their scheme has many faces and names. Black Lives Matter — #METOO– Antifa– Gender ( all 62 of them) driven activists–‘ Feminists etc— all drive this politically correct Trojan Horse to undermine Individuality identity with one’s values( ie national identity) to destroy the very core of any society– the family–destroy the natural relationship between men and women. by promoting single parents is ok . Raise kids in day care centers and indoctrination away from their parents in early childhood centers . The list is endless— but all this can be seen as issues closely related with this evil political correctness. Michael
Has been for a long time Ron
Minority groups have seized power they are not entitled to exercise over the majority. John
It already has underminded free speech not only in nz but world wide, the sooner we get trump to shut down the un the better the world will be as its full of pc bullshit as much if not more than our parliament. Richard
AGENDA 21 demands government control of the world population. Free speech allows opposition of the ‘AGENDA’ to be heard.. Solution; suppress free speech.. A.G.R.
No doubt about it.The politicians,the do goodness ,the losers,the bludgers and Maori all will find a reason to be offended when told blunt facts .My advice to real Kiwis is be yourself and say what you think . Don
If a Maori speaker is correct to convert English words to sound Maori, then if I am speaking English why am I wrong to pronounce Maori words in my way? Murray
Also undermining critical thinking and discussion. Neville
Feminism has started this and where will it end Gareth
I agree with “Wendy” that the Human Rights Commission and Dame Susan Devoy’s role should be abolished. However the Government we have now will be too PC to do anything about it. Mary
Clearly, so-called political correctness has already undermined free speech, not only in New Zealand but in most if not all of the free world Rob
Absolutely Too many do-gooders in Parliament and in the TV channels, especially TVNZ Craig
Most definitely!! Sue
I am sick of hearing news readers and others using hackneyed phrases which are clearly designed propaganda to suit a PC agenda.  Denis
Yes you should be allowed to say what you think, if it upsets some people tell them to get over it Geoff
It seem okay for maoris to say anything about us but we are racist or worse if we have an opinion they don’t like.FREE SPEECH is dead in NZ Cindy
Absolutely! If we cant laught at ourselves and reaslise how stupid the humans race is…..how are ever going to learn from our mistakes? Ced
PC has gone mad – but it is a deliberate ploy by unseen powers who wish to destroy our normal society and replace it with ‘controlled’ power over us so that we cannot think or speak for ourselves  Russell
We need to accept truth and facts Gerard
The likes of Devoy and co are racists but in reverse by protecting those that whant everything for nothing and to hell with the general Kiwi . So get a life Maori and you doo gooders. Ken
I have endured it myself by warning people from possibly being ripped off by a friendly island man offering garden work . Copt an ear full and called racist and racily profiling people which I see as rubbish I was just stating facts Anna 
Racism is alive and well here in Paradise, But please stop making up jokes about the Irish. This group of immigrants have provided more to the progress and development of N.Z than the dark skinned immigrants of 800 years ago. I must not refer to this very cunning group as I may be called a racist. Just watch this page to witness how our P.M. is going to be sucked in ,starting with the Waitangi episode .Time is on their side ,but dont quote me ,just watch your back. John
Males have become second hand citizens. with constant ” Male Bashing ” from the feminist controlled media !!  Pierre
Absolutely. There is no such thing as’free speech’ in New Zealand. Only when it is allowed. People who do not like to offend others , or who are considerate, are stopped short, by fear of criticism , from saying what they really think.. Those with an ideological agenda, such as the LGBT, have infiltrated so far that they dominate, through use of such words such as ‘inclusiveness’ which really means ‘anything goes’ and use the legal system to enforce their views , which the man in the street would not venture to do. Politicians want votes and pander to such ideologies and the rest are silenced. Harvey 
A recent blog by Donna Laframboise, entitled” Swedish for Suicide”, highlights the control of the news media by the ruling elite. We also are going down this road, an example being the suppression of the arguments against the fraud of global warming and climate change. Donna has been discussing the book, “The Strange Death of Europe” by Douglas Murray. Sharyn
Say it like it is! We have need as a nation, to know the truth. Ross
Yes, without any doubt but I feel so helpless to do anything meaning full about despite working in Education & Special Education for 44 years & know many of the critical people & factors that have left us without any evident means of influencing stopping this onslaught against our free thought & Judeo-Christian values in particular. Cyril
Absolutely I do – no longer a freedom to discuss or debate many issues – those that disagree – just want to make a noise and to stop any discussion – especially in Universities. They screamed at Bill English but let Jacinda Adern speak in silence. Totally unacceptable  Hylton 
Political correctness is overwhelming common sense and realism Hewitt 
Let’s face it: there is no true freedom of speech in New Zealand. We have a new McCarthyism, headed largely by the Human Rights Commission, whereby even a suspicion of politically incorrect speech or behaviour attracts vitriolic attack. The pivotal problem with so-called “hate speech” is that it is entirely subjective; what one person may regard as hateful could be viewed by another as fair comment. In similar vein, taking offence is a volitional act: we can choose whether or not to be offended, just as we can with regard to becoming angry (and feeling offended is, in fact, a form of anger). It follows, that saying or writing something that results in others feeling offended, is deemed, arbitrarily, to be hateful. In other words, for someone to claim that they have been victimised by hate speech, it is only necessary for them to feel hurt; no further evidence is required. This situation ought to be utterly intolerable in our society, and yet it is widely accepted without demur. Graham
Everyone has the right to voice an opinion, and we should fight to retain that right John
The PC brigade have become too loud and we have given in to their demands no matter how ridiculous they seem. The situation in the world and in NZ is becoming intolerable, to the detriment of us all. Derek
It does not matter what the subject is,one should be able to express ones self.If I offend and am prosecuted,I relish the thought of 3 months in jail.No meal worries,no dress worries,it all sounds great. Peter
Time to push back. Graham
Stills debate &sqanders good ideas. Barry
Most certainly! Jim
Where the idiots in power cannot determine the difference between a light smack and hate driven child abuse, where these same idiots cherry pick worldwide weather events to justify a crippling tax on our farmers, how can we expect these idiots to understand for one moment a word said in jest is not an incite to riot. We cannot: free speech is already dead. Alan
Totally. All the PC nonsense is absolutely ridiculous. Even though I’m relatively careful who I say things to, I basically still speak my mind. What I say is true and we should be allowed to speak the truth, no matter whose feathers it rumples. Helen
WORLDWIDE freedom of speech is now DEAD. Ive been banned on FB for reposting overseas news, had aquintances on FB threaten to block me (I bet them to it) if I kept reposting overseas news. Bill
Ban the p c. crap Dona
It has got absolutely bonkers!  Tim
Quite vicious in the Maori Affairs Select Committee overseeing Treaty claims. They have the right to reject those whom they believe could be “unsafe”. I’ve also witnessed a submitter being shouted down before completing his delivery as he was embarrassing them with truth to which they had no answer. George
Free speech is paramount to all other freedoms in a healthy democracy. Tony
Where is this world going to and the minority shouldn’t have such clout !! Simon
P.C. is pretending you can pick up dog shit by the clean end George
I say what has to be said, if it is true, and if it offends some one, then they need to know what the truth really means. Arthur
Oh yes, in a massive way. Maori seem to have the right to say cutting things against Pakeha, but if white people talk out against the Maori and their incredulous claims, we are racists. This is not equality, not freedom of speech. Kerin
I’m sick of it. Gerhard
Too much racism in this country brought about by the insincerity and selfishness of politicians. What I am witnessing is Germany 1933. We can’t be a afraid to speak our mind. The media is a big part of it as well.  Jack
The PC Brigade, aided and abetted by the Human Rights commissioner, are doing their best to ensure that anything that might possibly offend someone (especially Maoris) is dealt with publicly so as to deter anyone from writing or saying anything that verges on someone else’s %u201Crights%u201D. One overriding reason for lack of male teachers is that they do not wish to take the risk of sexual harassment complaints. Definitely children, boys and girls, need male role models.  Laurence
Racism seems to be one sided. One side can say what they want the other sideside can’t without being in trouble David 
Little by little it is being eroded. But our successive governments seem content in their drive to snuff out what remains of our democratic rights.  Chris
Most definitely, In fact it is hard to believe how bad things are in NZ Deb
More than we realise. Fred
The ability to state your view on any subject is not something that should be legislated against. Minorities have exactly the same right to criticise and offend as anyone else but not to stop others from doing so. Murray
Free speech is being attacked in this country on a number of fronts. The ordinary person must stand strong against the attack. Gifford
More racial/political claptrap. Ian
It is utter stranguation! This country is so beautiful on the outside but sadly the rot is spreading quickly at the very core. Marilyn
PC’ ness is just another form of bullying -It’s pathetic and should be treated as such. Carolyn
I am currently defending DEFAMATION charges by the Low Volume Vehicle Technical Association and its CEO for pointing out dangerous practices, My criticisms have been recognized and changes made by the Minister and NZTA, however the damaged egos continue- next stop the Court of Appeal.  John
I voted “Yes” why? if you tell the truth you don`t have to have a good memory if you don`t then the truth hurts,. Then again if you`re a politician, nothing hurts.  Robert
I believe political correctness is undermining discussion of Treaty rights, what is a Maori etc. Scientific ineptitude is limiting discussion of climate issues such as how do you reconcile the contrary ice mass observations of the Poles in geological and contemporary time scales? Henry
Yes.. Especially if a white person says anything Maori related or not… it seems to be racist now. Census. No New Zealander category. So if mostly white but don’t practice Maori protocol. Those persons are mothing. Not European, not Maori. Are nobody. Not allowed to talk about that at all. Political correctness stops you. Charlotte
Marxism is getting a grip on our society. Control speech, control thought. Lee
Absolutely it is! And the stupid thing about it is that without being able to name and discuss social problems, how can we ever hope to fix them? Brenda
Freedom of speech is unfortunately now a thing of the past. Precious agitators seize every opportunity to resent anyone saying what they think. The gender nonsense is farcical. Graham
The worst offenders are the fractional Maoris. Mark
There are to many Goody Two Shoes having there say and using political correctness to further there causes  John
Yes definitely.  Audrey
Not only P.C. It threatens us all with a total disregard of democracy, in our actual Freedom to Think and express our thoughts and views on any subject. As Lindsay Perigo states, it is an attack focussed on the establishment of those who want their views accepted, at the expense of the majority. Subversion comes in many forms, this ideological version wrapped in a humanitarian cloth of sympathy of concern for social correctness; is as destructive to Western society as either Nazism or Communism. It gains a momentum dripping with the syrup of compassion affecting not only gender, but in the corruption of language; which shrouds its dictatorial intentions and ambition in the pursuit of total power. This “Political and Social Plague Correctness” is the “Black Death” of our Age.  Brian
People like RRC Susan Devoy have a lot to answer for, the right to free speech gets little air time or newspaper column inches but outburts against free speech get heaps. Donald
The Massey lecturer having to resign for speaking the truth is a prime example. Local vet said his remarks absolutely true but hounded by rabid PC’ers to resign.  Helen
Absolutely Neil
Freedom of speech is the right of every citizen and provided that it is fair and factual then the critics must toughen up and get an education Tom
Why aren’t newspapers doing their job in standing against the PC brigade? Alan
It is becoming a problem in all areas of life Ian
I want to say what I think . Mike
PC funded by marxists to undermine the West. Chris
The right to free speech is fundamental to a free society. Speaking freely is openness whereas suppression of that freedom represents oppression. Jenny
Free speech has degenerated into so called “hate crimes”. What was wrong with “stick and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me?” When things go beyond name calling and become physical then the full majesty of the law kicks in and a crime has been committed – no need for touchie feelie laws that shackle free speech.  David
Not entirely dead – yet. Minority ideologies have too often dictated the agendas in NZ (witness the Labour Govt on Child Poverty and employment) – but my belief in ultimate common sense remains. But keep up your contribution to it! John
Political correctness is repressive to good conversation that expresses a persons opinion .We do not wish to become mice afraid to speak out what we really feel David
Absolutely YES Brian
Without a doubt. It is now becoming unacceptable to refer to someone as He or She. True PC has gone too far. Don
Definitely Alistair
Once again minority groups are being pandered to. Sod them, a spade IS a spade! Let’s continue to look at it as such. Don
If we had free speech, then we would not need this stupid discussion! William
The rot is setting in fast Bruce
It is becoming Quite scary Lloyd
Political correctness has been introduced mostly by the liberal left to help break down ‘western society’ in their push towards socialism and communism.  Stuart
I notice a distinctly anti men attitude across society, media reporting etc. Attempts to raise the fact of males not entering the teaching profession due to concerns, even fears of being accused of sexual harassment, was almost shouted down in a recent meeting I attended. Derm
Free speech is all but dead in NZ as it is in Western Europe, Canada, the UK and parts of the US. Interestingly, it is Eastern Europe, where living memory still recalls the horrors of autocratic occupation and tyranny, that is now the one remaining bastion of free speech. Jeremy
But I will continue to say what I think – I will not be dictated to by the thought police. I urge everyone to follow this path and not be intimidated by a bevy of bureaucrats. Alan
We will become a humorless society if the speech nazis have their very unimportant and boring way. Wont even to be able to poke fun at Ozz’s and Paddys! Charlie
Yes I believe free speech is a thing of the past. men died to give us the right for free speech and a just way of life called democracy. men died in wars to keep our way of life. Which I believe is now gone. Robert
If you write one statement and replicated it so that one referred to Maori and one to European, the one referring to Maori would attract viciously worded calls of racism while the other would go in-noticed. Bruce
This is another way of NZ going down the path of pitiful behavior and insipid laws  Brianb
People should be allowed to say whatever they want to within reason without offending the target of the humour! Get over yourselves and have a good laugh ! Andrew
It’s been a huge minus for many things, Not just free speech. Ranald
Absolutely. Norm
…and getting worse by the day John
Yes, across society and particularly if one dares to challenge “what is deemed good for us” or “for the common good”  Mary
This is so true, people are afraid to speak out , because they may be labelled a racist, extremist or worse. An opinion is just that, this country seems hell bent on making the opinion of a few, dictate the view of many. And anyone that disagrees with that view a dissident. Steve
Any form of surveillance and negative comments about the right to say and feel what one thinks is anathema to freedom. Self opinionated snowflakes who have an inflated and unjustified assertion that their thoughts and no other opinions can be tolerated unless the same as theirs need to be told in no uncertain terms that their opinions are no more worthy than anyone else’s. Charles
ANY comment from me about a female is suddenly a sexist remark, leading to being ostracised & not saying anything to anyone = WRONG! Pete
One vote per person against the harm of p.c. seem enough. Ian
The yardstick for the principle of free speech can best be summed up by, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” From ‘The Friends of Voltaire’ by Evelyn Beatrice Hall  David
Yes, it’s pathetic, makes me sick Graeme
Absolutely it is. Being on social media it’s blatantly obvious that as soon as something even slightly non-PC is mentioned, the poster is attacked by a barrage of incensed Social Justice Warriors. Colin
I MUST also comment on the Media in their reporting where a persons face is splashed/pictured in/on any article even if the article is NOT about them. In some cases I would suggest that media BIAS is being used to promote a person when the article is about another matter. Carl
It’s certainly coming hard and fast e.g. call for hate speech legislation with an ill-defined meaning of “hate” (hate, like love, is in the eye of the beholder, so the beholder becomes the jury, judge and executioner) Jin
To the point of ridiculousness Barbara
Telling the actual truth seems to be a thing of the past. The problem being that the truth will inevitably cause some hurt to some individual or group. The answer may still be to toughen up! Rob
In answering “Yes”, I suggest that what we are experiencing is a creeping tide. If one were to put a line in the sand and make a comparison with 20, 30 or 50 years ago the result would be more significant than making the same comparison with last year. I say, “stiffen up and take it on the chin!” Peter
Political correctness is paving the way for subversion of all individualism. It is the tool that is being used by the left to oppress and subvert. People are so worried about being persecuted that they remain publicly silent instead of using their opinions to formulated sensible legislation through their own strength of social pressure, thereby allowing things like the anti smacking Bill to gain traction, against the majority will. Political correctness stops us from asking legitimate tough questions regarding any number of issues. Your example of Newspapers not publishing Maori Claims for coastal areas, because they want to avoid the hassle. Getting involved in hassle is what protects us from extremist overwhelm, but now days it can be very expensive and most of us can not afford it. So we are like the Jews in Germany who tried to keep their heads down and not attract attention to themselves in the hope that they could carry on living normal lives. That’s where we are heading … to the equivalent of the Jewish condition of oppression in Europe in the 1930’s. If Maori get away with their grab for the coast of New Zealand, then the rest of us will be condemned to a living hell. At that point, it’s anybody’s guess as to what will happen. Civil war I expect. That’s where political correctness is leading us. Political correctness is a construct that goes completely against human nature and sooner or later people’s frustration will erupt into mayhem. Dianna
PC is stifling debate, private concerns, even journalism which should be free to express public concerns. Nick
Case in point , the census 2018, were is the ethnicity NEW ZEALANDER Barry
The treaty bestowed equal rights for all New Zealanders. The Waitangi Tibunal is a farce and needs to be investigated. Kim
Without free speech society is doomed to be taken over by the narrow-minded bigots who consider themselves the only arbiters of correctness. Enough is enough! Shirley
Definitely. No critical analysis of anything in the media of any issue that could be racial, climatic or slightly controversial. Willy
Any person commenting on issues where maoridom is concerned is immediately labelled a racist and this is a huge barrier to free speech Nev
Yes everybody is OFFENDED and the cheats and scammers get away with dodgey deals by hiding behind the fact they are offended  Greg
Absolutely!! Campbell
Absolutely – it now appears unacceptable to express a contrary opinion about anything without inviting the wrath of the “right thinkers” of the PC brigade who now control government both centrally and locally. “Oh brave new world”!  Andrew
My Experience of refusal of a twice submitted Factual Letter to the Editor of the dominant Major Provincial Newspaper. Via one of its FREE Community Papers, with the largest circulation number in its stable. Re the 9 overlapping Coastal Claims by Maori for the Local Marine Area. Is one example of the craven undermining of Freedom of Speech, and treacherous PC capitulation. Especially when one INDEPENDENT FREE Community Paper was prepared to Print, the same Letter, along with another FREE Community Newspaper from a different Stable with lower circulation numbers, who did. The latter two , without garnering any Complaints. Jack
PC, by it’s very definition undermines Free Speech. Geoff
Let those who may take offence at a statement or illustration, present counter argument that is erudite enough to convince those making the utterance or illustration, their beliefs are wrong. Reverting to the law to suppress views that run contrary to ones personal beliefs will surely lead to a true Orwellian society where there is but one opinion – Big Brother. This not the nation I would wish to be part of. Michael
PC seems to come straight out of the commo manifesto Wayne
Political correctness has ruined our beautiful world as we knew it. Chris
PC has gone way too far, and is exploited Kevin
Absolutely. It seems that whenever anyone asks for equality in this country, some Maori activist screams, “Racist!” The agenda is to deter others from mentioning equality, and it works. Only the brave will take the chance to speak out and get called racist. Joyce
Absolutely. It’s been happening for years and is accelerating. The North Korean regime is a perfect example of what NZ could become if everyone fears speaking their mind because of the likelihood of reprisal against self or family. Alan
This problem is well summarised in your article Frank
It is not a belief. Free speech IS being sensored by prodominantly neo modernists intent on creating an unachievable & undeserving utopia of equal OUTCOMES for all.  Tracy
Not only is free speech being limited but the language used in free speech is being changed by those promoting their own interests.  Paul
Most certainly.  Robyn
What can I say? You may take offence at my comments! However I know that this platform fits nicely with my own perception of Political Correctness so I am sure that there will be no repercussions. It really is a sad situation when someone is afraid of making gender based statements. Tony
Most certainly. People have become very thin skinned. This is exacerbated by a lazy media who do not quest political correctness at all, in fact if anything theysupport it by giving it too much attention. David
Political correctness is the curse of this nation Jim
The gutless media”…iwi elite gangs…traitor chris finlayson…and all their low life followers….with their undercover manipulation of the system CHowes
Without doubt  Dick
Definitely! The liberal, “progressive” churches are the worst. (Ray is a minister of religion) Ray
as it has been for years……. Mabel
Without a doubt-the failure of the media to report so much that is happening is a national scandal. People I talk to know nothing of the claims on our coast or of most of the TOW claims and the media are directly to blame for this state of affairs. Roger
Definitely! Terry
I’m finding it harder and harder to express my feelings on the race related bigotry of the Maori elitist population. I’m afraid of the concequences that may arise from any comments that I may make publicly as I may I may be assaulted. Andrew
While liberals wield the power in the western democracies, free speech will always be undermined.,  John
Most definitely YES! “This smothering and all-encompassing doctrine seeks to dominate the very soul of the individual by turning every field of human behavior into a branch of left wing politics. With the liberal elite in control of most of society, they are using political correctness to merge – or, if you like, sink – the individual into society so that society and the individual become one. Thus the life, mind and soul of the individual will belong completely to society and not to himself. That is why individual freedom can not co-exist with political correctness; eventually one or the other must give way.” A last paragraph extract from chapter four, The Virus of Political Correctness from Robert Stanmore’s book, The FRAUD of HUMAN RIGHTS. British and New Zealand intellectuals hate this book. Don
And way more than just free speech. Unfortunately, people seem to hate all sorts of freedoms our forefathers fought for, so it will only get far worse before there’s even a hint of a chance of it getting better. Likely not in my lifetime sadly. Pavel
Another Trojan Horse for the socialists’ brave new world Peter
Absolutely! Political correctness has killed free speech in this country. Anyone speaking out gets crucified. And the media are the worst of the lot. Bryan
There is no free speech anymore in New Zealand. Left wing agitators, helped by the Human Rights Commission, have made it so dangerous to speak freely that hardly anyone does. It is a dreadful indictment of our society that we have got to this state. Paul
PC is a curse. It is destroying NZ society. The Human Rights Commission, which is leading this needs to be abolished! Andrew
Political correctness is out of control.  Gerald
There is no free speech in NZ. Everyone has to watch their Ps and Qs to the point of ridiculousness. If only we could turn back the clock. Larry
Lindsay Perigo is right – the Human Rights Commission and Dame Susan Devoy’s role should be abolished. Wendy