top of page

Free Speech

The right to challenge and critique ideological concepts, policies and practices that negatively impact upon the human rights of female people.  Removing the legal right of women to free speech related to sex roles and gender.



H/T LAVA (Lesbian Action for Visibility in Aotearoa):

The Free Speech Union (FSU) of New Zealand was to kick off a series of university union meetings at Auckland University of Technology (AUT) on 26 April 2022. In the first of this nationwide lecture series, FSU member Daphna Whitmore was scheduled to speak about her experience with Speak Up for Women, an advocacy group whose events in previous years had been canceled by several councils around New Zealand. In 2021, Speak Up for Women won against the Palmerston North City Council who had barred the group from holding an event on council premises.

The start of the lecture series at AUT had been arranged without difficulties months ago, but only when the union advertised the event, the trans lobby became aware of it and started their cancel campaign.

FSU wrote in their latest newsletter, “AUT staff, like Lexie Matheson (a transgender lecturer), became aware of the event and have been lobbying the university to not allow us to hold the event. Part of the reason we became a trade union was so that we could rely on our 'union access' rights to hold meetings on employer premises if activists tried to block us. (You can hear us discuss the issue on our latest podcast).“

Hate Speech Legislation proposal does not allow for the open discussion of issues and has been used in other countries to silence critics of government policies and changes.  It also provides an avenue for the police and justice system to be used as a weapon against disagreement.  As well as impacting on the livelihood and employment of those deemed "hateful" which is a subjective view.

Criminal acts should already have appropriate levels of discouragement and punishment.  This legislation will create two levels of victim, harm and punishment.  It works against fairness and dispassionate and even justice.

Until NZ media stops self-censorship regarding this topic, here is Andrew Doyle briefly outlining some of the considerations and consequences of such legislation:




When attempting to hold public events discussing the impact of the legislative change to the BDMRR bill Speak Up for Women had venues cancelled by local authorities across the country. 


Speak Up for Women challenged these actions by taking Palmerston City Council to court for replacing their scheduled meeting with a debate from both sides after a complaint regarding the meeting was received that described Speak Up For Women as a "hate group".


JUNE 2021:  A High Court ruling determined that there were impacts on Speak Up For Women's "fundamental rights of freedom of expression and peaceful assembly" and that Palmerston City Council were at fault.

Speak Up For Women Events were cancelled and/or publicly discredited by several local authorities and political representatives during the public consultation period for the changes of the BDMRR bill:


Auckland City Council - cancellation of cancellation after High Court ruling - and response on Our Auckland website.

Christchurch City Council:  Cancellation of booked event - Stuff article:

"Speak up for Women NZ wanted to host a talk about sex self-identification on Tuesday and booked a room at Tūranga three weeks ago, but received notification that its booking had been cancelled on Monday.

After appealing the decision, the group was also told its meeting would not be permitted in any of the city’s libraries.

An email from library manager Chris Hay, seen by Stuff, said the subject of the group’s meeting may be in conflict with the library’s code of conduct, “particularly our commitment to providing a safe and welcoming environment”.

Dunedin City Council - Statement AFTER the High Court ruling - Otago Daily Times

The council decided in late May to cancel a Speak Up for Women New Zealand event, planned to take place at the Dunedin City Library on June 17.

At the time, the council posted on Twitter that "We strive to ensure our libraries offer an environment where all members of our community can feel welcome and safe".

But this afternoon the council released a statement saying a rescheduled event will go ahead at the Dunedin Centre."

Palmerston City Council:  Stuff article

"In a response to Stuff under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act, the council said the booking was reversed after councillors approached it with concerns from community groups.

Those councillors were Rachel Bowen and Lorna Johnson, and the council said the call was made by “council officers at an executive level”.

The council statement said the organisation had no opinion about the costs it incurred.

Bowen said she was approached by groups from the rainbow community about whether the meeting would be a safe and inclusive event.

She said the court hearing was a useful process and Speak Up For Women was entitled to test the council ruling.

In his decision, Justice Gerald Nation said the booking cancellation involved a “serious failure” in recognising Speak Up For Women’s rights under the Bill of Rights."


Lower Hutt mayor:  "Campbell Barry posted on Facebook last week saying: "If this group needs a venue in the Hutt, I've got some nice new waste bins they can use?" - Herald article 2021

Wellington mayor and councillors: after High Court Ruling and when Wellington Council event was confirmed - NewsHub article:

"In response to the group using the Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington Mayor Andy Foster and councillors Fleur Fitzsimmons and Teri O'Neill organised for the building to be lit up in the colours of the transgender flag."



Claims of 'hateful' and 'dogwhistle' not upheld by Advertising Standards Authority


Speak up for Women - sought a ruling from the Advertising Standards Authority, when their billboard with this definition which removed after complaints, by the billboard company. - 1 News

"Wellington Phoenix general manager David Dome tweeted that he had asked Go Media for their position on the situation, as the club and billboard company are partners.

He tweeted the billboard’s message and said it is "certainly is at odds with the club’s position on diversity and inclusion and specifically LGBTQI+".

Go Media's general manager, Simon Teagle, told 1 NEWS it removed the billboard as soon as it started fielding calls from offended New Zealanders.

"We believe it maybe in breach of ASA codes, and therefore the advertising material in breach of our contract. We have subsequently notified the advertiser. We have placed the contract with the advertiser on hold until a clear determination from the ASA is provided.

"Go Media is an inclusive, locally-owned New Zealand business and we support all communities. While we believe in freedom of speech, we do not condone content that upsets our community. We apologise unreservedly for any distress this may have caused anyone, and remedied the situation as soon we could.""

Otago Daily Times was also the recipient of complaints when they published an advertisement the the same definition - NewsHub


ASA Ruling.PNG
bottom of page