Turn away for long enough and I find the NZ government does something outrageous to curtail freedom and to expand Nanny State, sure enough it has with the Orwellian sounding "Harmful Digital Communications Act". Even if I supported it, if I was a Minister getting that title passed over my desk by a Ministry of Justice manager, I'd have tore a strip off of her or him for having had a complete lack of any education in either literature or history to give ANY legislation such a title.
The purpose of the Act as well has shades of Big Brother:
"to deter, prevent, and mitigate harm caused to individuals by digital communications; and
provide victims of harmful digital communications with a quick and efficient means of redress"
It's a curious post-modernist trend for laws to be created not to protect rights based on well worn principles of individual rights and freedoms, property rights, contracts and torts, but to "prevent harm" - to have laws to sanitise life so that "everyone" is protected.
However, the term "harm" doesn't mean physical harm. There is no need for new laws covering an actual infringement of your body (although the digital dimension does justify ensuring laws protect your property and covers contracts and torts), for such laws exist - in abundance - including ones to protect you from yourself. The harm being covered is, what "The Flight of the Conchords" would say are "hurt feelings".
Being offended, is to be harmed. To be distressed by what someone else has said, is to harmed. This goes beyond defamation, which is - indeed - damage to one's property in the form of your reputation. It's an almost childlike drive to make everything structured and inoffensive. In the UK, it came out in its most absurd form a few months ago with the National Union of Students Women's Conference saying:
"Some delegates are requesting that we move to jazz hands rather than clapping, as it's triggering anxiety. Please be mindful"
I didn't make that up. If someone is a little bit upset, then everyone else must conform to avoid upsetting that person. It's the radical so-called "progressive" identity politics champions being manufactured by post-modernist university departments out of air headed students raised on this form of Newspeak.
So the Harmful Digital Communications Act is about "serious emotional distress". It is now a crime in New Zealand to make someone else upset, digitally (now now!). I know I did that when I separated from my wife, thankfully I didn't do it by text message today, or I might be in trouble.
However, let's see how you might get into trouble, because Amy Adams, the National Party, the Labour Party, the Maori Party, NZ First and much of the Green Party thinks your freedom of speech should be curtailed, in case it distresses someone. Kudos to ACT's David Seymour for standing up to it, and indeed Russel Norman, Gareth Hughes, Julie-Anne Genter and Steffan Browning for having thought about it.
I know this legislation has had much coverage online for what's bad about it, but it deserves constant attention, and every single MP who voted for it needs to be exposed for their moronic endorsement of it. It's a disgrace to all who voted for it, and if anything indicates clearly how utterly incompetent they are in being able to apply principle and concepts to problems and issues, it is this law.
I encourage all to push the boundaries of this law to expose this incompetence.