Brian Tāmaki opposes new hate speech laws

By Tumamao Harawira

The government wants to improve and amend hate speech laws and create new, hate-motivated offences in the wake of the March 15, 2019 massacre in Christchurch.

But Destiny Church's leader, Apostle Brian Tāmaki, has hit out against what he says will be a law that will infringe on his religious freedom.

“It is my fundamental human right to freely speak as I am moved, on whatsoever and howsoever, as an apostle (authority of Christ) and as a tohunga, in keeping with our tikanga,” Tamaki says. “I stand with Destiny Church and many Christians, Māori and good honest Kiwis across this country in opposition to the new hate speech legislation being proposed. Truth is not hate speech.”

But Labour MP Louisa Wall has challenged Tāmaki on his stance. 

"You can't talk hate or preach hate to a group based on their sexual orientation."

"I think we need to take a look at the intent of this piece of legislation, which is to stop normalising, stop maintaining, and stop communication that then means some groups are targeted, and people literally hate them."

Under current law, it’s a criminal offence to incite racial disharmony by publishing, broadcasting, or distributing written matter or using words that are all the following:

  1. Threatening, abusive, or insulting,
  2. Likely to excite hostility or ill-will against, or bring into contempt or ridicule any group on the ground of colour, race, or ethnic or national origins, and
  3. Intended to excite such hostility, ill-will, contempt, or ridicule.