Labour Broadcast Policy an Affront to Bill of Rights

  • Paul East
Attorney-General

The Attorney-General, Paul East, says Labour's broadcasting policy flies in the face of rights that are protected in the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act.

"Labour's desire to influence the content of commercial radio news is reminiscent of the control former Eastern Bloc leaders had over their countries' news media. It failed behind the Iron Curtain and would most certainly be disastrous if implemented in New Zealand. Labour is arrogant to think it knows what is best for New Zealanders to hear over their commercial airwaves.

"The Bill of Rights gives everyone the right to freedom of expression, including the right to impart information and opinions of any kind, in any form - subject only to such limitations that can be clearly justified in a free, democratic society. The Labour party's proposed statutory code would certainly not pass that test.

"Labour was proud to put its name to the Bill of Rights legislation but now seems determined to introduce policies which contrast sharply with the rights and freedoms of New Zealanders.

"Labour might not like some of the news that is broadcast in this country but the reality is that freedom of expression is one of the cornerstones of a democratic society," said Mr East.