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Why is the Press silent on the suppression of free speech in public spaces? (Safe Areas)


The Press.

Dear Sir,

Why is the Press a leading defender in our community of free speech remaining silent about the imposition of a suppression of a free speech zone in Christchurch under the misleading designation “safe area”. The Minister of Health has imposed a safe area zone of 150 metres around the Christchurch Women’s Hospital and the Christchurch Public Hospital on the pretext that women seeking an abortion at these facilities are being harassed and intimidated. She has conveniently ignored the fact that this legislation is unnecessary as the Summary Offences Act addresses harassment and intimidation.The real reason for this suppression of free speech is that the government wishes to suppress all opposition to abortion. The safe area comes into effect on 25th August 2023 and extends into the Botanic Gardens. Does the Press support this unjustified suppression of free speech? How can peaceful citizens enjoying the beauty of the Gardens intimidate and harass women on the fourth floor of the Public Hospital or at Christchurch Women’s, both on the other side of the Avon river? If the Press refuses to defend our human rights of free speech and assembly guaranteed by the NZ Bill of Rights who will?

Yours faithfully,

Ken Orr.