Auckland, July 25, 2018
Mayor Phil Goff is pleased that Axiomatic Media and others, supported by the Free Speech Coalition, have unilaterally withdrawn their urgent court action against Auckland Council’s decision to not offer a Council-operated venue to Canadian ‘Alt-Right’ speakers Stefan Molyneux and Lauren Southern.
Yesterday (July 24, 2018), the applicants withdrew their urgent interim application at the High Court.
The following is a Statement issued by Mr Goff:
It is good that this group, who are supported by the Free Speech Coalition, has backed down and withdrawn their urgent legal action. Their case was always weak and ill conceived.
Ratepayer money saved
More importantly, I am happy that we will not be using a ratepayer funded Council venue to hold an event that contravenes our values of diversity and inclusiveness.
I am a strong advocate of free speech but not of hate speech, where people set out to be abusive and insulting of others based on their skin colour or faith.
The right to free speech does not mean the right to be provided with an Auckland Council platform for that speech, particularly if doing so would put the public’s security and safety at risk.
Auckland is one of the most diverse cities in the world and home to people of many different faiths, religions and cultures.
It is important to Council and to me that we are an inclusive city where everyone, regardless of race, the colour of their skin or their faith are treated equally and with respect.
(Picture of Phil Goff for Indian Newslink by Narendra Bedekar/Creative Informatics)