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Ed Sheeran

Racist cartoons offensive but legal

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Manurewa MP Louisa Wall’s attempt to get two newspaper cartoons labelled as hate speech has been turned down by the High Court.

The court refused to allow an appeal against a Human Rights Review Tribunal decision that two Al Nisbet cartoons, published in response to the announcement in May 2013 of the expansion of a school breakfast programme, did not breach the Human Rights Act.

Ms Wall claimed the cartoons were so insulting the Court could conclude they were likely to excite hostility towards Maori and Pasifika.

The case was the first to be considered by the High Court in relation to section 61 of the Act, which is New Zealand’s legislative response to its treaty obligations under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

The court agreed with the tribunal that the cartoons were offensive, but they were not likely to excite hostility or contempt at the level that could threaten racial disharmony in New Zealand.


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