Over 20,000 New Zealanders have now signed on as Climate Voters and in doing so signaled to our politicians that climate change will be in the forefront of their minds when they vote on the 20th September this year. It's a powerful statement, but there’s a problem.
The Electoral Commission has said Climate Voter may be in breach of the Electoral Act. If that’s left unchallenged, Climate Voter and the six groups backing it could be subject to a range of legal requirements and restrictions that would make it difficult for us to continue.
We strongly believe that Climate Voter should not be captured by this legislation.
This is really important. And it’s far bigger than Climate Voter. It’s about democracy and it’s about freedom of speech. There’s a very real risk that, if this interpretation of the law stands, many advocacy and civil society groups in New Zealand could effectively be gagged. That’s simply not what the Electoral Act was intended to do.
So we’re going to the High Court to test the electoral act. Papers were filed today and all six groups will stand together and defend Climate Voter and the right to free speech.
If you think climate change should be on the political agenda, and you think free speech is important in our democracy, you can make our case stronger by signing on now as a Climate Voter and then sharing the link on Facebook, Twitter, and emailing it to your circle of contacts.
Climate Voter is a non-partisan alliance powered by Greenpeace, Oxfam, 350, GenerationZero, Forest & Bird and WWF.