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462Census Prosecution Verdict Due Tomorrow

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  • Libertarianz Media Centre
    May 28 7:42 PM


      Census Prosecution Verdict Due Tomorrow

      Libertarianz member and former candidate Nikolas Haden will appear in
      court on Wednesday May 30 to hear the verdict in the census
      prosecution case, following his trial last month when Mr Haden
      defended himself on Bill of Rights grounds.

      Mr Haden is being prosecuted for refusing to fill out the 2005 census
      and telling the enumerator that he burned the forms. Destroying
      census forms and refusing to fill out the census are both offences
      under New Zealand law.

      Mr Haden's defence was that he had the right to freedom of speech and
      that this included the right to remain silent. The government has no
      right to demand information from people under the threat of
      prosecution. Other countries are increasingly using alternatives to
      censuses because of growing public concern about governments gathering
      such information. New Zealand should be looking at these
      international precedents for guidance into ways to obtain what little
      information governments really need without violating individuals'
      rights, and at considerably lower cost.

      Liberarianz are concerned that Mr Haden's prosecution was very
      selective. Statistics NZ employees revealed on the witness stand that
      about 92,000 New Zealanders didn't fill in the 2006 census; about 3000
      directly refused to fill in the forms. Yet only 72, including Mr
      Haden, were actually charged. It is unclear why Mr Haden was selected
      for prosecution, although his public protest against the census may
      have been a factor.

      If found guilty Mr Haden will be required to fill in the census form,
      even though Statistics NZ has admitted that they won't actually use
      any of the information written on the form as the census results have
      already been published.

      Mr Haden appears in the District Court at 2.15 pm and can be contacted
      afterwards on (027) 444 4143.


      For more information contact:

      Nik Haden
      Libertarianz Census Spokesman
      Phone: 027 444 4143
      Email: nik.haden@...

      Libertarianz - More Freedom, Less Government