462Census Prosecution Verdict Due Tomorrow
- May 28 7:42 PMPRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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:
Libertarianz Census Spokesman
Phone: 027 444 4143
Libertarianz - More Freedom, Less Government