Political Interference to muzzle free speech in Auckland City


There are some sinister actions going on in Auckland City Council. These actions are a very disturbing development in the ongoing campaign by councillor Glenda Fryer and her City Vision ticket to suppress free speech with their billboard banning proposals and an eerie fore-warning of what may come with the passing of the Electoral Finance Bill.

These photos are of a billboard and a mobile billboard that has been erected on a site on busy Dominion Road. It implores people to NOT vote for Glenda Fryer and the CutyVision ticket and calls them the "fun police". Note that it is impossible to discern the owner or the tenant of the building as you drive past this sign.

So what?, you say.

Well I received these photos anonymously, but from a mail server at Auckland City Council. I also was given information that if true shows that sinister forces are at play within the council.

Apparently the organisation that resides in the building that the sign is on is in receipt of funding from the Auckland City Council and apparently officers of the Council have contacted that organisation to request the sign be removed from the site or their funding could well be curtailed in the coming year.

Quite apart from the fact that the advertising company leases that space from the owner of the building this has very sinister implications that political pressure is being brought to bear within the council to use council officers to intimidate organisations to remove messages on or about premises that are contrary to someone elses view of the world.

It is frightening to think this is happening in Auckland let alone New Zealand and should be sending shivers up the spine of all Kiwi's that this is an indication of the future we face under the draconian Electoral Finance Bill.

The owners of the billboard space are clear in the picture, so I rang Gordon Frykberg at Oggi Billboards to ascertain if the rumours that I had received had any basis in fact. Gordon confirmed to me that discussions have taken place with Council Officers, his client, who owns the building and his client who paid for the sign. He believes that pressure is being unduly applied within council and says that this is clearly an attack on Freedom of Speech and all his client is trying to do is exercise his democratic rights to say who NOT to vote for.

It could also be construed as an attack on Freedom of Association.

I think there are serious concerns raised by my anonymous emailer, and after speaking with Gordon Frykberg serious neferious activities occuring within Auckland City Council and from their political masters.

Glenda Fryer and CityVision need to come clean on this issue and fast. There is no place for this sort of politically motivated control over Free Speech. It should be ringing alarm bells for any person supporting Free Speech and it should ring alarm bells for all of us that this is what we may see next year if the Electoral Finance Bill is passed.

There is more to this story and as it comes to hand I will post it.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.