Pornography restrictions dropped after concerns raised by Labour and Greens, minister ‘extremely disappointed’

NZ Herald 23 June 2020
Family First Comment: “The minister’s work was partly influenced by five bills proposed by conservative lobby group Family First. The organisation’s national director Bob McCoskrie said he was “gutted” Martin’s work could not proceed. “We think the protection of young people from the proliferation of porn and the nastiness of porn available now is far greater than the so-called protection of the industry or not wanting to ruffle feathers. Parents are crying out for help. These proposals weren’t banning pornography, they were a middle ground, an opt-in rather than an opt-out. It was a pretty reasonable approach.””

Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin says she is “extremely disappointed” in her coalition partners for blocking her plans to restrict access to online pornography.

The New Zealand First MP said she failed to get agreement from the Labour and Green parties to advance a proposal which would have introduced pornography filters on home internet connections.

She accused Labour of not supporting the proposal because it was concerned about being portrayed as “nanny state” in election year.

Labour said it was not completely against the idea, but that it needed more work.

Martin, who is also Children’s Minister, drafted a Cabinet paper with measures to prevent children and young people from viewing pornography online.

It would have required internet service providers (ISPs) to install porn-blocking software with all new internet connections, forcing subscribers to “opt out” of the blocking software rather than actively “opting in” to it.

She wanted legislation to be introduced to Parliament this term.

“It’s not going anywhere,” she told the Herald. “I couldn’t get cross-party support.”

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