Tim Selwyn has been sentenced to two months in prison for sedition and for his role in an axe attack on the Prime Minister's electorate office. He was sentenced to a further 15 months on unrelated fraud charges.
I've already said that the sedition prosecution and verdict (as opposed to the willful damage one) was shameful and an outrage against freedom of speech, and I stand by it. Selwyn should have been - and was - prosecuted for sticking the axe through the window. But he should never have been prosecuted for the pamphlets. While they called for "like-minded New Zealanders to take similar action of their own", this falls far short of the "yelling 'fire' in a crowded theatre" standard which should prevail in a democratic society. They also fell far short of actual incitement, and it is telling that the police chose to resurrect the archiac crime of sedition, with its broad language criminalising not just incitement, but also encouragement of "violence, lawlessness, or disorder", rather than the crime they were indirectly accusing Selwyn of: inciting criminal damage.
The worry now is that the police will use this law to crack down on "non-mainstream" political speech, exactly as they have done in the past. The only way to prevent that is by repealing the law. Hopefully we'll see some progress on that front soon.
Updated: Somehow, I managed to leave the bottom off this when I posted it.