I believe that banning speakers is an exceptionally poor decision. I feel that it gives unmerited legitimacy to whatever hateful/extremist material was in question. i.e. The government (Council in this case) is effectively saying that their message was going to be so compelling, so powerful and so ironclad that there is a real risk that the general population would be unable to see through it, unable to debate and ultimately refute it's claims. That the only way to prevent the ideology from spreading/infecting New Zealand is for the speakers to be silenced. For the books to be burned. For the Internet to be filtered.
Very well said. Banning things seldom works IMO. Its almost always touted as a solution to a problem, yet banning will almost always ignore the underlying issues in the first place. Banning undesirable behavior or ideology, and even items that represent these things is an attempt to forcibly control human behavior. It just just drives these behaviors underground. Best to have it out in the open, yes even if its ugly IMO.
Slightly off topic but growing up I recall how cool it was to have a copy of that CD which was banned. Everybody wanted to get their hands on it. All the cool kids had it! Was it because the music was good? Not really. It was because there was some sort of fulfillment in having a copy of something that was "banned". When we young we like to rebel. What are we doing to our younger generation if we try and keep these things away from them? Instead, let these morons make a public fool of themselves, and we all get to talk about it.