Why “The Pirate Party”?

It’s often been suggested that using a name like “The Pirate Party” will drive away potential supporters and voters. We disagree.

The first Pirate Party (Piratpartiet in Swedish) was established in Sweden 1 January 2006 in reaction to the Swedish government’s persecution of the Pirate Bay file sharing website. Rick Falkvinge put up a website and with in days he had millions of hits and the party was founded. It took its name from the Pirate Bay which was under attack from the Swedish legal system.

It was, at first, only interested in reforming copyright and patent laws later this was expanded to cover personal privacy and transparency of government. in 2012 the range of policies was broadened

The movement spread throughout the world and there are parties of various sizes in many countries. All national Pirate Parties are autonomous and make policy and campaign according to local culture and circumstances. However, in general all parties adhere to the Uppsala Declaration of 2009 that includes:

  • reform of copyright, exemption of non-commercial activity from copyright regulation, reduction of the duration of copyright protections; banning of DRM technologies, opposition to media or hardware levies;
  • reform of patent law, particularly stating that patents on life (including patents on seeds and on genes) and software should not be allowed;
  • strengthening civil rights, transparent government, speedy and fair trial and freedom of speech; expansion of the right to anonymity in communication.

Are you a single-issue party?

No. While we concentrate on our core issues of internet rights, copyright reform, patent reform, personal privacy and government transparency we realise that these policies are not separable from other areas of policy. For example it is not tenable to call for internet based civil rights but to ignore other civil and human rights. Therefore we are open to taking stands on other issues and  formulate policy along Pirate Principles. This is the attitude take by most modern Pirate Parties.

Can I vote for the Pirate Party in the next General Election?

Currently the Pirate Party of New Zealand is not a registered political party. We can not yet contend the party vote, although we can stand candidates in electorates. We are aiming to become a registered party and hope that this will give us the means to exert real political pressure to effect change in copyright and patent legislation, and expand public understanding of the surrounding issues within New Zealand. In order to become a registered party, we must first acquire 500 financial members.

How Can I Help?

If you wish to help you can join the party and/or make a donation, sign up to the website, write a post, link a story, help with the constitution and policy formulation,in Loomio, and use web forums and other social media to encourage wider awareness and discussion of these issues.