Content regulation and disinformation in New Zealand

Brainbox is conducting legal research to investigate how disinformation can be approached as a policy problem without undermining human rights principles.

About the project

Currently, a number of jurisdictions around the world – including New Zealand – view disinformation as a policy problem and are considering how to regulate it. While there is considerable pressure and urgency for governments to introduce legislation, the issue of disinformation and the harms it causes are still poorly understood. Consequently, state interventions against disinformation risk negatively impacting human rights.

Brainbox seeks to provide concrete answers to legal questions, clarity on technical considerations, and a usable framework for balancing the rights, responsibilities, and risks inherent in this area. This will be of immediate benefit to scholars, civil society, and government, and of indirect benefit to New Zealand society as a whole by ensuring that  government and civil society responses to disinformation are both better informed and grounded in a strong legal and human rights framework. It will also play a crucial role in connecting civil society networks in New Zealand to broader international efforts.

Throughout the course of the project Brainbox will be publishing a range of discussion papers on their website, which will be supplemented with online and in-person events throughout 2023.

Grant amount

$50,000 for work in 2022-2023. Additional funding for this project has been provided by Internet NZ.

About Brainbox

Brainbox is a public interest think tank and consultancy sitting at the intersection of technology, law, and public policy.

Bringing together deep thinking, broad networks, and world-class expertise, Brainbox has rapidly established itself as New Zealand’s foremost think tank in this area.

Since being founded in 2018, organisations from across the private and public sectors worldwide have relied on Brainbox’s knowledge, judgement, insight, and professionalism.


Ximena Smith, Senior Advisor, Brainbox