Hate speech laws: Government proposes change to human rights law after years of contentious debate

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The government would make an amendment to hate speech laws to include religious communities. However, he does not rule out extending it to other groups in the future.

The government’s plan to create new hate speech laws was part of a response to the Royal Commission into the 2019 Christchurch terror attack. They were supposed to be ready much sooner but have been delayed due to confusion and “strong reactions”, forcing the government to rethink them.

After extensive consultation, with more than 19,000 submissions on six proposals, the government announced on Newshub Nation on Saturday that it would be making a change to address incitement to religious communities while calling for further work to be done alongside of a wider range of groups in the future.

“New Zealanders were horrified by the events that unfolded in Christchurch in March 2019 and we will never forget the 51 victims, survivors and their loved ones who suffered an act of extreme hatred, based on their religious beliefs “said Justice Minister Kiri Allan. said.

“Everyone in New Zealand deserves to be safe from this type of violence. The government will extend the existing legal protections that have been in place since 1993 to also include our faith communities through amendments to the law. on human rights.”

Currently, under human rights law, it is illegal to publish or distribute threatening, abusive or insulting language that is likely to “excite hostility against” or “bring contempt to” any group because of their colour, race, ethnic or national origin. . The changes will extend this to cover religious beliefs.

“This change will protect more groups from harm and strengthen social cohesion in Aotearoa, New Zealand,” Allan said.

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