Review protections against hate speech

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Children and young people are accepted, respected and connected

Lead agency:
Ministry of Justice

Government has undertaken a review of protections against hate speech. This included reviewing the operation of the incitement provisions of the Human Rights Act 1993 to assess whether these protections against hate speech could be strengthened. 

It identified:

  • the provisions in the Human Rights Act should be widened to protect more groups from the incitement of hatred or hostility
  • the Human Rights Act should be amended to clarify that it covers gender diverse and intersex people from discrimination
  • the capacity of the Human Rights Commission would be strengthened.

In December 2020, the Government confirmed its intention to strengthen laws related to hate-motivated activity and inciting hatred against an individual or group.  It also confirmed the capacity of the Human Rights Commission will be strengthened.

Engagement with community groups will be undertaken in 2021, to discuss  proposed changes to the Human Rights Act.