New Zealand Law Society - Commission not advocating new hate crime laws

Commission not advocating new hate crime laws

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The Human Rights Commission says it is not advocating for any new hate crime laws, but there is a need to collect data when hate crimes occur.

A statement by Race Relations Commissioner Susan Devoy says Police should be able to collect data because at present it is all anecdotal.

“We are not advocating for any new laws," Dame Susan says.

"What we have been working with NZ Police on for some time is a plan that would see officers collect statistics on whether a crime is motivated by race, gender, religion, age, ethnicity, disability or sexual orientation.

“For example when the graves of Jewish New Zealanders have been desecrated; we have no official way of recording that this is crime motivated by hate. When a man is brutally attacked because he’s gay: we need a way to record that he was attacked because of who he is.”

Dame Susan says people in minority communities have told the Commission that hate crime is a problem in New Zealand.

"Right now we have no evidence to point to either way because we do not collect the data and that needs to change,” she says.