Introduce Hate Crime Legislation in New Zealand
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Currently there is no hate crime legislation in New Zealand. This has many negative impacts for minorities within New Zealand and our culture as a nation.
Hate crime laws are important as they would impose harsher penalties on people who target victims based on the victim's race, nationality, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability. Throughout our country (and the wider world) we have seen an increase in crimes that are motivated by hate for someone's identity. Do we as a nation want to discourage these horrific acts? With policy change that will prosecute perpetrators of hate crimes, incidences such as the racially-motivated attack filmed in Huntly earlier this year, where a woman began to rant hatefully at a group of women due to their race and religion, will be less likely to occur. There will also be increased repercussions to deter criminals.
Without legislation, there is no way to keep statistics of how often these crimes are being perpetrated in New Zealand, which means police must rely on anecdotal evidence. There is a need to track the amount of times people are affected by these crimes in order to protect them and prevent hate crimes from continuing.
There is already hate crime legislation in 31 countries, including such world leaders such as the United States, Canada, and Germany.
Police Commissioner Mike Bush believes that the New Zealand Government should be considering introducing hate crime legislation. He states "We are concerned about it, we have seen an increase of crimes of this nature." When someone of this stature has such an opinion, it highlights its importance.
Letting bigoted attitudes result in hate crimes should not be a part of New Zealand's society, and with the introduction of this legislation the multicultural and minority population within New Zealand can be protected. We must preserve New Zealand as a safe place for all.
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