On 8 February 2023, Prime Minister Chis Hipkins stated that the Hate speech amending legislation is to be withdrawn to allow the law commission to take a closer look at the wider issue.

This is in line with our recommendations in the submission we made on 2 February, expressing concern that only religion was to be added to hate speech legislation, without considering other marginalised groups, the need for equal protection to nonfaith-based groups (non-religion), or how this could criminalise discussion in good faith of religion (become a blasphemy law “by the back door”)

The Humanist Society does not condone hate speech or any form of incitement to hatred or violence against any individual who may be discriminated against.

We expressed our concern that the bill may violate the provisions of the ICCPR and New Zealand’s obligations under International Law by separating religious belief from freedom of thought, conscience and religion by giving preferential treatment to religious belief.

You can read our full submission below: