Justice Minister Andew Little says he's fast-tracking a law review which could see hate crimes made a new legal offence.
He said the current law on hate speech was not thorough and strong enough and needed to change.
Mr Little said the Christchurch shootings highlighted the need for a better mechanism to deal with incidents of hate speech and other hateful deeds.
He has asked justice officials to look at the laws and he was also fast-tracking a scheduled Human Rights Act review. "The conclusion I've drawn as the minister is that the laws are inadequate and I think we need to do better," Mr Little said.
Mr Little said the current laws dealing with hate speech and complaints about hate speech and discriminatory action that relate to hateful expression were inadequate.
The law in the Human Rights Act related to racial disharmony, but it didn't deal with various other grounds of discrimination, he said.
The Harmful Digital Communications Act was put in place to deal with online bullying and other unpleasantness, but it didn't tackle the "evil and hateful things that we're seeing online", Mr Little said.
He said the government and the Human Rights Commission will work together, and a document or proposal will be produced for the public to debate.
"There will be important issues to debate. There will be issues about what limit should be put on freedom of expression and freedom of speech.
"We should reflect on where the lines need to be drawn and therefore, whether the laws should be struck so that they're effective and provide some protection to people who're otherwise vulnerable."
Mr Little said he hopes they will be able to produce a proposal in relation to hate crimes by the end of this year.