Recent years have been extraordinary for race issues in Aotearoa. The Christchurch mosque shootings in March 2019 shattered long-held illusions of New Zealand exceptionalism; Islamophobia increased following the attacks; an increase in racialised abuse of Asian people followed the outbreak of COVID-19; the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States provided a platform for discussing anti-Black racism and white supremacy in Aotearoa; and in last year’s general election, many political parties campaigned on border security or restricting immigration. This status report explores race-based offending in Aotearoa in light of these critical social contexts and ongoing settler colonial structural racism against Māori, and offers recommendations to address racial discrimination. We suggest that despite the clear need to protect communities of colour from discrimination, current legislative approaches for addressing hate crime and hate speech are inadequate. Discrimination must be understood by the justice sector as a driver of crime, and community organisations must be resourced to provide education, advocacy, monitoring and support for racialised communities.