I cannot help but notice an increase in anti-Māori sentiment, racism, and transphobia all over my social media channels lately, which has been frustrating and disappointing.
It is an interesting time for this sort of harmful diatribe to be picking up, as the Government announces plans to crack down on hate speech.
The Government is considering harsher penalties for hate speech and making it an offence in the Crimes Act, punishable by up to three years' imprisonment or a fine of up to $50,000.
The changes would see hate speech removed from the Human Rights Act and offer protection from discrimination to more groups including trans, gender-diverse and intersex people.
The proposals are out for public consultation and have come as a result of the March 15 terror attack in Christchurch where a white supremacist murdered 51 Muslim people.
In future, it could be a crime to intentionally stir up, maintain or normalise hatred against a protected group by being threatening, abusive or insulting, including inciting violence.
There has been a mixed bag of reactions to the news. Some are crying foul that the law changes would be over the top and would impinge on people's freedom of speech.
National and Act have criticised the law change as a step too far.
Act's David Seymour claimed it was "a win for cancel culture" and National's Simon Bridges said it "would be complete overreach to criminalise people, throw them in jail for up to three years, because they caused offence".
But what we are talking about here is not simply causing offence.
We are talking about the very real and very serious harm that is caused by hate speech, and the violence that it can incite.
As a Māori woman, I can tell you that words are a powerful tool that have real consequences on our lives.
And I am not talking about different opinions and hurt feelings. I couldn't care less about different opinions hurting my feelings.
What I care about is when racist and hateful people feed into a negative stereotype about my community and perpetuate harmful narratives that end up limiting our opportunities in life.
There is a reason Māori have the worst outcomes generally across health, education, and justice, and it has nothing to do with our genetic make-up. It is because of racism.
Hate speech feeds these negative generalisations about us, and Māori are treated like second-class citizens.
People wonder why police are far more likely to stick their dogs onto us and taser us.
Racism and hate speech are interconnected and I am supportive of moves to make people think before they open their mouths, and to hold them to account for the harm they cause to others.
I think the Māori Party have done well to draw attention to racism this year and that is starting to get the nation talking far more about how we treat each other in Aotearoa.
It could also be the case that their strong stance of exposing racism is what has encouraged more extreme white supremacists to come to the fore lately.
Māori Party co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer said: "We are experiencing an unprecedented increase in racist rhetoric across social media by white supremacist organisations that is inciting hate speech and violence against tangata whenua."
In May the party raised concerns over an online video that said that "Māori elite" would be "slaughtered by the thousands" and that "white brave patriot men" would burn down 150 marae in one night, and our people would not realise until the flames engulfed our homes.
Police were slow to act on the information and the party ended up laying a complaint against police for their initial inaction.
A disappointing but not surprising response from the police.
At the end of the day, threats of this nature must be taken seriously by authorities.
Tightening up laws around hate speech are a step in the right direction to have these matters addressed.
What has been surprising, and equally encouraging, has been the rise in public backlash over racism, transphobia or sexism.
I smiled all the way home when the owner of New Zealand craft beer company Eagle Brewing, David Gaughan, was lambasted for making racist comments about Māori men on Facebook in May.
Gaughan tried to backtrack and ended up having to quit, and that, my friends, is what you call facing the consequences of your actions.
This week, a billboard that went up in Wellington was criticised for being anti-trans and the public pressure meant it was removed before the day was out.
You cannot keep turning a blind eye to hate just because it is not targeted at you.
Critics want to call this wave of action "cancel culture" and label people like me the "woke brigade" but they are just showing their age and privilege and how out of touch they are.
These are signs that traditionally oppressed groups are building confidence and we will no longer put up with attacks on who we are.
We refuse to let hate speech slide. There will be consequences now.
And quite frankly, I am pleased to see the Government is signalling the same.