Feedback invited on draft report to UN on human rights in NZ

Fri 21 Jul 2023

The Government is asking for feedback on the draft national report for New Zealand’s Fourth Universal Periodic Review before the United Nations Human Rights Council.

photo of flags from around the world in front of United Nations building

Feedback invited on draft report to UN on human rights

The Government has prepared the draft national report on Aotearoa New Zealand's 4th Universal Periodic Review of human rights for the United Nations (UN). The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a review by the UN Human Rights Council that looks at New Zealand’s progress on human rights issues every 5 years. This is the 4th review for New Zealand.

Feedback on the draft report is due by 30 July 2023. You can also give feedback on human rights issues in New Zealand directly to the UN. Feedback to the UN is due by 11 October 2023.

The draft report covers the following areas:

  • Racism and discrimination
  • Migrants, refugees and asylum seekers (including trafficking and slavery)
  • Climate change
  • Right to Adequate Standard of Living, including Housing
  • Administration of Justice, including Criminal Justice System
  • Indigenous Rights (including the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples)
  • Rights of Women (including family violence and sexual violence)
  • Rights of children (including care and protection, state abuse, inequities and more)
  • Rainbow rights
  • Disability rights
  • Health
  • Education.

Family violence and sexual violence are specifically discussed under Rights of Women (pages 17-18 in the draft report). Many other areas are related, including Rights of children (pages 18-21).

New Zealand's 3rd review was in 2019. The UN Human Rights Council made a total of 194 recommendations in the 3rd review and more than 30 of those related to violence. The Government accepted 160 of the 194 recommendations.

After getting feedback, the Government will submit the final report to the UN Human Rights Council by February 2024.

The Council will review the Government's final report along with submissions from stakeholders including non-government agencies and Te Kāhui Tika Tangata New Zealand Human Rights Commission.

How to give feedback

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade | Manatū Aorere is asking for feedback on the draft report. You can submit feedback to the Government on their draft report by email to Feedback on the draft report is due by 30 July 2023.

You can also give feedback on human rights issues in New Zealand directly to the UN. Feedback to the UN is due by 11 October 2023. For more information on how to give feedback directly to the UN, see the UN Human Rights Council webpage on 4th UPR cycle: contributions and participation of "other stakeholders" in the UPR.

Peace Movement Aotearoa also provides updates related to non-government organisations.

Update: Te Kāhui Tika Tangata Human Rights Commission has information for communities and civil society organisations to give feedback to the United Nations on Aotearoa New Zealand's human rights record through the Universal Periodic Review.

Related news

The Government submitted the 9th periodic report on the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. You can read the final report on the Manatū Wāhine Ministry for Women website.

In July 2023, the UN Committee Against Torture is assessing the Government's progress implementing the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The review will consider New Zealand’s compliance with the Convention over the past eight years. Peace Movement Aotearoa highlighted that the UN Committee will also consider information provided by non-government organisations which raised concerns about issues related to the criminal justice system, conditions in places of detention, abuse of children in state care and more. See related media below for concerns raised by the UN Committee and Aotearoa New Zealand advocates.

In April 2023 Claire Charters, Rongomau Taketake at Te Kāhui Tika Tangata Human Rights Commission, highlighted that work on the national plan to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) has stalled. She said:

"Until it was paused, the process of developing the plan was commendable. It reflected equal governance authority of tangata whenua bodies and the Crown, as premised in te Tiriti o Waitangi and in international law.

“Māori communities we engaged with were clear on what they wanted to see in a plan.

“Actions to strengthen tino rangatiratanga, enact honourable Tiriti partnership, advance equity, and eliminate racism were strong and consistent messages. It was also clear from what we heard, that many whānau aren’t currently able to enjoy their fundamental rights.

“Yet we’re in a state of limbo. Progress on Indigenous rights should not be subject to the political mood of the government of the day.”

In April 2022, Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson said the Government had completed the first stage of the engagement process to develop a plan for UNDRIP and that drafting of the plan would start in partnership with the National Iwi Chairs Forum’s Pou Tikanga and Te Kāhui Tika Tangata Human Rights Commission. In December 2022, Amnesty International reported that Cabinet agreed to the Government putting on hold the work to develop a plan to implement UNDRIP. For more information see Te Puni Kōkiri and Te Kāhui Tika Tangata Human Rights Commission.

In February 2023, Te Kāhui Tika Tangata Human Rights Commission released 2 reports addressing racism and calling on Government to take action. Maranga Mai! (2023) shines a light on the dynamics and impacts of colonisation, racism and white supremacy on tangata whenua. Ki te whaiao, ki te ao Mārama (2023) reports on the themes and ideas from community engagement to inform the development of a National Action Plan Against Racism.

Related media

Govt to respond to 259 human rights recommendations, Te Kāhui Tika Tangata | Human Rights Commission, 09.05.2024

Recommendations to improve New Zealand's human rights made by UN member states, Te Kāhui Tika Tangata | Human Rights Commission media release, 30.04.2024

Justice Minister updates UN on law & order plan, Beehive media release, 30.04.2024

Tina Ngata: Why we walked away, E-Tangata, 07.04.2024

Taking the Treaty out of child protection law risks making NZ a global outlier, The Conversation, 11.03.2024

Te Tiriti And Human Rights Issues In Aotearoa Raised With Diplomats In Wellington, Press Release: Te Kahui Tika Tangata Human Rights Commission, 11.03.2024

Tiriti vulnerable, commission tells UN, Waatea News, 14.02.2024

Sliding backwards on human rights, RNZ, 11.12.2023

Let's Go There Together campaign presents urgent human rights 'must-do' list, Te Kāhui Tika Tangata Human Rights Commission media release, 08.12.2023 (also see the Let's Go There campaign)

Paediatric Society Of New Zealand Stands Behind Petition To Raise Criminal Responsibility Age, Addressing Equity, Press Release: Paediatric Society of NZ, Scoop, 06.09.2023

Government botches response to Lake Alice torture finding, Newsroom, 06.09.2023

Corrections slammed for Arohata prison purge, Waatea News, 24.08.2023

UN committee concerned by number of tamariki Māori in detention facilities - Children's Commissioner, RNZ, 02.08.2023

UN Concerned At High Rates Of Juvenile And Māori Imprisonment, Press Release: Human Rights Commission, Scoop, 02.08.2023

UN Calls Out New Zealand’s Youth Justice Record, Press Release: Mana Mokopuna, Scoop, 01.08.2023

NZ Government failing rangatahi Māori says United Nations - JustSpeak media release, Voxy, 01.08.2023

UN Says NZ Justice System Failing Human Rights Standards, Press Release: Amnesty International, Scoop, 31.07.2023

Statement from New Zealand at the 53rd session of the Human Rights Council Interactive Dialogue with the High Commissioner for Human Rights Delivered by Nathan Glassey, Acting Permanent Representative, Ministry of Foreign Affairs media release, 27.07.2023

Commission reports on progress toward tino rangatiratanga, Te Kahui Tika Tangata Human Rights Commission news, 21.07.2023

Government wants to give police power to convict 12-year-old ram raiders, The Post, 20.07.2023

New Data Highlights Harm To Māori, Press Release: Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand, Scoop, 23.06.2023

Initiative to enhance crucial role of women in countering hate speech launched, United Nations media release, 12.06.2023

States must tackle racism and stigma against LGBT persons, United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner, Statement by multiple UN and human rights experts, 16.05.2023

Dr Claire Charters | Taumata Rau, Co-Director for Aotearoa centre for indigenous People and the Law, Waatea News, 02.05.2023

New Zealanders need a better understanding of the word ‘racism’, these reports reveal, The Spinoff, 06.02.2023

Recognising tino rangatiratanga key to ending racism in Aotearoa, NZ Herald, 03.02.2023

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