Human Rights in New Zealand 2010

Human Rights Review Ngā Tika Tangata 2010 (pdf)
01 Jan 2009

Human Rights in New Zealand 2010 maps how well human rights are promoted, protected and implemented in New Zealand.

This is the second comprehensive report undertaken by the Human Rights Commission to assess how well New Zealand meets international human-rights standards and where we fall short. It highlights improvements since the first assessment in 2004 and identifies where there has been some deterioration. It pinpoints areas of fragility, persistent and entrenched inequalities, and gaps in human-rights protections.

What is clear, as it was in 2004, is that human rights matter. Their realisation is vital to our expectations about life, education, health, work, our personal security, equal opportunity and fair treatment, and to our system of government. They affect the lives of everyone in New Zealand. Respect for each other’s human rights is a prerequisite for harmonious relations among the diverse groups that make up contemporary New Zealand. Human rights are equally vital to peace, security and sustainable development worldwide.

In 2004 the Commission found that there was much to celebrate about New Zealand’s human rights record; that New Zealand had the key elements essential for the protection, promotion and fulfilment of human rights; and that most people experienced the fundamental rights and freedoms in their daily lives and had the opportunity to participate in all aspects of society.

The most pressing human-rights issues identified in 2004 were the poverty and abuse experienced by a significant number of children and young people; the pervasive barriers that prevented disabled people from fully participating in society; the vulnerability to abuse of those in detention and institutional care; the entrenched economic and social inequalities that continued to divide Māori and Pacific people from other New Zealanders; and the challenge of the Treaty of Waitangi now and in the future.

Human Rights in New Zealand 2010 confirms that New Zealand continues to meet and often surpasses human-rights standards in many respects. It highlights steady improvements since 2004, but also reveals the fragility of some of the gains and areas where there has been deterioration. It makes clear that there is no room for complacency and that New Zealand continues to face serious human-rights challenges. These are challenges that can be met where there is political will and strong civil-society commitment and engagement.


Page last modified: 15 Mar 2018