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UPR 13/14: NZ’s second Universal Periodic Review

Update (20/06/2014):

Here is the New Zealand Human Rights Commission’s statement on the adoption of New Zealand’s UPR report has been presented at the Human Rights Council.

Update (1/06/2014):

The government has formally responded to the United Nations Human Rights Council second Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of New Zealand, accepting the “vast majority” of the 155 recommendations.

Minister Collins said “Nearly all countries commended our excellent human rights record and acknowledged the progress we are making in protecting women and children against violence, and recommended these efforts continue.”

A compilation of UN information and its summary of stakeholders’ information is available on the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights website.

Update (21/05/2014):

New Zealand’s second National Report to the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review took place on 27 January 2014 in Geneva.

Justice Minister Judith Collins presented the actions taken by the New Zealand government following the 2009 review.

Among the 155 recommendations made to New Zealand overall, participating member states highlighted the need to:

  • In consultation with all relevant actors, develop a comprehensive action plan to target gender-based violence and violence against women;
  • Allocate adequate resources to ensure the full implementation of measures to prevent violence against women and children;
  • Develop a national action plan for women to address issues such as violence against women, pay equality, the situation of Māori and Pacific women and women with disabilities;
  • To take further steps to advance the human rights of indigenous populations and reduce the remaining social differences for and discrimination against the Maori population;
  • To step up efforts to prevent discrimination against members of the Māori and Pasifika communities in the criminal justice system and, in particular, the high rates of incarceration.

Here is the full list of recommendations made to New Zealand arising from its second Universal Periodic Review undertaken by the United Nations Human Rights Council:

List of UPR recommendations made to New Zealand

List of UPR recommendations made to New Zealand (Accessible Format)

Here is the New Zealand Government’s response to recommendations arising from its second Universal Periodic Review:

New Zealand Government Response to 2014 UPR recommendations

New Zealand Government Response to 2014 UPR recommendations (Accessible Format)


New Zealand’s UPR Outcome Report was adopted by the UPR Working Group on Friday, 31 January.

The New Zealand Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Amanda Ellis, responded on behalf of the Government. Ms Ellis noted that all recommendations would be taken on notice and that New Zealand would report back to the Human Rights Council no later than June 2014.

The reason for adopting this approach was to ensure that the international conversation that has taken place on New Zealand’s human rights record is properly linked to domestic implementation and in particular the development of New Zealand’s second National Plan of Action on Human Rights. Adopting such an approach also ensures that stakeholder views can be included in the next steps of the UPR process.

You can view the adoption here:

The webcast of the full session Review session on 27 January can also be viewed at:

Overall States recognised the high realisation of human rights in New Zealand and commended the Government on its ongoing commitment to improve the realisation of rights for all people in Aotearoa New Zealand. In many areas States considered there was much to learn from the New Zealand experience and  expressly requested our advice and assistance.

Issues and questions raised by States included:

  • violence against women;
  • the rights of children;
  • the gender pay gap;
  • the human rights of Maori;
  • the rebuilding and compensation process in the aftermath of the Canterbury earthquakes;
  • the human rights framework

Over 100 recommendations were made to New Zealand. Click here to access the official record of the session

The actions to be taken as a result of the UPR recommendations will be set out in a National Plan of Action for Human Rights  to be prepared by the Human Rights Commission. States commended the Commission on adopting this approach and highlighted it as an area where others could learn from New Zealand.  The Commission will be working with the Government and civil society on the development of this plan over the next 12 months.

Click here to read the Commission’s UPR 13/14 submission (Word).

Read the UPR annexes to the Commission submission: Commission UPR Recommendations, Submission of the OPCAT National Preventive Mechanism; Submission of the CRPD Monitoring Mechanism, Submission of the UNCROC Monitoring Group; Assessment of steps taken to implement 2009 UPR recommendations; List of Bills that passed all stages under urgency.

Click here to read the Government’s UPR report

Click here to read the submissions made by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and civil society groups which have been provided to the Commission

If you have any queries about the UPR process, purpose and background, please contact the Michael White, Legal and Policy Analyst


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