Vision, mission, values and statutory responsibilities


Ka whakamana tangata – A Life of Dignity for All


A credible, effective, connected and highly-valued organisation that makes human rights real and relevant within and outside the organisation, confident in its Te Tiriti-based aspiration and making a positive impact for all individuals, whaānau, hapū, communities and iwi in Aotearoa New Zealand. A taonga.


We create continuous meaningful improvement in the realisation of human rights for all people in Aotearoa New Zealand by:

  • Promoting better understanding of the human rights dimensions of Te Tiriti o Waitangi
  • Practising kaitiakitanga in our stewardship of human rights in New Zealand
  • Challenging breaches of human rights by voicing opposition and demanding change
  • Standing with and supporting those whose human rights have been violated
  • Brokering evidence-informed human rights solutions
  • Holding government and business to account for respecting, protecting and fulfilling human rights for all people in Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Promoting better understanding of the human rights dimensions of Te Tiriti o Waitangi
  • Supporting human rights advocacy and advancing action at community, local, regional and national level, and
  • Urging government and all those in positions of power and influence to demonstrate human rights leadership in practice in a global context.


Our values guide how we behave as an organisation and as individuals to achieve our mission:

  1. Mana Tangata – human dignity
  2. Māia, Tika, Pono – courage and integrity
  3. Whanaungatanga – relationships

Statutory responsibilities

The Commission works under the Human Rights Act 1993. The Act’s intention is to help ensure that all people in New Zealand are treated fairly and equally.

Our primary responsibilities, as set out in the Act, are to:

  1. Advocate and promote respect for, and an understanding and appreciation of, human rights in New Zealand society;
  2. Encourage the maintenance and development of harmonious relations between individuals and among the diverse groups in New Zealand society;
  3. To promote racial equality and cultural diversity;
  4. To promote equal employment opportunities (including pay equity);
  5. to promote and protect the full and equal enjoyment of human rights by persons with disabilities.

See What the Commission does for more information on what we do and how we do it.

Dispute resolution

The Act also gives us the power to resolve disputes relating to unlawful discrimination. If you believe you have been discriminated against you can ask us for help.