Vision, mission, values and statutory responsibilities


The Human Rights Commission’s vision is that people in Aotearoa New Zealand live together harmoniously, sharing a common respect for each other’s inherent dignity and human rights.


To promote and protect the human rights of all people in Aotearoa New Zealand.


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.

Visit our Human Rights legislation page to learn more about the national and international laws that define and shape our work.

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.