What the Commission does

The Human Rights Commission is New Zealand’s national human rights institution.

Our job is to:

  • Advocate and promote respect for human rights in New Zealand
  • Encourage harmonious relations between individuals and among the diverse groups in New Zealand
  • Lead, evaluate, monitor and advise on equal employment opportunities
  • Provide information to the public about discrimination and to help resolve complaints about discrimination.

How we do it

In our day-to-day work we:

  • Support implementation and monitoring of the New Zealand Human Rights Action Plan
  • Education, advocacy and promotion of human rights
  • Monitoring and reporting on compliance with New Zealand law and international human rights instruments
  • Responding to, and resolving, human rights complaints
  • providing legal representation and bringing proceedings.

Enquiries, complaints and support service

We offer a free and confidential service for people with human rights enquiries or complaints of unlawful discrimination. Learn more.

Meeting international standards

As New Zealand’s national human rights institution we hold ‘A’ status accreditation. This is the United Nations prerequisite for participation in the Human Rights Council.

The accreditation, reviewed every five years, requires us to fully comply with the standards set out in the United Nations ‘Paris Principles’. These principles set out the responsibilities, status and functions of national human rights institutions.

Who we work with

We have well-established national and international networks to help us do our work. These include other government organisations such as the Health and Disability Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner, voluntary organisations such as Citizens Advice Bureau, the Equal Employment Opportunities Trust and the New Zealand Human Rights Network.