What is unlawful discrimination?

Marital status

What does the Human Rights Act mean by marital status?

The ground of marital status covers:

  • single
  • married, in a civil union, or in a de facto relationship
  • separated from a spouse or a civil union partner
  • divorced, or a party to a civil union that has been dissolved or a party to a de facto relationship that has ended.

What does the Human Rights Act say about marital status?

It is unlawful to discriminate on the ground of marital status in any of the prohibited areas of public life.

What exceptions are there applying to marital status?

There are a number of circumstances where it is not unlawful to discriminate on the grounds of marital status. These include:

In employment (includes pre-employment and advertising):

  • crew of non-New Zealand ships and aircraft
  • work-related accommodation.

In accommodation:

  • shared residential accommodation.
  • hostels and institutions.

Further information

Human rights enquiries & complaints guide (PDF Version).
Available in Maori, Samoan, Tongan, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional) and Hindi.