Other conventions and international reporting mechanisms

Periodic Review of New Zealand's compliance with the  Convention Against Torture

New Zealand is currently being reviewed by the UN for its performance at meeting its human rights obligations under the Convention against Torture and ill-treatment. The Commission's submission and a number of other submissions to the UN committee are published.

New Zealand's sixth periodic report to the Committee Against Torture

What is the Convention Against Torture 

The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) was adopted by General Assembly resolution 39/46 on 10 December 1984. New Zealand ratified the CAT on 10 December 1989 with the following reservation:

The Government of New Zealand reserves the right to award compensation to torture victims referred to in article 14 of the Convention Against Torture only at the discretion of the Attorney-General of New Zealand.

What the Convention Against Torture does

The Convention requires states to prevent torture and degrading treatment within their borders and forbids the return of people to their home country if they are likely to be tortured. It also creates a reporting procedure for the Committee against Torture to hearing individual complaints.

New Zealand's fifth periodic report to the Committee Against Torture

What is a National Preventative Mechanism

The National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) is the independent monitoring agency that has been set up by the Government under the Crimes of Torture Act to prevent torture and ill-treatment in places of detention.

The NPM is responsible for monitoring children and youth justice residences, mental health in-patient units, residential immigration centres, Defence Force detention facilities, prisons and police cells.

There are four NPM agencies that carry out the core NPM monitoring activities - the Ombudsman’s Office, the Children’s Commission, the Independent Police Conduct Authority and the Defence Force’s Inspector of Service Penal Establishment.

The Human Rights Commission is designated as the Central National Preventive Mechanism (CNPM) and provides coordinating services for the NPMs. Collectively these agencies are responsible for ensuring compliance with domestic and international obligations about the treatment of people who are detained against their will.  

Further Information