Indigenous rights

Our Work

Indigenous rights are promoted through a variety of activities around the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, and every day through promotion of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the promotion and protection of the rights of Indigenous peoples more generally.

We work in partnership with others to help individuals and organisations around New Zealand to understand their rights and meet their legal responsibilities. We do this by working with government, business, community partners, education providers, the media and workplaces.

Commission projects, programmes, and events:

The full list of Commission projects, programmes and events relating to Indigenous rights are listed below.

Human rights and the Treaty of Waitangi

Read the Commission’s latest work and resources on Treaty issues here.

UNDRIP and the Treaty

The purpose of this resource is to raise awareness of the human rights standards associated with the Treaty based on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Read more here.

The Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP)

The EMRIP provides advice in the form of studies and research, on the rights of Indigenous peoples. Read about the Commission's involvement with the EMRIP here.

International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples 9 August

The International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples is observed on August 9 each year to promote and protect the rights of the world’s indigenous population. Read more here.

UN Decade on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

The International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples was created in an effort to increase the UN’s commitment to promoting and protecting the rights of indigenous peoples worldwide. Read more here.

Māori Language Week

Celebrated from 21-27 July, view the latest Māori Language Week theme, news and events here: Māori Language Week.

Guidelines on Measures to Ensure Equality

Read the Commission's guidelines on measures to ensure equality here.

Te Wairoa Reorua 2040

Te Wairoa Reorua 2040 is concerned with creating a strategy to set their community on the path to becoming bilingual by 2040. Read more here.

UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

An advisory body to the Economic and Social Council, with a mandate to discuss indigenous issues related to economic and social development, culture, the environment, education, health and human rights. Read more here.

Treaty of Waitangi Research

UMR were commissioned to conduct a research report into peoples perceptions of the Treaty of Waitangi. Read the report here.

Māori representation in local government

The Commission looked into the issue of Māori representation in local government. Read the report here.

Commission's review of New Zealand's Constitutional Arrangements

In 2013 the Commission released its submission to the Constitutional Advisory Panel on its review of New Zealand’s constitutional arrangements. The Commission believes that people, as rights-holders, should be at the centre of any constitutional change in New Zealand and that New Zealand’s constitutional arrangements would be enhanced by strengthening human rights protections and increasing recognition of the Treaty of Waitangi. Read more here.

The World Conference on Indigenous Peoples

A major world conference on the rights of indigenous peoples was organised by the United Nations in September 2014, at the conclusion of the second decade. Read more here.

Conference on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 2017

The Commission, alongside the Massey University-based Global Centre for Indigenous Leadership, recently held a Conference to celebrate the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples’ 10th anniversary and discuss a pathway forward for Indigenous Rights in New Zealand. Read more here.