NZ falling behind in human rights issues

A new report authored by researchers at AUT and the University of Waikato has revealed that New Zealand’s appearances are deceiving when it comes to human rights.

Credit: Wikimedia/Mbiama
Credit: Wikimedia/Mbiama

The report, titled Fault lines: Human Rights in New Zealand, looks at the country’s commitment to six different international human rights treaties and includes interviews with politicians and both domestic and international experts.

It found that New Zealand was slipping behind other countries in areas including gender equality and disabled people’s rights.

“A three year study of the six major human rights treaties that New Zealand has signed shows we’re better at talking about human rights than walking the talk and implementing our promises made internationally,” says co-author Professor Judy McGregor, who heads AUT’s School of Social Sciences and Public Policy, in a press release.

“The detailed research shows we’re slipping behind in areas such as child poverty, gender equality, systemic disadvantage of Māori, and the rights of disabled people to challenge the State.

“For example, we keep telling the United Nations we were the first to grant women the vote, but we still don’t have equal pay for women or pay equity for carers. Nor do we have adequate paid parental leave, and we continue to suffer completely unacceptable levels of violence against women. We say how good we are, but the reality is we’re in trouble.”

Read an online (pdf) copy of the report here.

The report has been covered in national media. Examples include: New Zealand criticised on child poverty, gender equality
Radio New Zealand: NZ slipping in human rights issues – report
Māori Television: Report identifies serious human rights issues in New Zealand
New Zealand Herald: New Zealand’s human rights performance slipping