About

Even in times of crisis, people have human rights that safeguard their dignity. Even in times of emergency, Government must abide by the commitments they have made to respect and give effect to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and human rights. COVID-19 is not only a health emergency — it is also a human rights emergency.

Our approach

The Human Rights Commission is responding to COVID-19 in three ways:

  1. Advisory: We are actively involved in forums and bi-lateral discussions with government agencies to ensure that Te Tiriti and Human Rights are at the forefront of decision making and the impacts on people at-risk and most marginalised are taken into account when making decisions at this time.

  2. Community: We are connecting with iwi and our most marginalised communities that are impacted in order to provide support as needed. 

  3. Accountability: While the Government works hard to protect its citizens, it can sometimes over-reach. That’s why we have a role ensuring that the decisions made, and their implementation, adhere to core human rights and Te Tiriti and are proportionate, necessary and legal.

Kaiwhakatara Accountability Advisory Group

The Human Rights Commission established the Kaiwhakatara Accountability Advisory Group to assist the Commission to hold human rights duty-bearers accountable during the COVID-19 crisis within the framework of the Commission’s statutory functions, and Commissioner warrants and delegations.

Members are:

  • Andrew Butler
  • Associate Professor Dr Claire Charters 
  • Dr Carwyn Jones
  • Frances Joychild QC
  • Richard Leung
  • Professor Margaret Mutu
  • Professor Gail Pacheco
  • Dr Teuila Percival 
  • Julia Amua Whaipooti

Report any issues

Our Infoline remains open for any questions at 0800 496 877 and infoline@hrc.co.nz. Anyone who believes they have been discriminated against can also complain to the Commission by calling our confidential service on 0800 496 877 or emailing infoline@hrc.co.nz. You can also submit an online form on our website. In some cases, we may also be able to offer dispute resolution services.

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