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New Zealand's record on human rights and challenges it faced were highlighted today as Justice Minister Simon Power spoke at the United Nations.

Early today - noon Tuesday in New York - Mr Power presented a report to the UN human rights committee under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The covenant is the main international human rights treaty stating civil and political rights and New Zealand was required to report periodically on how its obligations were being implemented domestically.

"I appreciated the open and constructive manner in which New Zealand's human rights situation was discussed with the human rights committee," Mr Power said in a statement.

"It's important to front up with our own situation so we can credibly discuss the challenges facing us and other countries."

Mr Power headed a delegation which included New Zealand's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Jim McLay, as well as officials from the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Crown Law Office, Department of Corrections, and Department of Labour.

New Zealand submitted its report earlier and the committee then considered it and submitted written questions which Mr Power responded to today. The committee will release its concluding observations to New Zealand shortly.

- NZPA