NZ has 'excellent' human rights record

Justice Minister Judith Collins. Photo / New Zealand Herald / Mark Mitchell
Justice Minister Judith Collins. Photo / New Zealand Herald / Mark Mitchell

Justice Minister Judith Collins has welcomed the recommendations in a largely-positive United Nations report on New Zealand's human rights records.

The Government made its report for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on human rights to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday.

Ms Collins said the reception New Zealand received was "fantastic''.

"Nearly all countries commended our excellent human rights record,'' she said.

"Many countries acknowledge the progress New Zealand is making in protecting women and children against violence and recommend New Zealand to continue its efforts in these areas.''

However, the rate of family violence in New Zealand was "unacceptable''.

"But I'm pleased the Human Rights Council recognises the investment this Government is already making to better support and protect victims of domestic violence,'' Ms Collins said.

She would now take New Zealand's responses to the UPR recommendations to Cabinet before submitting them to the United Nations by June this year.

The New Zealand Law Society said earlier this week that despite the largely positive response to the report, it remained concerned that the it did not advise of some "significant human rights issues''.

"The Law Society submitted a shadow report as part of the UPR process in June last year and the concerns it raised have not been acknowledged or addressed in the Government's UN report,'' the society said in a statement.

The shadow report referred to the enactment of five Acts, despite reports by the Attorney-General that those Acts appeared to be inconsistent with the New Zealand Bill of Rights

"Concerns about other legislation, the Bill of Rights reporting mechanism, use of Parliamentary urgency procedures, and conflicts with fundamental aspects of the rule of law were also raised in the Law Society's report.''

- APNZ

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf04 at 24 Oct 2014 05:14:44 Processing Time: 1656ms