Amnesty International activism manager Margaret Taylor will be in Wanganui on Saturday to help re-start the Amnesty International group in the city that has been in abeyance for several years.
In the past many of Amnesty International's Wanganui members and supporters participated in its annual Freedom Week collection, and over the years the human rights group has had both a local and school groups operating in the city.
Ms Taylor said in New Zealand we like to think of ourselves as leaders in human rights.
"Over the years New Zealand has spoken out boldly on numerous human rights issues, but our most basic, like the right to housing, healthcare and education are taken for granted and are still not adequately protected in our own law.
"We assume they are well protected in places like our Bill of Rights Act, unfortunately this is not the case," Ms Taylor says.
Ms Taylor says it is time for New Zealand to ensure that economic, social and cultural rights are protected equally alongside civil and political rights like fair trials and the right to vote.
"It's time our decision makers are held accountable to ensure our rights are respected, protected and fulfilled. Our political leadership has been world leading on these issues in the past, it is time to show human rights leadership again."
In 1948 New Zealand lobbied to ensure "freedom from want" was alongside rights such as freedom of speech and freedom from torture within the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
And in 1968 New Zealand signed the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and ratified it 10 years later.
But those rights have never been explicitly incorporated into the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act, she said.
The meeting on Saturday is in Community House, 53a Ridgway St and will discuss what local groups can do. "This will be a time to get to know each other, our aspirations for the group and a chance to ask questions about Amnesty and its campaigns."
Light refreshments provided; please RSVP to Rebecca Tabone email@example.com or by phoning 0800 266 378, to assist with catering.