The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) wants to hear directly from the public about human rights in New Zealand. It is currently hosting public meetings, open to everyone, in eight cities around the country over March, April and May.
Your views will contribute to the government’s report to the United Nations, which will be reviewed by the UN’s Human Rights Council in April/May 2024 in a process called the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).
They are visiting Wellington, Dunedin, Christchurch, Nelson, Rotorua, Auckland, Kaitaia, and Gisborne.
Following these events, MFAT will work with other government agencies to produce a first draft of a national report. The draft report will be released online for public feedback in mid-2023 ahead of final submission to the UN in February 2024.
We are asking members and supporters who live in the cities listed above to attend these events and speak up for universal human rights, and against racial discrimination.
Labour Government undermining equality and democracy
Under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination New Zealand undertook to prohibit and to eliminate racial discrimination in all its forms and to guarantee the right of everyone, without distinction as to race, colour, or national or ethnic origin, to equality before the law.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights includes the following statements:
- human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights;
- all are equal before the law;
- everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country;
- the will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government and that this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage.
Regrettably, with the Government hell bent on entrenching racism and rejecting equality before the law, New Zealand is not honouring these principles. We see examples of this in the Three Waters and Resource Management legislation, public health policies, property rights in the foreshore and seabed, co-governance arrangements, and race-based seats at decision making tables at both central and local government.
Dr Philip Joseph, Professor of Law at Canterbury University, touched on these issues in a speech that he gave during the annual Te Papa Treaty debate series in 2009:
“Preferential treatment on grounds of race or ethnicity is discriminatory and ethically wrong. To discriminate on those grounds deeply offends the right to equality of treatment under New Zealand’s human rights legislation”.
Fellow New Zealanders, we still have the democratic power to demand the Government upholds our basic human rights and to treat everyone as equals under the law. Let MFAT know your views, either in person at one of the public meetings listed here, or by sending a message to:
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Head Office
195 Lambton Quay
Private Bag 18 901
Wellington 6160, New Zealand
Or by email to [email protected]