The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique mechanism of the Human Rights Council (HRC) aimed at improving the human rights situation on the ground of each of the 193 United Nations (UN) members.

New Zealand’s Universal Periodic Review before the UN Human Rights Council will take place on Monday 21 January 2019.

Under this mechanism, the human rights situation of all UN Member States is reviewed every 5 years. 42 UN Member States are reviewed each year in Geneva during three sessions dedicated to 14 States each. These three sessions are usually held in January/February, April/May and October/November.

New Zealand's third Universal Periodic Review 

New Zealand’s third Universal Periodic Review is due in January/February 2019. This is a five-yearly review of our domestic human rights record. 

The New Zealand government submits a national report to the United Nations (due in October 2018) followed by a public examination of our report (January/February 2019).

At this examination, UN member states will have an opportunity to make recommendations on our progress on human rights.

New Zealand had our first Universal Periodic Review in 2009 and our second in 2014.

UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (external link) — documents relating to our previous two reviews.

The Universal Periodic Review national report

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has now drafted New Zealand’s national report, and submitted it to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. It is available here: The Universal Periodic Review national report 2019 [PDF, 460 KB]

The national report responds to the recommendations that New Zealand received from other UN member states during our last review in 2014, and covers a broad range of current human rights issues in New Zealand.

The list of recommendations that New Zealand received, and updates on progress, are available in New Zealand's National Plan of Action. (external link)

The Ministry engaged with a range of New Zealand Government agencies in drafting the report, and also engaged in public outreach. The Governments of Tokelau, the Cook Islands and Niue were also consulted because of New Zealand’s constitutional relationship with these countries.

To encourage civil society engagement in our Universal Periodic Review process, we held public events in 8 locations during February and March 2018 to seek public views. They were in Wellington, Auckland, Kaitaia, Rotorua, Nelson, Christchurch, Dunedin, and Gisborne.

We also visited a number of high schools to talk to over 250 students about their thoughts on current human rights issues.

A draft national report was also made available online for public consultation. Relevant feedback received was incorporated into the final report.

Have your say

To ensure that New Zealanders have an opportunity to contribute to meeting our UN obligations, we release draft reports for public consultation.

Submissions on the national report closed on Friday 3 August 2018.

Next steps

We will consider your feedback before finalising the report and submitting it to the UN in October 2018. The final report will require approval by the Minister of Foreign Affairs ahead of submission.

Information about the UPR process is available from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. (external link)

Contact us

If you have any queries about the Universal Periodic Review 2019, email us at  UPR2019@mfat.govt.nz.