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.

Human rights record reviewed every 5 years

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 is responsible for writing the national report covering a broad range of current human rights issues in New Zealand.

We have engaged with a range of New Zealand Government agencies to seek advice on the issues to be included in the report.

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.

The Governments of Tokelau, the Cook Islands and Niue will also be consulted because of New Zealand’s constitutional relationship with these countries. 

The national report responds to the recommendations that New Zealand received from other UN member states during our last review in 2014.

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

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.

We would appreciate your feedback to help ensure the report is clear and accurate, and to determine if we should include any other information related to the recommendations received by New Zealand in 2014.

Download a copy of the full draft report [DOCX, 121 KB] 

Have your say on the draft report by putting your feedback in writing and emailing it to UPR2019@mfat.govt.nz .

Please ensure that your response is limited to 500 words. Unfortunately we will be unable to review submissions that are longer than this.

We need your thoughts and ideas to be received in our email inbox by 5pm Friday 3 August 2018.

Personal information and confidentiality

We will collect and hold your personal information in accordance with our obligations under the Privacy Act 1993.

We accept submissions made in confidence or anonymously. Clearly indicate if you want your submission to be treated as confidential and if possible, the reasons for that confidentiality.

All information held by the Ministry is subject to the Official Information Act 1982 and the Privacy Act 1993. This means we may be required to release information in accordance with the Official Information Act 1982 and/or the Privacy Act 1993.

While both pieces of legislation have provisions to withhold information for various reasons such as confidentiality, we cannot guarantee that all the information you provide can be withheld. We will not release the contact details of individuals.

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.