National | Human Rights Commission

Commission calls for protection of human rights as 75th anniversary approaches

Te Kāhui Tika Tangata Human Rights Commission is urging the public and government to champion and protect human rights ahead of the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

It has launched a short film describing the beauty within Aotearoa interspersed with the inequities faced by many.

Acting chief human rights commissioner Saunoamaali’i Karanina Sumeo says while the country has many things to be proud of, it has a long way to go to fully uphold the rights of many citizens.

“We’re famous for our natural beauty and laid-back lifestyle but, for many in New Zealand, this simply isn’t the Aotearoa they live in.

“The reality is, we have a lot of work to do to realise fundamental human rights for everyone in Aotearoa.”

Those rights, Te Kāhui Tika Tangata says, include the Treaty of Waitangi, and rights of indigenous peoples, rights of disabled people, rainbow rights, housing and the gender and ethnic pay gaps.

New campaign

“These are just some of the key rights that the government of the day must work toward protecting and promoting,” Sumeo says.

The commission is also highlighting the services it provides to the public to protect and educate about human rights, which includes the rights inherent within te Tiriti o Waitangi.

The campaign, Let’sGoThereTogether, draws attention to the impact of the commission’s mediation and information services, through a range of case studies provided on the campaign webpage.

“We want people to understand how we can help them, and this includes through our dispute resolution service, addressing complaints of discrimination, sexual harassment, racial harassment and other human rights concerns,” says chief executive Meg de Ronde says.

“Together we can look to the next 75 years and create a fairer, more inclusive Aotearoa - one that lives up to its reputation as a paradise. #LetsGoThereTogether.”

Public Interest Journalism