Human Rights Policy

We stand opposed to any discrimination on the grounds of ethnicity, gender, political belief, sexuality, marital status, age, disability or socio-economic background.

New Zealand human rights legislation can be improved to make it consistent with international law.
We can promote a tolerant and diverse society, and in doing so give additional assistance to new migrants and refugees.
We can ensure New Zealand is a good international citizen, by championing the human rights of people in other nations.

The Green Party believes that all people should be free and have equal opportunities, and that our inherent human rights must be protected and upheld by the rule of law. We oppose discrimination on the basis of nationality, ethnic origin, religion, political belief, gender, sexuality, marital status, family, age, disability, or socio-economic background. We believe that everyone deserves a fair go.

Promoting Tolerance and Valuing Ethnic Diversity

Our country benefits from the presence of many migrant communities. Not only do migrants add to the richness of our experience and understanding of the world, but they also provide much need professional skills and contribute to the economy. For example, 40 per cent of doctors working in New Zealand are foreign-born; our health system depends on their skills and experience. We believe that creating inclusive, tolerant communities is good for all New Zealanders. The Greens will:

  • Work with ethnic communities to combat prejudice and to develop fair, compassionate, and effective immigration and migrant settlement processes.
  • Provide assistance for all new migrants to learn English.
  • Establish a stand-alone Ministry of Ethnic Affairs, in line with the establishment of a Minister of Ethnic Affairs.
  • Ensure greater availability of bridging courses for immigrants who have professional skills which Aotearoa/New Zealand needs.
  • Provide all new immigrants with a copy of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act and Te Tiriti o Waitangi in their preferred language.

Our Special Responsibility Towards Refugees and Asylum Seekers

The Green Party acknowledges that there are people who cannot safely remain in their countries of origin. Humanitarian disasters, both natural and human-made, leave thousands of people homeless every year. We believe that New Zealanders want to help those in need. The Greens will:

  • Increase our annual refugee quota, providing adequate resources.
  • Offer English as a second language courses that are affordable to all adult refugees who need them.
  • Ensure that all refugees and asylum seekers are treated humanely, with detention only used in exceptional cases where a genuine security risk can be identified.
  • Abide by the provisions of the 1951 Refugee Convention and related international agreements, including upholding the independence of the Refugee Status Appeals Authority, and abide by the convention that the government cannot overturn its decisions.
  • Remove the ability for Government Ministers to overturn decisions by judicial bodies, for example, decisions relating to the Security Risk Certificate procedure.
  • Increase the resources government makes available for successful resettlement.

The Root of Human Rights in the Home

Fundamental human rights are the framework for a fair and just society. It is important for New Zealanders to know their rights, acknowledge their responsibilities and respect the rights of others. The Greens will:

  • Ensure that government itself is bound by any human rights legislation, including the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act.
  • Review the exceptions in the Human Rights Act to prevent discrimination on the basis of disability.
  • Resource the Human Rights Commission and the Office of the Commissioner for Children sufficiently to fulfil their mandates.
  • Develop a framework for human rights education to empower people to understand their citizenship, human rights and Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
  • Ensure that our human rights legislation and practises are in accord with our international obligations.
  • Work with the Human Rights Commission to implement the New Zealand Action Plan for Human Rights.

Our Role as an International Citizen

We have a responsibility to use our wealth and influence to promote peace, sustainability and human rights within the international community. The Greens will:

  • Campaign for more far-reaching debt relief for poorer countries.
  • Finalise a timetable to reach the United Nations' overseas aid target of 0.7% of Gross National Income within four years.
  • Maximise the effectiveness of aid by delivering a higher proportion of it through Non Governmental Organizations, with a strong human rights dimension.
  • Complete the ratification and legislative implementation of the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women and its Protocol, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the ILO Conventions and the Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
  • Ensure that in any dealings with countries in which human rights violations occur, including economic and trade negotiations, the interests of disadvantaged and disempowered communities are paramount.

Read the full policy here