Human Rights Act 1993
|Human Rights Act 1993|
|New Zealand Parliament|
|An Act to consolidate and amend the Race Relations Act 1971 and the Human Rights Commission Act 1977 and to provide better protection of human rights in New Zealand in general accordance with United Nations Covenants or Conventions on Human Rights|
|Date of Royal Assent||10 August 1993|
|Date commenced||1 February 1994|
|Administered by||Ministry of Justice|
|New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990|
|Status: Current legislation|
The Human Rights Act 1993 is an Act of the Parliament of New Zealand which deals with discrimination. It was a consolidation and amendment of the Race Relations Act 1971 and the Human Rights Commission Act 1977. It came into force on 1 February 1994. The Act governs the work of the New Zealand Human Rights Commission.
It also outlawed discrimination on a wide variety of grounds, including:
- Sex (including pregnancy and childbirth)
- Marital status
- Religious belief
- Ethical belief
- Ethnic or national origins
- Political opinion
- Employment status
- Family status
- Sexual orientation
There are a significant number of caveats, including "genuine occupational qualification," "domestic employment in a private household," "to preserve reasonable standards of privacy," "national security" and "organised religion."
New Zealand Human Rights Act of 1993 do not explicitly prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity, and the Human Rights Commission, supported by the government's legal office, has always accepted complaints of discrimination based on gender identity on the ground of sex. However, the decision to interpret the prohibition of discrimination based on sex to also cover discrimination based on gender identity is easily reversed. But an important dimension of the exercise undertaken by the Commission in New Zealand was toward the empowerment of trans people, referencing the Yogyakarta Principles. In effect the Commission was responding to one of the Yogyakarta Principles' Additional Recommendations to national human rights institutions that integrate the promotion of human rights of persons of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities into their work.