New Zealand

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New Zealand 2022

An independent inquiry called for an end to the detention in correctional facilities of people seeking asylum. Reports highlighted ongoing concerns about the prison system. Civil society strongly criticized a new oversight system for Oranga Tamariki/the Ministry for Children.


Two new authorities were launched in July. Te Aka Whai Ora – Māori Health Authority has the stated aim of bringing transformational change to the way health services understand and respond to the health and well-being needs of whānau Māori (the Māori community). Whaikaha – the Ministry of Disabled People was launched “to lead transformation of the disability support system in partnership with the community.”

Refugees’ and migrants’ rights

In May, the government released an independent review into the practice of detaining people seeking asylum in criminal detention facilities. The review found the immigration detention framework was “a recipe for arbitrary detention”, and recommended revisions to the Immigration Act and an end to holding asylum seekers in correctional facilities. The government accepted the report’s recommendations.

Detainees’ rights

Reports highlighting concerns across the prison system persisted.

In April, the Office of the Inspectorate released its report of an unannounced inspection of Invercargill Prison, raising serious concerns including about poor conditions leading to ill health in the Remand Unit. In August, the Office of the Ombudsman reported on its unannounced inspection of Otago Corrections Facility and stated that they believed the experiences of several people held in the Management Unit constituted prolonged solitary confinement.

Children’s rights 

The government passed legislation reforming the oversight system of Oranga Tamariki/the Ministry for Children. However, civil society groups raised multiple concerns about both the development and content of the new system. These included concerns about breaches of Te Tiriti o Waitangi (a treaty signed between the British Crown and over 500 Māori chiefs in 1840) as well as the new system not being adequately independent.

Failure to tackle climate crisis

The government released its first Emissions Reduction Plan in May, covering the period 2022 to 2025, setting out strategies and actions needed to meet long-term emissions reduction targets.

Climate Action Tracker, a consortium providing global scientific analysis, continued to rate New Zealand’s NDC as “highly insufficient”. The rating was given as the policies and action proposed were not at all consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C.