Human Rights Act 1993

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Reprint as at 26 November 2018

Coat of Arms of New Zealand

Human Rights Act 1993

Public Act
1993 No 82
Date of assent
10 August 1993
see section 1(2)

Changes authorised by subpart 2 of Part 2 of the Legislation Act 2012 have been made in this official reprint.

Note 4 at the end of this reprint provides a list of the amendments incorporated.

This Act is administered by the Ministry of Justice.


1Short Title and commencement
2ATransitional, savings, and related provisions
3Act to bind the Crown
4Continuation of Human Rights Commission
5Functions of Commission
6Powers relating to declaratory judgments
7Commission determines general nature of activities
8Membership of Commission
9Alternate Commissioners
10Meetings of Commission
11Criteria for appointment
12Further criteria for appointment of Chief Commissioner
13Further criteria for appointment of Commissioner appointed to lead Commission work in priority area
14Further criteria for appointment of Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner [Repealed]
15Functions of Chief Commissioner
16Additional functions of Commissioner appointed or designated to lead work of Commission in priority areas
17Functions of Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner [Repealed]
18General manager and staff of Commission
19Duty to act independently
20Office of Human Rights Proceedings
20ADirector of Human Rights Proceedings
20BCriteria and requirement for appointment
20CAppointment of Judge as Human Rights Commissioner
20DOffice holders to whom sections 20E to 20G apply
20EService in office [Repealed]
20FTerm of office
20GVacation of office
20HAdministrative provisions set out in Schedules 1 and 2
20IPurpose of this Part
20JActs or omissions in relation to which this Part applies
20KPurposes for which section 20L applies
20LActs or omissions in breach of this Part
21AApplication of this Part limited if section 3 of New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 applies
21BRelationship between this Part and other law
21Prohibited grounds of discrimination
23Particulars of applicants for employment
24Exception in relation to crews of ships and aircraft
25Exception in relation to work involving national security
26Exception in relation to work performed outside New Zealand
27Exceptions in relation to authenticity and privacy
28Exceptions for purposes of religion
29Further exceptions in relation to disability
30Further exceptions in relation to age
30AException in relation to employment-related retirement benefits
31Exception in relation to employment of a political nature
32Exception in relation to family status
33Armed forces [Repealed]
34Regular forces
35General qualification on exceptions
37Organisations of employees or employers and professional and trade associations
38Qualifying bodies
39Exceptions in relation to qualifying bodies
40Vocational training bodies
41Exceptions in relation to vocational training bodies
42Access by the public to places, vehicles, and facilities
43Exceptions in relation to access by the public to places, vehicles, and facilities
44Provision of goods and services
45Exception in relation to courses and counselling
46Exception in relation to public decency or safety
47Exception in relation to skill
48Exception in relation to insurance
49Exception in relation to sport
50Exception in relation to travel services
51Exception in relation to reduced charges
52Exception in relation to disability
53Land, housing, and other accommodation
54Exception in relation to shared residential accommodation
55Exception in relation to hostels, institutions, etc
56Further exception in relation to disability
57Educational establishments
58Exceptions in relation to establishments for particular groups
59Exception in relation to courses and counselling
60Further exceptions in relation to disability
61Racial disharmony
62Sexual harassment
63Racial harassment
64Choice of procedures [Repealed]
65Indirect discrimination
68Liability of employer and principals
69Further provision in relation to sexual or racial harassment in employment
70Superannuation schemes
71Reports on superannuation schemes
72Power to vary trust deeds
73Measures to ensure equality
74Measures relating to pregnancy, childbirth, or family responsibilities
75Object of this Part
76Functions of Commission under this Part
77Dispute resolution services
78Method of providing services
79How complaints received to be treated
79AChoice of procedures
80Taking action or further action in relation to complaint
81Commission to inform parties of process
82Information gathering and disclosure by Commission
84Reference of complaint to Director or from Director or Tribunal
85Confidentiality of information disclosed at dispute resolution meeting
86Evidence as to dispute resolution meeting
87Certain information not to be made available
88Limits on effect of section 80(1) or sections 85 to 87
89Enforcement of terms of settlement agreed by parties
90Functions of Director of Human Rights Proceedings under this Part
91Requirements for Director’s decisions under section 90
92Matters Director to have regard to in deciding whether to provide representation in proceedings before Tribunal or in related proceedings
92ADirector to notify and report on decisions on representation
92BCivil proceedings arising from complaints
92BALodging of applications
92CRepresentation in civil proceedings arising from complaints
92DTribunal or Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson may refer complaint back to Commission, or adjourn proceedings to seek resolution by settlement
92ECivil proceedings arising from inquiry by Commission
92FProof of justified limits and exceptions
92GRight of Attorney-General to appear in civil proceedings
92HRight of Commission to appear in civil proceedings
92JRemedy for enactments in breach of Part 1A
92KEffect of declaration
92NDirections as to payment of damages in certain cases
92OTribunal may defer or modify remedies for breach of Part 1A or Part 2 or terms of settlement
92PMatters to be taken into account in exercising powers given by section 92O
92QMonetary limits on remedies Tribunal may grant
92RTribunal to refer granting of remedies to High Court
92SFurther provisions on reference to High Court
92THigh Court decides remedies on reference from Tribunal
92UHigh Court’s decision on remedies to be included in, and given effect to as part of, Tribunal’s determination
92VAbandonment to enable Tribunal to make award of damages
92WExtension of jurisdiction by agreement between parties
93Human Rights Review Tribunal
94Functions of Tribunal
95Power to make interim order
96Review of interim orders
97Power in respect of exception for genuine occupational qualification or genuine justification
98Membership of Tribunal
99Chairperson of Tribunal
99AADeputy Chairpersons of Tribunal
99ACriteria and requirement for appointment of Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson
100Appointment and term of office
101AFunctions, duties, and powers of Deputy Chairpersons
101BDelegation by Chairperson of Tribunal
101CReferences to Chairpersons include deputies and delegates and temporary acting Chairperson
102Appointment of temporary acting Chairperson
103Vacation of office by Chairperson, temporary acting Chairperson, and Deputy Chairperson
103AOrderly and efficient operation
103BPowers of Chairperson to direct constitution of Tribunal
104Sittings of Tribunal
105Substantial merits
106Evidence in proceedings before Tribunal
107Sittings to be held in public except in special circumstances
108Persons entitled to be heard
108ATribunal to give notice of proceedings
108BSubmissions in relation to remedies
109Witness summons
110Service of summons
111Witnesses’ allowances
112Privileges and immunities
113Non-attendance or refusal to co-operate
114Power to commit for contempt
115Tribunal may dismiss trivial, etc, proceedings
115ATribunal may strike out, determine, or adjourn proceedings
116Reasons to be given
117Seal of Tribunal
118Members of Tribunal not personally liable
119Fees of members of Tribunal
120Services for Tribunal
121APractice notes
122Stating case for High Court
122ARemoval to High Court of proceedings or issue
122BProceedings or issue removed to High Court
123Appeals to High Court
124Appeal to Court of Appeal on a question of law
125Costs of appeal
126Additional members of High Court for purposes of Act
126AEvidence order
128Protection and privileges of witnesses, etc
129Disclosure of certain matters not to be required
130Proceedings privileged
131Inciting racial disharmony
132No prosecution without Attorney-General’s consent
133Licences and registration
134Access by the public to places, vehicles, and facilities
135No prosecution without Attorney-General’s consent
136Condition in restraint of marriage, civil union, or de facto relationship
137Advisors to be officials
138No adverse statement
139Restriction on delegation
140Delegation of powers by Chief Commissioner
141Annual report [Repealed]
141ACertain acts not to be questioned [Repealed]
142Money to be appropriated by Parliament for purposes of this Act [Repealed]
145Related amendments to other enactments [Repealed]
146Repeals [Repealed]
147Revocation [Repealed]
148Former office of Commissioner abolished
148ACertain former Commissioners to be transitional members of Commission
148BAssets and liabilities vest in Commission
148CReferences to Race Relations Conciliator
148ECommission to arrange final audited accounts
148FAll employees transferred to Commission
148GProceedings Commissioner
148HReferences to Proceedings Commissioner
148IProceedings to which Proceedings Commissioner party
148JComplaints referred to Proceedings Commissioner for decision as to proceedings
148KTransfer of employees from Commission to Office
148LComplaints Division abolished
148MOutstanding complaints to be dealt with by Commission under new procedure
148NBreaches of Part 1A
148OComplaints about breaches of Part 1A
149Special provisions in relation to written employment contracts in force on 1 April 1992
150Charitable instruments
151Other enactments and actions not affected [Repealed]
152Expiry of section 151 [Repealed]
Reprint notes

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