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Individual rights & freedoms

Areas of life where discrimination is illegal


Discrimination by private businesses, companies, and individuals on any of the illegal grounds like race and sexual orientation is illegal only if it happens in one of the key areas of public life specifically covered by the anti-discrimination laws. In this section, we summarise those key areas of life, which include employment and renting a home.

Discrimination by government bodies and officials on any of the illegal grounds is also illegal when you’re dealing with them and their services (see: “Government bodies, public services, and schools”).

To find out about other areas of public life that are covered by the anti-discrimination laws but not discussed in this chapter (like getting trade or professional qualifications), you can go to the Human Rights Commission website (see: “Where to go for more support” below) or read the Human Rights Act 1993.

In general, the anti-discrimination laws don’t cover interactions between people in their private relationships – for example, if your friends start to treat you badly because of a ground that’s illegal in public life, like your sexual orientation.

Next Section | Jobs and employment

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Where to go for more support

Community Law

Your local Community Law Centre can provide you with free initial legal advice.

Find your local Community Law Centre online: www.communitylaw.org.nz/our-law-centres

Te Kāhui Tika Tangata/Human Rights Commission

The Human Rights Commission website provides information about human rights in Aotearoa and outlines how you can make a complaint to the Commission.

Website: www.tikatangata.org.nz or www.hrc.co.nz
Email: infoline@hrc.co.nz
Phone:  0800 496 877 (0800 4 YOUR RIGHTS)

To make a complaint online, download a complaint form or find out more about the complaints process: www.tikatangata.org.nz/resources-and-support/make-a-complaint

Human Rights Review Tribunal

This website provides information about the tribunal and the hearing process and contains the relevant application forms.

Website: www.justice.govt.nz/tribunals/human-rights

Make a claim to the Human Rights Review Tribunal: www.justice.govt.nz/tribunals/human-rights/make-a-claim

The Office of Human Rights Proceedings

The Office of Human Rights Proceedings can provide free legal representation to people wanting to bring unlawful discrimination proceedings in the Human Rights Review Tribunal.

Website: www.tikatangata.org.nz/about-us/office-of-human-rights-proceedings
Email: ohrp@ohrp.org.nz
Phone: 09 375 8623

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