UN expert on indigenous people in follow-up mission to New Zealand

GENEVA (16 July 2010) – The UN Special Rapporteur on indigenous people, James Anaya, will visit New Zealand from 18 to 23 July to gather information on developments concerning indigenous peoples in the country since the mission of his predecessor in 2005*, which focused on issues of self-governance and cultural identity of the Maori population, its property rights to land and coastal areas, as well as strategies to reduce inequalities between Maori and non-Maori.

“This coming mission to New Zealand will allow me to follow up on recommendations made five years ago, with a view towards contributing to steps to address ongoing problems, as well as to identify good practices,” said the independent expert mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people.

During his 6-day mission, Mr. Anaya will meet with Government and Maori representatives, as well as with members of civil society.

The itinerary of the mission, which is taking place at the invitation of the Government and with the cooperation of Maori leaders, will include visits to Auckland, Wellington, Kerikeri, Waitangi, Ngaruawahia, Whanganui and Putiki Marae.

The Special Rapporteur will hold a press conference on 23 July 2010 at 16.30, at the Sky City Hotel in Auckland, to present a preliminary statement on the visit. His final report will be presented to a forthcoming session of the UN Human Rights Council.

On 26 March 2008, the Human Rights Council appointed Professor S. James Anaya as Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous peoples, for an initial period of three years. Professor Anaya is the James J. Lenoir Professor of Human Rights Law and Policy at the University of Arizona (USA).

(*) Check the 2005 report on New Zealand by Rodolfo Stavenhagen: http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G06/118/36/PDF/G0611836.pdf?OpenElement

OHCHR Country Page – New Zealand: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AsiaRegion/Pages/NZIndex.aspx

For additional information and media requests, please contact Lydie Ventre (Tel: + 41 22 917 9313 / email: lventre@ohchr.org) or write to indigenous@ohchr.org.