U.S. Department of State Country Report on Human Rights Practices 1997 - New Zealand
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Publication Date||30 January 1998|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State Country Report on Human Rights Practices 1997 - New Zealand, 30 January 1998, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6aa1b48.html [accessed 19 November 2017]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, January 30, 1998.
NEW ZEALANDNew Zealand is a parliamentary democracy, with executive authority vested in a 20-member cabinet led by a prime minister. Five seats in the 120-member Parliament are reserved for the native Maori minority population. The judiciary is independent. The Cook Islands and Niue are self-governing states in free association with New Zealand. Tokelau is a New Zealand territory. Their local laws are compatible with New Zealand and British common law. The police and defense forces are responsible to and firmly controlled by civilian officials. New Zealand is a highly efficient producer of agricultural products. The mainstay of its market-based economy is the export of wool, meat, and dairy products. An expanding manufacturing sector is engaged primarily in food processing, metal fabrication, and the production of wood and paper products. Tourism is also a significant sector of the economy, and niche industries are developing in such high technology sectors as software production. Disparities in wealth are small but increasing. Most citizens enjoy a comfortable standard of living. The Government respects the human rights of its citizens, and the law and judiciary provide effective means of dealing with instances of abuse. The Government has taken steps to address the problems of overcrowded prisons, violence against women, and societal discrimination against indigenous people.