Grant of Honorary Life Membership

The awarding of honorary life membership is a recognition of an individual’s support for civil liberties both through their own efforts and through their work with the Council. After a gap of some years we are pleased to award life memberships to three people who have all contributed generously of their time and effort to the cause of civil liberties in New Zealand. Keep reading “Grant of Honorary Life Membership”

Vaccine mandates and certificates vs our liberties and rights

From a civil liberties perspective, there’s a big difference between encouraging people to get vaccinated, and the state mandating that people have to do so in order to keep their jobs. In this article we first talk about some of the ethical frameworks that can be used to analyse the choices that need to be made. Then we look at the human rights issues - how the requirements will interact with the Bill of Rights Act and the Human Rights Act, as well as the privacy issues. Keep reading “Vaccine mandates and certificates vs our liberties and rights”

Blog: Wide-ranging Content Regulation Review a threat to freedom of expression?

The government's Review of Content Regulation, in all its vast scope, is potentially the biggest threat to freedom of expression in New Zealand we've seen in years. I participated in the initial engagement sessions and came away concerned that the Department of Internal Affairs have bitten off far more than they can chew. Keep reading “Blog: Wide-ranging Content Regulation Review a threat to freedom of expression?”

Media release: Government secrecy on vaccination certificates is dangerous

The New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties has today written to the Prime Minister expressing its deep concern about the secrecy surrounding the introduction of Covid-19 vaccination certificates. The Council has called for immediate publication of the information provided by the government to the events and hospitality sector, and the advice it has received from the Privacy Commissioner and officials who have looked at the human rights issues involved. Keep reading “Media release: Government secrecy on vaccination certificates is dangerous”

Letter to PM and Minister re vaccination certificates

The NZ Council for Civil Liberties is deeply concerned about the government's plans to introduce Covid-19 vaccination certificates and mandate their use for access to certain events and venues. This is a major imposition on civil liberties and takes our country in a new direction; as such it should be done carefully and with adequate protections for civil liberties.


While we understand the government's need to move at speed, we still expect that any such moves should be taken after as much consultation with the public, civil society groups, and Māori groups as possible. This is not happening and the government has been refusing requests for information about their plans.


We have written to the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the Minister for Covid-19 Response Chris Hipkins to express our concerns and request this information. The text of that letter follows: Keep reading “Letter to PM and Minister re vaccination certificates”

Submission: Inquiry into Supplementary Order Paper 59 on the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Bill

The Council supports the rights and liberties of all people in Aotearoa New Zealand including their right not to be discriminated against on the basis of their gender, gender identity, or sex characteristics. Keep reading “Submission: Inquiry into Supplementary Order Paper 59 on the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Bill”

Submission: – Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill

The Council supports the proposed criminalisation of conversion therapy. We have an obligation to protect the life, dignity, health and equality of LGBT+ persons. We recommend amendments to criminalise cosmetic gender assignment surgery on infants, to remove the loophole for health practitioners, and to add sentencing options other than prison. Keep reading “Submission: – Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill”