Monitoring Enjoyment of the Rights to Adequate Housing and Health Care and Protection in Aotearoa New Zealand
326 Pages Posted: 11 Nov 2021
Date Written: September 19, 2021
This study evaluates how well the New Zealand Government is complying with its obligations under the International Covenant for Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) regarding the right to adequate housing and the right to health care and protection. This study is novel in that it is the first study to extensively use quantitative performance indicators in addition to several qualitative indicators. While we find some areas of compliance for both the right to adequate housing and the right to health care and protection, the study reveals serious and significant violations of the ICESCR. The structural indicators reveal pervasive breaches in the New Zealand Government’s commitment to respect each right, while the process and outcome indicators reveal breaches in the New Zealand Government’s commitment to protect and fulfil each right. In particular, we find: (1) the two rights are not explicitly and fully recognised in domestic laws or in strategic plans, policies and measures; (2) well over half of the indicators examined reveal breaches in the obligations to use the maximum of available resources to ensure the two rights; (3) fewer than half the indicators evaluated show compliance with the obligation to progressively realise the two rights; (4) all but two of the indicators used to evaluate the New Zealand Government’s compliance with its minimum core obligations reveal breaches; (5) a sizable number of the indicators evaluated show breaches of non-retrogression—that is, reductions in the percentage of the population enjoying the rights; and finally, (6) there is evidence of serious and persistent structural, direct, and indirect discrimination among many population subgroups and especially between Māori and non-Māori.
Note: Funding: This research was funded by the New Zealand Human Rights Commission
Declaration of Interests: None to declare.
Keywords: Right to housing; right to health; Human Rights Law; International Covenant for Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights; Social Rights; freedoms; Human Development; Entitlements; Well Being; Capabilities; Social Policy; New Zealand; Public Expenditure; Health; Welfare; Economic Development
JEL Classification: K380, H53, I15, I18, I31, I38, O15, O56
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation