About us

About the Foundation

The Human Rights Foundation promotes and defends human rights in Aotearoa New Zealand and abroad, through research-based education and advocacy. We are an independent non-governmental organisation established in December 2001.

We stand up for human rights, by:

  •  making submissions on new laws with human rights implications
  • monitoring New Zealand’s compliance and implementation of our international obligations under the international conventions our government has signed
  • preparing shadow reports for relevant United Nations treaty bodies to be considered alongside official reports
  • providing educational events and resources for the New Zealand public on topical human rights issues
Dame Silvia Cartwright

The Foundation’s patron, Dame Silvia Cartwright

Our primary focus is on human rights in New Zealand. However, we recognise that human rights are universal. Therefore, we maintain an interest in human rights in the Pacific and beyond.

We are a registered charity (CC22917). Among other things, this means your donations are tax deductible.

Our Patron is former Governor General and High Court Judge, Dame Silvia Cartwright and our Chairperson is Peter Hosking. You will find their profiles in the “Committee Members and Committee Members” section.

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Management Committee

Chairperson: Peter Hosking
Secretary: Maithili Sreen
Treasurer: Oliver Hoffmann
Management Committee members:

  • Margaret Bedggood
  • Margaret Lewis
  • Deborah Manning
  • Mohammed Jaballah
  • Ced Simpson
  • Maithili Sreen
  • David Tong
  • Geraldine Whiteford
  • Ahmed Zaoui

Read more about our Management Committee

Advisory Council

We have an Advisory Council of eminent New Zealanders who are experienced or knowledgeable in human rights law or practice, in the Treaty of Waitangi, and/or in current economic, social and cultural issues.

Our Advisory Council currently comprises:

  • Sandra Coney
  • Paul Hunt
  • Marilyn Waring
  • Rodney Harrison, QC
  • David Oughton
  • Judge Caren Wickliffe

Life Members

People who want to give extra support to the Foundation can become Life Member. The Founding (Life) Membership Fee for individuals is $500 and for corporate bodies is $2,000.

You can use our online membership application form to become a life member.

Read more about our life members