10 May 2010

UN special rapporteur to visit NZ again

9:25 pm on 10 May 2010

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights is to visit New Zealand again in July.

Minister of Maori Affairs Pita Sharples made the announcement on Monday at a lunch to celebrate New Zealand's adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The last time a special rapporteur visited New Zealand was in 2005 and their report was critical of some government policy, including the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

The National Party called the report a major embarrassment for the then Labour Government and suggested its findings should be ignored.

But Dr Sharples says with the recent improvements, he is confident the next UN report will be more positive.

Those improvements include moves to repeal the Foreshore and Seabed Act, the signing of the declaration, and recommendations for more resources towards education and cultural protection.