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New Zealand secures the rights of lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LBTI) people and protects them from discrimination, stigma, and violence. Consensual same-sex conduct between adults was decriminalised in New Zealand in 1986 through the enactment of the Homosexual Law Reform Act 1986. The Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Act 2013 legalised same-sex marriage as well as providing the right of adoption by same-sex couples.

There is legal recognition of transgender people’s rights including their right to self-identity, the ability to change their gender and record this change in government documents, and to receive medical care, including gender affirmation surgery. With regard to intersex people, New Zealand’s perspective has been progressive, but a lot still needs to be done.

In October 2016, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child issued observations on practices in New Zealand, including recommendations to ensure “that no one is subjected to unnecessary medical or surgical treatment during infancy or childhood, guaranteeing the rights of children to bodily integrity, autonomy, and self-determination”.

A 2016 Intersex Roundtable by the Human Rights Commission on genital “normalising” surgeries found that there was a lack of political will to address surgeries, concerns with service delivery to parents and families, the development of legislative safeguards, and a need to test the right to bodily autonomy against the Bill of Rights Act.

The last State party report was submitted in 2011 and contained some mention of LBTI people.

Firstly, the state party recognises its legal recognition of same sex relationships, including property rights and obligations, and registration of civil unions is to be celebrated. However, the lack of official sexual orientation data, however, makes it difficult to monitor and advance the human rights of sexual minorities, including levels of violence and harassment. Additionally, there is mention of a major review of human rights issues in New Zealand, where HRC has issued a consultation document on a draft chapter on human rights in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity. There is also mention of lesbian, bisexual and transgender , intersex people form a part of “particular groups of women” who need support.

The LOI from July 2022 asks the state party to speak to the implementation of the the Te Aorerekura national strategy to eliminate family violence and sexual violence and its associated action plan and ensure its effectiveness in combating gender-based violence against women, including Maori women, women of ethnic minority groups, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex women, and women with disabilities;

At the 70th Session, the CEDAW Committee gave New Zealand their second SOGIESC-focused recommendation. In 2012, the Committee had recommended New Zealand “improve access and quality of health services for lesbian women and transgendered persons.” However, no SOGIESC issues had been included in the Committee’s List of Issues for New Zealand.

In 2018, the Committee recommended that the State party adopt clear legislative provisions explicitly prohibiting unnecessary surgical or medical treatment for intersex children before they can legally consent to such treatment.

The Committee recommended that the State party set up a centralised system for the collection, analysis and dissemination of comprehensive data, disaggregated by sex, age, disability, ethnicity, location, gender identity and sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status to assess trends in the situation of women.

The Committee was concerned about the high incidence of cyberbullying in high schools and how this affects young LBTI people. There was an acknowledgment of the State party’s comprehensive health coverage and urged the State to improve access and quality of medical care for LBT people, and also promote education on SRHR and pregnancy for young girls and women.

There was concern from the Committee that discrimination on the grounds of gender identity, gender expression, or sex characteristics is not specifically prohibited.