New Zealand - NPM Resources

Opcat status

OPCAT Ratification March 14, 2007
UNCAT Ratification December 10, 1989
NPM Designated

5 different bodies coordinated by the Human Rights Commission (central NPM), and including the Office of the Ombudsman, the Independent Police Conduct Authority, the Office of the Children’s Commissioner and the Inspector of Service Penal Establishments of the Office of the Judge Advocate General of the Armed Forces.

NPM Type

Multiple Institutions

NPM Legal Framework

Crime of Torture Amendment Bill and its section on torture prevention (Part 2 of the consolidated version of the Crimes of Torture Act Torture prevention section)

Human Resources

As far as the APT is aware, the majority of the staff appointed to carry out the NPM functions is also assuming other functions within their institutions.

  • Human Rights Commission

The Commissioners are appointed by the Governor-General, following advice of the Minister of Justice, and they serve a five-year term. One staff member is in charge of facilitating the coordination of the NPM activities, amongst other tasks. The NPM Coordinator is based in Auckland.

  • Independent Police Conduct Authority

Following its designation as NPM, the Independent Police Conduct Authority legislation was amended to comply with the OPCAT requirements. The Independent Police Conduct Authority Act was passed and the composition of the Authority changed from one person to a board of five members, comprising legal experts and lay people. However, following the examination of the New Zealand report by the Committee against Torture in May 2009, the impartiality of the Authority was questioned as it included both current and former police officers. The CAT recommended staffing the IPCA with experts drawn from outside the Police

  • Inspector of Service Penal Establishments

Changes were brought to the Inspector of Service Penal Establishment, giving the NPM mandate to the Registrar of Court Martials under the Court Martial Act 2007. The Inspector has no staff, but has the capacity to second additional personnel if required. 

  • Office of the Ombudsmen

Two “Inspectors – Crime of Torture Act” were initally appointed by the Ombudsman to carry out OPCAT related work (one man and one woman).  The first one is based in Christchurch while the second one is based in Wellington. This number was increased to four in 2015.

  • Office of the Children's Commissioner

Due to budget constraints, no staff is dedicated solely to the NPM activities within the Office.

Financial Resources

Little or no additional funding was granted to the institutions to carry out the NPM role. Although the NPMs have been operating within the available resources, the lack of funding remains an ongoing concern. One of the most pressing issues is staffing, in particular for the OCC, IPCA and the Ombudsman’s Office, in order to cover all places of detention. 

Keywords: Staff, Members