The constitution and other laws and policies provide for religious freedom, including the right to manifest religion or belief in worship, observance, practice, or teaching, either individually or in community with others, and either in public or in private. The law prohibits discrimination based on religious belief. Government and community leaders strongly condemned a local indigenous leader’s declaration that Muslim dress should be banned from national holiday celebrations.
Jewish and Muslim leaders reported anti‑Semitic and anti‑Islamic incidents, and the New Zealand Human Rights Commission (HRC) received 49 complaints of discrimination based on religious belief, 30 percent fewer than the previous year. These incidents of discrimination were strongly denounced by the HRC, government officials, and community leaders.
The Ambassador and other embassy and consulate general officers continued to meet with the government and representatives of all major religious groups throughout the country to discuss religious freedom and the role of religion in society. The Ambassador and Consul General met with Auckland’s Interfaith Council to promote religious tolerance and discuss the role of religion in society. The Consul General hosted an interfaith iftar for the Auckland Muslim community and Interfaith Council, bringing together leaders from Auckland’s Sikh, Hindu, Jewish, Catholic, Mormon, Protestant, and Muslim communities to discuss religious freedom and tolerance. Embassy representatives met with leaders of the Sikh, Jewish, Islamic, and Christian religious groups throughout the country to discuss religious tolerance.