This is a single section from Chapter 5. Read the full chapter here.

Have you selected the option that imposes no limitation or the least limitation on a particular right?

NZBORA rights should not be limited, or should be subject only to such reasonable limits as can be justified in a free and democratic society.


Alternative options for achieving the policy objective that will result in no limitation on NZBORA rights should be identified and considered. These alternatives might involve adopting a different legislative approach or relying on non-legislative alternatives (see Chapter 19).

The rights contained in NZBORA may be subject to reasonable limits which can be justified in a free and democratic society. Legislation that only imposes reasonable limitations on a right as provided for in NZBORA will not be inconsistent.

In those cases where a limitation is required, rigorous steps should be taken to identify the least limitation possible.

Determining whether a limitation is “justified in a free and democratic society” will involve assessing the policy objectives and relevant legal principles. Officials must therefore work closely with their legal advisers when conducting this assessment.

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