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Community and inclusion

New Zealand prides itself on its achievements in recognising the interests of all, from women's suffrage to marriage equality. But the struggle for fair treatment, recognition and inclusion by marginalised groups continues. In recent years, these struggles have overlapped with debates around the limits – and responsibilities – of free expression.

Pasifika

The largest Pacific nation, New Zealand is home to diverse communities from across the region. As the impacts of climate change increase in frequency and intensity, NZ's responsibilities to its neighbours and Pasifika communities at home are becoming more pressing.

Disability

People with disabilities face unique barriers to inclusion in society. The government recently removed a law that limited payments to people who provide care to relatives with disabilities, but the provision of adequate resources for everyone to participate in the community is an ongoing issue.

Young people

The schools climate strike marked a recent highpoint for youth political action, as young people across the world took to the streets to demand climate action. The events highlighted the fact that young people are affected by government action as much as any adult – even though they lack political representation.

Women

Care and support workers won historic pay equity settlement in 2017, paving the way for workers in other female-dominated industries to achieve equitable pay. But implementation of pay equity remains controversial, as does parliament's decision to decriminalise abortion earlier this year.

Seniors

As NZ's population ages, the challenge of housing and caring for older people grows. Recent incidents of seniors being poorly cared for or abused by care providers have undermined trust in the system.

Rainbow community

After same-sex marriage became law, political controversy has increasingly shifted to trans rights. An attempt to extend laws against discrimination to cover gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics failed in the last parliament. The rainbow community still faces challenges others don’t, including high rates of suicide.

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