Child poverty remained high. An August study by the Ministry of Social Development identified up to 270,000 children as living in poverty, about 47% of whom were from Māori or Pacific Island peoples.
In July, the CEDAW Committee considered New Zealand's periodic report and expressed concern at persistently high and increasing levels of violence against women. The Committee criticized New Zealand's failure to collect sufficient statistical data on violence against women, especially against Māori women, migrant women and women with disabilities.
Rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people
In August, the Marriage (Equality) Amendment Bill passed the first of three readings, with 80 votes for and 40 against. The bill sought to clarify the definition of marriage as contained in the 1955 Marriage Act. The new bill would allow marriage between two people regardless of their sex, sexual orientation or gender identity. The bill remained pending.
Refugees and asylum-seekers
In April, the Immigration Amendment (Mass Arrivals) Bill was introduced to Parliament. The new bill allowed for indefinite detention of asylum-seekers arriving by boat in groups of more than 10 people, as well as limitations on family reunification and access to judicial review. The bill gave the authorities new powers to suspend the processing of asylum claims. The bill had not been passed by the end of the year.