New Zealand
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  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Western Christian

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Not Religious (incl. Atheist) (40.4%)

Features Of Constitution

Is there a constitution?3 no, but law functions in its place
Does the constitution state an official religion?3 not stated
Does the constitution provide for freedom of religion?3 yes [Bill of Rights Act, Sections 13, 15]
Does the constitution protect religious equality/non-discrimination?3 yes [Human Rights Act, Section 21(1)(c-d)]

Constitution

Constitution Year3 1852
Last Amended3 2018
Source3 Constitute Project
Translation3 Original was written in English.
Current as of3 November 12, 2018

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)3

New Zealand Bill of Rights Act (1990)

Section 13. Freedom of thought, conscience, and religion.

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion, and belief, including the right to adopt and to hold opinions without interference.

Section 15. Manifestation of religion and belief.

Every person has the right to manifest that person’s religion or belief in worship, observance, practice, or teaching, either individually or in community with others, and either in public or in private.

Section 20. Rights of minorities.

A person who belongs to [a] ... religious ... minority in New Zealand shall not be denied the right, in community with other members of that minority, to enjoy the culture, to profess and practise the religion, or to use the language, of that minority.

Electoral Act (1993)

Section 61. Special voters.

(1) A person who is qualified to vote at any election in any district may vote as a special voter if---

...

(e) the person is, by reason of a religious objection, unable to attend to vote on the day of the week on which polling day falls: [sic]

...

Human Rights Act (1993)

Section 21. Prohibited grounds of discrimination.

(1) For the purposes of this Act, the prohibited grounds of discrimination are---

...

(c) religious belief: [sic]

(d) ethical belief, which means the lack of a religious belief, whether in respect of a particular religion or religions or all religions: [sic]

...

...

Section 25. Exception in relation to work involving national security.

(1) Nothing in section 22 [prohibiting employment discrimination] shall apply to any restrictions on the employment of any person on work involving the national security of New Zealand---

(a) by reference to his or her---

(i) religious or ethical belief; ...

...

...

Section 26. Exception in relation to work performed outside New Zealand.

Nothing in section 22 [prohibiting employment discrimination] shall prevent different treatment based on ... religious or ethical belief ... if the duties of the position in respect of which that treatment is accorded---

(a) are to be performed wholly or mainly outside New Zealand; and

(b) are such that, because of the laws, customs, or practices of the country in which those duties are to be performed, they are ordinarily carried out only by a person who is of a particular ... religious or ethical belief ...

Section 27. Exceptions in relation to authenticity and privacy.

...

(2) Nothing in section 22 [prohibiting employment discrimination] shall prevent different treatment based on ... religious or ethical belief ... where the position is one of domestic employment in a private household.

Section 28. Exceptions for purposes of religion.

(1) Nothing in section 22 [prohibiting employment discrimination] shall prevent different treatment based on sex where the position is for the purposes of an organised religion and is limited to one sex so as to comply with the doctrines or rules or established customs of the religion.

(2) Nothing in section 22 [prohibiting employment discrimination] shall prevent different treatment based on religious or ethical belief where---

(a) that treatment is accorded under section 65 of the Private Schools Conditional Integration Act 1975; or

(b) the sole or principal duties of the position (not being a position to which section 65 of the Private Schools Conditional Integration Act 1975 applies)---

(i) are, or are substantially the same as, those of a clergyman, priest, pastor, official, or teacher among adherents of that belief or otherwise involve the propagation of that belief; or

(ii) are those of a teacher in a private school; or

(iii) consist of acting as a social worker on behalf of an organisation whose members comprise solely or principally adherents of that belief.

(3) Where a religious or ethical belief requires its adherents to follow a particular practice, an employer must accommodate the practice so long as any adjustment of the employer’s activities required to accommodate the practice does not unreasonably disrupt the employer’s activities.

Section 39. Exceptions in relation to qualifying bodies.

(1) Nothing in section 38 [prohibiting discrimination in employment qualifications] shall apply where the authorisation or qualification is needed for, or facilitates engagement in, a profession or calling for the purposes of an organised religion and is limited to one sex or to persons of that religious belief so as to comply with the doctrines or rules or established customs of that religion.

Section 55. Exception in relation to hostels, institutions, etc.

Nothing in section 53 [prohibiting discrimination in housing] shall apply to accommodation in any hostel or in any establishment (such as a hospital, club, school, university, religious institution, or retirement village), or in any part of a hostel or any such establishment, where accommodation is provided only for persons of the same ... religious or ethical belief ...

Section 58. Exceptions in relation to establishments for particular groups.

(1) An educational establishment maintained wholly or principally for students of one ... religious belief ... or the authority responsible for the control of any such establishment, does not commit a breach of section 57 [prohibiting discrimination in education] by refusing to admit students of a different ... religious belief ...


Sources

1.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Government Religious Preference (GRP) measures government-level favoritism toward, and disfavor against, 30 religious denominations. A series of ordered categorical variables index the state's institutional favoritism in 28 different ways. The variables are combined to form five composite indices for five broad components of state-religion: official status, religious education, financial support, regulatory burdens, and freedom of practice. The five components' composites in turn are further combined into a single composite score, the GRP score. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson, the principal investigator of the World Christian Database, the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database, and co-author of the World Christian Encyclopedia series.

2.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Demographics reports annual estimates of religious demographics, both country by country and region by region. It estimates populations and percentages of adherents of 100 religious denominations including second level subdivisions within Christianity and Islam. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson, the principal investigator of the World Christian Database, the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database, and co-author of the World Christian Encyclopedia series.

3.  Text from country constitutions was copied from primary documents obtained online using a variety of sources, including the Constitute Project, World Constitutions Illustrated, and government sources. When the text was in a language other than English, it was translated to English by ARDA staff or with web-based translation utilities such as Google Translate. Emphases were added to the text by ARDA staff to differentiate religious content from non-religious content. Text is current to the date listed in the "Current as of" field shown above. Please contact us at support@thearda.com if you are aware of any incorrect information provided on this page.

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