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Rosslyn Noonan recognised for human rights work

Graphic: Rosslyn Noonan addresses NHRI staff, Philippines

APF Expert NHRI Consultant Rosslyn Noon has been named a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to human rights.

Asia Pacific Forum LogoAsia Pacific Forum

APF Expert NHRI Consultant Rosslyn Noon has been named a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to human rights over a 45-year career.

During her ten-year term as Chief Commissioner with the Zealand Human Rights Commission (2001-2011), Ms Noonan developed the country's first Action Plan for Human Rights.

She also led a world-first national inquiry in the human rights issues facing transgender people, along with a national inquiry on accessible land transport for people with disabilities.

Representing her colleagues in the Asia Pacific, Ms Noonan served as Chairperson of the International Coordinating Committee of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (now GANHRI) for two years.

More recently, she has helped support and strengthen national human rights institutions (NHRIs) across the Asia Pacific, leading capacity assessment programs, high level dialogues and strategic planning initiatives.


Throughout my life I have learnt so much from courageous, committed human rights advocates and have been challenged and inspired by them.

Asia Pacific Forum Logo Rosslyn Noonan, APF Expert NHRI Consultant

Graphic: Rosslyn Noonan talks during a capacity assessment program


"It is a privilege to be part of the APF family of national human rights institutions as strong NHRIs are crucial both as advocates and protectors of human rights advocates," Ms Noonan said.

"Today, human rights advocates are needed more than ever at every level of our societies."

Kieren Fitzpatrick, Director of the APF secretariat, said the award was a richly deserved recognition of Ms Noonan's unstinting dedication to improving outcomes for people in New Zealand and across the Asia Pacific region.

"Our members are incredibly fortunate to be able to draw on the wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise that Rosslyn shares so generously," Mr Fitzpatrick said.

Ms Noonan has been a Patron of the Intersex Trust of Aotearoa New Zealand for the past six years, was Patron of the Auckland Refugee Council for six years and, for the past seven years, Vice Chairperson and now Chairperson of Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand.

She is a member of the Advisory Board of the Regional Rights Resource Team of the Pacific Community.

Ms Noonan recently chaired the Review into New Zealand's Family Justice Services. She has previously represented New Zealand workers at the International Labour Conference.

Date: 10 June 2020


Image credits

  1. Rosslyn Noonan addresses NHRI staff, Philippines - Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines
  2. Rosslyn Noonan talks during a capacity assessment program - Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines