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This article looks to the legal and political contexts of two liberal democracies—New Zealand and Canada—and their respective Bill of Rights experiences. In contrast to Canada's constitutionally entrenched Charter of Rights and Freedoms, New Zealand presents an image of a liberal rights ideology incompletely realized in a "weak" Bill of Rights. As an important subtext, both states must consider indigenous minorities—one litmus test for rights protection. It is argued that New Zealand manifests a very different, and problematic, rights consciousness which might properly be addressed in any future constitutional reforms.