Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

A New Human Rights Institution

Tuesday, 31 October 2000 Media Statement

A New Human Rights Institution


A new Human Rights Institution for New Zealand is proposed in a paper prepared for the Associate Justice Minister Margaret Wilson.

The new organisation would incorporate functions now carried out by the Human Rights Commission and the Race Relations Office. The distinct role of Privacy Commissioner would remain. The report suggests further consideration of the roles of the Health and Disability Commissioner and the Commissioner for Children but not until the new institution has established itself and its public reputation.

Margaret Wilson said that Human Rights Law was a complex and difficult area.

"But this should not deter us from careful examination of our institutions and laws.

"The government is to seek submissions on the report from members of the public and will discuss its recommendations in the light of the public response and the policy commitments of each coalition partner."

"The report makes practical recommendations about the issues at the heart of the Consistency 2000 project, aimed at bringing government policies and practices in line with human rights requirements. These will be examined by the government as it considers the development of these human rights issues," said Ms Wilson.

The re-evaluation team responsible for the paper - Peter Cooper, Paul Hunt, Janet McLean and Bill Mansfield —found that:

 Existing domestic human rights organisations are fragmented

 There is a need for greater public education and debate regarding New Zealand’s human rights obligations

 The relationship between the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 and the Human Rights Act 1993 is not well understood.

Based on these findings the independent evaluation team recommended general strategic directions for human rights.

The new Human Rights Institution would promote Human Rights and offer conciliation where people believed their human rights to have been breached. If conciliation failed to resolve matters, they could be taken to an independent Human Rights Proceedings Commissioner for decision.

The key focus of the new institution would be on promoting a human rights strategy, community leadership and education work.

It would also be responsible for improving New Zealand’s human rights environment through the development of a Plan of Action for the promotion and protection of human rights.

The paper also proposes clarification of the different role of the Bill of Rights Act and the Human Rights Act.

The paper proposes that the Bill of Rights Act be the standard against which to judge government actions and laws. The Human Rights Act should protect citizens from illegal discrimination by other citizens.

Where the government acts in the same role as a private citizen – as an employer or trader for example – the Human Rights Act would apply.

Additional information:

The deadline for submissions is 20 December 2000

Submissions can be directed to the Human Rights Team
Ministry of Justice
PO Box 180
WELLINGTON

or e-mailed: visit the the Ministry of Justice’s website: www.justice.govt.nz

Biograhical details:


Ms McLean and Mr Hunt are highly regarded experts in the area of human rights law and protection models. Both have written a number of leading academic articles on human rights protections in New Zealand and other countries. Mr Hunt is also an independent adviser to the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Mr Cooper and Mr Mansfield have considerable expertise in public and private sector organisational design, reforms, change management and accountability structures.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

PM's Press Conference: Pike Re-Entry Agency

At today's post-cabinet press conference Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was joined by Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little to announce plans for the new agency for re-entry of the mine.

The Pike River Recovery Agency, Te Kahui Whakamana Rua Tekau ma Iwa, will be officially established on 31 January 2018 and will work with the Pike River families with the intention of manned entry of the drift before March 2019. More>>

 

Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>

ALSO:

Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>

ALSO:

Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>

ALSO:

Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election