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Human Rights Discussion Paper Deadline Extended

The Re-Evaluation Of Human Rights Protections In New Zealand Discussion Paper Deadline Extended

The deadline for submissions on the Re-evaluation of Human Rights Protections in New Zealand has been extended to 9 February 2001.

The Associate Minister of Justice Margaret Wilson, said there have been a significant number of requests for the discussion paper.

“Both Labour and Alliance are committed to a review of our domestic human rights and it is essential that all interested groups and people have an opportunity to have their say in that review”.

Ms Wilson released the Re-evaluation of Human Rights Protections in New Zealand discussion paper in October 2000, seeking submissions by 20 December.

The paper, written by an independent evaluation team, found that:

 Existing human rights organisations are fragmented
 There is need for greater public education and debate regarding New Zealand’s human rights obligations
 The relationship between the New Zealand Bill of Rights 1990 and the Human Rights Act is not well understood

Based on these findings the independent evaluation team has recommended four general strategic directions for human rights:

 A new human rights institution which would focus on community leadership and education work
 Development of a national plan of action for the promotion and protection of human rights
 Clarification of the different roles of the Bill of Rights Act and the Human Rights Act
 A number of ways to improve government’s policy-making processes so human rights are given early consideration in the development of policy.

Copies of the discussion paper can be obtained from the Ministry of Justice’s website at http://www.justice.govt.nz. Alternatively, write to the Human Rights Team: Discussion Paper, Ministry of Justice, PO Box 180, Wellington, for a hard copy of the paper.

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