Parliament

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

 

Human Rights Office Politicised

Human Rights Office Politicised

Tuesday 20th Mar 2001 Richard Prebble Media Release -- Governance & Constitution

ACT Leader Richard Prebble says the minority coalition government’s intention to appoint trade union official Rosslyn Noonan as Chief Human Rights Commissioner, breaks a pledge by Prime Minister Helen Clark.

“Prior to the last election, Helen Clark as leader of the opposition, objected strongly to the National government appointing a human rights commissioner without consulting the opposition,” Richard Prebble said.

“On 20 August 1999, Helen Clark said “no significant appointment should be made unless they enjoyed bipartisan support” and objected to the woman lawyer proposed by National on the basis that the person was “not qualified”.

National did not proceed with the appointment, even though the nominee had survived through an original 30 applicants, reduced to a short list of eight and after interviews with three people who the civil service said were qualified.

“ACT has now received a copy of an e-mail sent only to Labour and Alliance MPs from the Minister of Justice, Margaret Wilson, calling for nominations for three Human Rights Commissioners. The existence of the e-mail shows that the Labour/Alliance government is politicising the Human Rights office and breaks the word of the Prime Minister by inviting only party political nominations.

“It also breaks New Zealand’s word internationally. Labour MP Tim Barnett stated in parliament on 31 July 1999, prior to the election, that “New Zealand is signatory to an international agreement…which commits to involving Parliament in the appointment of members of the Human Rights Commission”.

“This principle has been abandoned by this government. It appears that no proper appointment process has been followed. I understand Ms Noonan’s appointment is a result of Margaret Wilson nominating her to the Labour and Alliance caucuses. No vetting process, no interviews, no calling of nominations and no public input.”

Richard Prebble says if Rosslyn Noonan’s appointment was put before parliament, it would have to be thrown out.

“This person is a committed Labour party member and militant trade unionist who lacks the judgement required to be a human rights commissioner. Throughout her adult life she has been an extreme left radical, notably as the teachers union secretary and as a member of the ill-fated Royal Commission on Social Policy whose ideological diatribe of a report became the biggest door-stop ever published. More recently she failed in an attempt to become secretary of the Council of Trade Unions.

“The Human Rights Commission should not be the preserve of failed Labour candidates and rejected trade union secretaries looking for a pension.

“Had parliament been consulted, ACT would have said that Human Rights Commissioners should be people who are widely acceptable to the community, similar to the way ombudsmen are appointed. The real loser in this process is the office of the Human Rights Commission, which relies on public esteem and acceptability to fulfil its role,” Richard Prebble said.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Reaction

Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced

 

Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>

ALSO:


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election