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Claytons Consultation By Arrogant Government

Labour's claim that it consulted with other parties on the appointment of the Human Rights Commission demonstrates the arrogance of this Government, Opposition Leader Jenny Shipley said today.

"Associate Justice Minister Margaret Wilson wrote to all parties as follows: 'I am writing to advise you that Cabinet has resolved to recommend the following appointments to the Administration of Government...'

"This does not constitute consultation," Jenny Shipley said.

"The Human Rights Commission needs to enjoy the confidence of the whole House, not just the Government.

"When in Government, National advertised for, then appointed, an independent panel which made a unanimous recommendation. We then approached all parties with the preferred candidate. Ms Clark from Labour objected to the appointment, as did the Alliance. In accordance with those objections National did not proceed with the appointment.

"I should note that this did not occur in the three-month period prior to the general election, when convention dictates that no new appointments will occur.

"National and Labour have both been involved in developing New Zealand's Human Rights framework over the last 20 years.

"It is important that the Human Rights Commission enjoys the confidence of Parliament and that they can oversee this framework in a non-partisan way. Sadly, because of Labour's arrogance, that is now unlikely to be possible," Jenny Shipley said.


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