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Human Rights Consultation a Fraud

Human Rights Consultation a Fraud

Wednesday 4th Apr 1901 Richard Prebble Media Release -- Governance & Constitution

ACT Leader Richard Prebble says Hon Margaret Wilson’s claim to have consulted the opposition over the appointment of trade union official Rosslyn Noonan as Chief Human Rights Commissioner is patently false.

“That Ms Wilson can make such a claim and expect the media to swallow it, shows how confident this government has become in its own spin.

“Her definition of consultation is clearly different from the High Court definition, which describes it as ‘a genuine invitation to give advice and genuine consideration of that advice. To achieve consultation sufficient information must be supplied and sufficient time allowed by the consulting party to the consulted to enable it to tender helpful advice. It involves dialogue.’

“Ms Wilson’s letter of 28 March, in which she wrote to “advise” of the Human Rights Commission Appointments doesn’t even come close. However in an earlier e-mail asking only Labour and Alliance MPs for nominations, the Minister makes it quite clear who was really consulted over these appointments.

“Such an overt politicisation of what should be an independent office is unacceptable and sets a disturbing precedent.

“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. “What does Ms Clark have to say now?”

Richard Prebble says the outrageous, unilateral appointment of Rosslyn Noonan as head of the Human Rights Commission does have a positive side.

“The Commission probably destroys more human rights than its protects. In recent times, it has had nothing useful to add to any law proposals that have human rights implications, and the contributions it has made have been pitiful.

“If the appointment of Rosslyn Noonan does nothing else, it can only help discredit the commission and speed the day when New Zealanders demand that its wings be clipped,” 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.

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