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


Radical plans for Human Rights Act opposed

Dr Wayne Mapp National Justice Spokesperson

1 November 2001

Radical plans for Human Rights Act opposed

The Government's radical restructuring of the Human Rights Act will be vigorously opposed by National as an attack on the freedom of individual New Zealanders and the further implementation of a politically correct agenda, National's Justice spokesperson Wayne Mapp said today.

The Justice Select Committee's report on the Human Rights Amendment Bill was tabled in Parliament today.

"This Bill could see the Human Rights Commission advocating a theory of human rights which will set people apart, rather than bring them together.

"The Bill gives the Human Rights Commission the role of promoting research, education and discussion on the Treaty of Waitangi. The Commission is particularly ill suited to this role. There is a risk that it will lose focus on its other functions and it will see a divisive debate on the Commission's views on the Treaty rather than its core function of protecting the rights of individuals.

"The move to a 'group' focus is a significant distinction from the traditional focus on 'individuals'. Human rights were traditionally protective of the rights of individuals against the oppression of the majority. Under this Bill, this will change to primarily being about groups being systematically discriminated against. This could lead to people viewing their existence in society as a member of a group, rather than as an individual with the same rights as any other person.

"A proactive educative role brings with it the risk of political agendas being implemented by Commissioners. This year we saw no consultation on the appointment of Commissioners and very political appointments made. The Ella Henry saga lends weight to this risk. The pursuing of politically correct agendas by Commissioners will limit the Commission's ability to deal with genuine issues of discrimination. Greater consultation on appointments must occur.

"The Bill also gives the Courts the power to declare a statute inconsistent with the Human Rights Act. This would be an attack on Parliament's sovereignty," Dr Mapp said.



© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Tax Working Group’s Road Map

Trying to analyse the interim report on the Tax Working Group (TWG) is like trying to review an entire All Blacks game, but at the half- time mark.

With so much still to be finalised, Sir Michael Cullen and his colleagues are going to need all the All Blacks’ fabled finishing skills to get a coherent, fiscally neutral package together by the February 2019 deadline. More>>


Meth Testing Report: Housing NZ "To Right Wrong"

Phil Twyford “Housing NZ acknowledges that around 800 tenants suffered by either losing their tenancies, losing their possessions, being suspended from the public housing waiting list, negative effects on their credit ratings or, in the worst cases, being made homeless.” More>>


No Reshuffle: Meka Whaitiri Removed As A Minister

Meka Whaitiri will be removed as a Minister with immediate effect... The decision was made after receiving a report into an incident that occurred on 27 August in Gisborne, involving Meka Whaitiri and one of her staff. More>>


Pay Equity Bill: Making History For Women’s Pay

The Equal Pay Amendment Bill, introduced to the House today, will make it easier for workers to make a pay equity claim , using a more simple and accessible process within New Zealand’s existing bargaining framework. More>>


Suffrage 125: NZ A Trailblazer For Women

“We acknowledge the work of Kate Sheppard, Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia, and all of the suffragists who tirelessly campaigned for the vote… Today we also need to ask each other: how we can continue to make our country a fairer and better place to continue the legacy of the suffragists.” More>>


Asylum: Refugee Quota Increasing To 1500

“The quota increase will take place from July 2020. In the meantime, we will work to increase the number and spread of refugee resettlement and support services. We need to make sure we’re prepared for this change in policy.” More>>





InfoPages News Channels