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Human Rights Commissioners Appointed

Friday, 19 April 2002

Aucklander Warren Lindberg and Michael Powles of Wellington have both been reappointed as Human Rights Commissioners.

Announcing this today, Associate Minister of Justice Hon Margaret Wilson said they were given short-term appointments in May last year when decisions about the future structure of the Human Rights Commission were still under consideration. They have now had their terms extended for five years.

Wellingtonians Robyn Hunt and Joy Liddicoat and Dr Merimeri Penfold of Auckland have taken the other three available Commissioner positions. All have been appointed for five-year terms.

Mr Lindberg’s career in recent years has focused strongly on issues relating to mental health and aids having worked as the Manager for the Project to Counter Stigma and Discrimination Associated with Mental Illness for the Ministry of Health and as the Executive Director of the New Zealand AIDS Foundation.

Michael Powles has extensive international experience and has been a Special Political Advisor and Ambassador to United Nations, Ambassador to China, Ambassador to Indonesia and High Commissioner to Fiji. As a current Human Rights Commissioner he has been a member of Working Groups on the Treaty of Waitangi and Human Rights Standards.

A legal practitioner in sole practice, Joy Liddicoat specialises in Human Rights law, particularly as it relates to women and children. She is an expert in constitutional law (including Bill of Rights) and also in public law. Ms Liddicoat is a recognised international expert on violence against women.

Robyn Hunt is a consultant with 20 years experience working for human rights and equity issues at all levels in the community. She has a strong focus on disability and Equal Employment issues as well as possessing a depth of awareness across a range of human rights issues.

A lecturer in Maori language at Auckland University for more than 30 years, Merimeri Penfold is a former member of the Maori Education Foundation and the University of Auckland Marae Establishment Committee. She was an executive member of the Broadcasting Commission from 1989 to 1991. Dr Penfold was a co-member of the editorial team that worked on the seventh edition of Williams Maori Language Dictionary.

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