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Govt. Embarks On Clayton's Consultation - Again

19 April 2002

The Government has, once again, shown arrogant disregard for honest consultation in appointing a new group of Human Rights Commissioners, says National's Justice spokesman, Wayne Mapp.

"Last year, Associate Justice Minister Margaret Wilson claimed she 'consulted' with other parties and now she's done exactly the same thing. She's written to all parties as follows: "I write to advise you the Government intends to confirm the reappointment of..... The proposed appointments have now been cleared through Cabinet Committee and Cabinet."

"This is hardly 'consultation'. National has at no time been involved in this selection process and the Government can't pretend that these appointments are anything other than their own done deal," says Dr Mapp.

"A more appropriate process would be to have Parliament making the appointment, as with the Auditor General, the Commissioner of the Environment and the Ombudsman.

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

"Given the controversy surrounding recent appointees to the Human Rights Commission, I would have thought it was in the Government's interests to oversee this process in a non-partisan way and engage with the opposition parties at an earlier stage in the process.

"I only hope that the new Human Rights Commissioners understand the obligations of the office and act in the interests of all New Zealanders," says Dr Mapp.

Ends

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