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Court victory sparks call for resignations

Court victory sparks call for resignations

National MP Murray McCully is calling for the resignations of the Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres and the chairperson of the Human Rights Commission Roslyn Noonan, following a High Court decision today ruling that Mr de Bres cannot claim immunity from the Human Rights Act.

Mr de Bres had claimed immunity after a formal Human Rights Review Tribunal complaint was initiated by Mr McCully, over a speech comparing the actions of non Maori New Zealanders to the Taleban in Afghanistan.

The Commission, as well as Mr de Bres, has argued that the speech was covered by immunity.

Mr McCully said the decision of High Court Justices Goddard and Doogue was "unambiguous and emphatic."

"The decision by the Human Rights Commission and the Race Relations Commissioner to seek immunity from their own legislation raised the obvious issue of a double standard," says Mr McCully.

"Now that a full bench of the High Court has ruled that no such immunity can be claimed, serious questions must be asked about the tenures of Mr de Bres and the Commission chair, Ms Noonan.

"The public can have no confidence in two political appointees who have sought refuge from their own legislation - especially now that the High Court has found that they were wrong in doing so. I am therefore calling on both to resign," Mr McCully says.

"There is a warning shot in this judgment for the Attorney General, who was a party to these proceedings, supporting Mr de Bres in his claim of immunity.

"Margaret Wilson also appointed Mr de Bres and Ms Noonan, both of whom are well-known political activists. For her to have made such blatantly political appointments, and then supported Mr de Bres' claim of immunity in the High Court, speaks volumes of the highly partisan role being played by the nation's top law officer," says Mr McCully.

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