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


Race Relations Commissioner Fails to Deliver

Race Relations Commissioner Fails to Deliver

Tariana Turia, Co-leader, Maori Party

Friday 7 April 2006

“This week, the Commissioner has shown his political colours and made comments which severely impact on his ability to achieve ‘harmonious relations’ with Maori”, says Tariana Turia, Co-leader, Maori Party.

One of the Race Relations Commission’s primary functions under the new Human Rights Amendment Act 2001 is to “encourage the development and maintenance of harmonious relations between individuals and the diverse groups that make up New Zealand society”.

“What Mr de Bres has done instead, is to overlook the fact that Maori throughout the country have responded to the report of the Special Rapporteur with, as CTU Vice President Maori, Sharon Clair has said “joy, hope and a sense of relief….that Maori hopes and aspirations are affirmed through a respected institution like the United Nations”.

Race Relations Conciliator, Joris de Bres, has called the Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people “divisive and unconstructive”

“In choosing to ignore the fact that Maori individuals and organisations throughout the country have been delighted with the report, Mr de Bres has abdicated his responsibilities to his role” said Mrs Turia. “Indeed, such blatant disregard for a report which is clearly supported by tangata whenua is both ‘divisive and unconstructive’.”

“The rights of indigenous peoples are stated as central to the Race Relation Office’s strategic framework for future work on race relations, and yet here we have a report which provides a strong benchmark to measure progress being chucked out before the jury has even come in”.

Mr de Bres also complained that “the report provides no direction for the future” and that “while iwi may seek out international opinion the debate needs to be had at home”.

“The report is absolutely crammed full of suggestions for areas we need to improve, including 22 specific recommendations” said Mrs Turia.

“I found the Rapporteur’s concluding comments particularly helpful and am extremely disappointed that the Race Relations Conciliator has chosen to reject the opportunity Professor Stavenhagen provided for further debate” said Mrs Turia.

The Special Rapporteur’s report issues a challenge for future planning:

“These wider constitutional and societal issues need to be debated responsibly and democratically by all social and political actors concerned because their solution will determine the kind of society New Zealand will be in the future”.

“Racism is the fundamental driver of inequality in Aotearoa. When naming racism, it is natural that there is a backlash. However, I hardly expected one from the ‘Race Relations Conciliator’” said Mrs Turia.

I will be registering my concerns with the Minister of Justice”.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>


More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news