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


Labour saves Human Rights Act

2000 web site"The passage of the Human Rights Amendment Bill through Parliament at the weekend marks an historic victory over National's attempts to dismember the Human Rights Act," says Labour human rights spokesperson Tim Barnett.

"In 1997 the Cabinet decided to freeze the process of making of all laws and regulations, policies and practices consistent with the Human Rights Act. That meant blatant discrimination - for example, against de facto and same sex relationships, allowing people with disabilities employed in workshops to earn below the minimum wage, retaining a statutory retirement age for the police - would be locked in forever.

"The Human Rights Amendment bill, introduced in 1998, would have put that permanent exemption into law. But the Government was forced to withdraw it at the last minute due to opposition from Labour, the Alliance, New Zealand First, independent MPs and National rebels.

"The new bill essentially preserves the status quo. The Government has until the end of 2001 to complete an audit of all laws and regulations and to make all necessary law changes to wipe out unreasonable discrimination," Mr Barnett said.

"The next two years will see intense debate in the community and in Parliament over some important, real-life human rights issues. Should same sex couples have the same rights as heterosexual ones? Should health care be rationed by disability or age? Should people who are schizophrenic be banned from school Boards of Trustees?

"These and dozens of other matters are examples of discrimination in law which will now have to be debated and decided.

"Labour led the political fight against the Government's determination to shut down the debate and shut out the demands of disadvantaged communities. Now we want the chance in government to show just how central human rights issues are to the everyday lives of New Zealanders.

"The last two years have been wasted. Labour will turn the next two years into a watershed for New Zealand human rights," Mr Barnett said.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced


Negotiations: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word.. More>>


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election