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Call for principled Government human rights action

12 March 2000

Call for principled Government human rights action

Rainbow Labour activists meeting in Wellington this weekend decided to push the new Labour-Alliance Government to ensure New Zealand's laws are compatible with the Human Rights Act.

Rainbow Labour members identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersexual and have formed branches of the Labour party to organise around issues which affect them in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch. The two-day meeting held in Wellington this weekend is the first ever New Zealand gathering of rainbow party activists. Wellington Rainbow members Tiffany Page and Clive Summers, spokespeople, said the conference had provided party activists with an opportunity to help shape the Government's human rights agenda.

"The 1999 general election was a watershed for the rainbow community in New Zealand. Three rainbow members were elected to Parliament and the party made a commitment to put human rights at the heart of our nation and law.

"National paid lip-service to human rights issues, we want our party to take action. Jenny Shipley was happy to be seen smiling at the Hero Parade but her Government completely failed to keep faith with the rainbow community by repealing laws which breach the Human Rights Act.

"We are confident that the new Labour-Alliance Government will embed human rights principles in our laws and promote stronger international human rights law. Margaret Wilson, the Attorney-General, outlined a comprehensive human rights agenda to the conference which we intend to support within the party.

"Rainbow Labour activists at the conference developed an action plan to stimulate public debate around human rights issues and to inform the general public about the ways our current laws are discriminatory.

"The next three years present an exciting opportunity for this country to create a future of equal access and opportunity, in a fairer society", Tiffany Page and Clive Summers said.

Contact: Tiffany Page on (021) 408 028 or Clive Summers on (04) 476 3553.

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