Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


HRC Says Government’s Action Inequitable


The Human Rights Commission said today that, although the government’s action in relation to the community services card is not covered by the Human Rights Act, it nevertheless creates an inequity.

The Commission confirmed that it had received a complaint from the Leader of the Opposition, Jenny Shipley, which stated that the Government’s actions in relation to the community services card breached the Human Rights Act.

Proceedings Commissioner Chris Lawrence said that the government’s action was outside the scope of the complaints provisions in the Human Rights Act for several reasons.

“The Commission remains concerned, however, at the inequity which has apparently been created between those who are employed and those who are not. The Commission will be taking the matter up with government,” said Lawrence.

The Commission replied to Mrs. Shipley’s complaint today.

Background Notes:
Chris Lawrence, the Commission’s Proceedings Commissioner said:
“Mrs Shipley complains that the Government’s action in raising the income threshold for beneficiaries but not for low paid employees discriminates against such employees on grounds of their employment status. The question for the Commission is whether this action contravenes the Human Rights Act.
The Government’s action is, clearly outside the scope of the Human Rights Act. There are three reasons why. Firstly “employment status” is defined in the Act as being unemployed or a beneficiary. The people said to have been discriminated against are neither unemployed nor beneficiaries. Therefore they are not protected by the employment status ground as defined.
Secondly, the raising of the income threshold is to be done by regulation and at present regulations, unfortunately, override the Human Rights Act.
Thirdly, the Government has the benefit of an exemption from the operation of the Act in relation to the new grounds introduced in 1993. Employment status is one of those grounds”.
Lawrence added:
“Mrs Shipley’s complaint illustrates the limitations of the Human Rights Act. Those limitations result from the legislation of the early 1990s and may well be addressed as part of the Government’s review of our human rights legislation”.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Malaysia Exposing Our Dodgy Policies On China

Last week, we all owed a vote of thanks to Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad for breaking with protocol during his bilateral meeting in Singapore with New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern. Reportedly, Mahathir used the photo opportunity phase of the meeting – which usually involves just an exchange of smiles and pleasantries before the media is sent out of the room – to launch into matters of genuine substance.

By doing so, Mahathir usefully exposed how New Zealand is trying to make a virtue out of sitting on the fence over the South China Sea dispute. More>>


Climate Change: Top Academics Call On Government To Take Action

One hundred and fifty academics and researchers from around Aotearoa, including Dame Anne Salmond, Emeriti Professors and several Fellows of the Royal Society, have signed a strongly-worded open letter to the Government demanding bold and urgent action to tackle climate change. More>>


Teacher Qualifications, Class Sizes: Ten Year Plan For Early Learning

“Moving towards 100 percent qualified teachers in early childhood education centres and improving adult:child ratios are among some of the key proposals for change put forward by the sector and experts in the new draft ten year strategic plan for early learning,” Chris Hipkins said. More>>


Teacher Strikes: Meeting, March And Rally In Wellington

Throughout the Wellington region the NZEI rolling strikes entered their final day Friday. Thousands of teachers met in Wellington, Kapiti, Porirua and the Wairarapa. More>>


14/11: Two Years’ Progress Since The Kaikoura Earthquake

Mayor John Leggett said it was a day for reflection, but also a time to recognise the work by many people to support progress towards recovery made across Marlborough since November 2016. More>>


Pike River: Mine Drift Re-Entry Plan To Proceed

“I’ve decided the Te Kāhui Whakamana Rua Tekau Mā Iwa - Pike River Recovery Agency, recommended course of action to enter the drift, using the existing access tunnel, is by far the safest option,” said Andrew Little. More>>


Appointments: New High Commissioner To Australia Announced

“Dame Annette King needs no introduction given her long running career as a parliamentarian where she has previously held a number senior Cabinet portfolios, including Justice, Police and Health. She also was Parliament’s longest serving female MP with 30 years’ service,” said Mr Peters. More>>


Two Years Since Kaikoura: Silvia Cartwright To Lead Inquiry Into EQC

“The inquiry will be the first of its kind under the Public Inquiries Act 2013 and will have all the powers of a Royal Commission, be independent of Government and make its report directly to the Governor-General. More>>





InfoPages News Channels