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

Werewolf: 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. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>


Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. 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>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election