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Commission Welcomes Change

Chief Commissioner Rosslyn Noonan today welcomed the decision to merge the Human Rights Commission and the Race Relations Office into a new organisation.

Noonan’s comments were made in response to decisions announced today by Associate Minister of Justice, Margaret Wilson.

“The proposed changes will strengthen our capacity in the area of race relations and right across the human rights spectrum, enhancing the impact that we can have on human rights issues in New Zealand,” said Noonan.

The new Human Rights Commission will keep the same name, will include a new post of Race Relations Commissioner, and will take up the tasks previously performed by the Race Relations Conciliator.

Noonan said the Government has indicated that the Bill of Rights Act is to be used as the anti-discrimination standard for the government - except in employment law and related areas. The Human Rights Act will continue to apply in the private and community sectors.

“I know that Commissioners and the Race Relations Conciliator Gregory Fortuin are pleased to see the Government making further efforts to ensure greater compliance with human rights standards.”

“We are looking forward to being involved in creating the detail of these changes and to ensuring that the public’s views are heard,” she said.

Ends

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