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Appointments mark NZ Action Plan for Human Rights

Appointments mark major milestone for New Zealand Action Plan for Human Rights

A major milestone in the development of Mana ki te Tangata - New Zealand Action Plan for Human Rights (NZAPHR) was reached this week with the announcement of the membership of the plan¡¯s key external advisory body ¨C the National Advisory Council.

The project to develop the NZAPHR, previously the National Plan of Action for Human Rights, was launched in December 2002. When completed, the NZAPHR will reinforce fundamental human rights such as freedom of expression. It will also provide a framework for making human rights and issues of fairness central to areas such as health, education, housing and employment.

Human Rights Chief Commissioner Rosslyn Noonan says the Council will have a key role in the development of the action plan. ¡°The members of the Council have considerable experience in human rights issues and will provide an invaluable source of advice to the Commission as the plan is developed.¡±

¡°The NZAPHR will have a medium term focus and aims to set the human rights agenda for the next five-to-ten year period,¡± Ms Noonan says. ¡°The plan will show us how well New Zealand is doing in terms of human rights and provide a set of recommendations on areas that need improving.¡±

¡°It¡¯s important that New Zealanders have their say in the development of the NZAPHR and a public consultation round is planned for 2004. The success of the plan depends on broad participation in its development,¡± she says.

The development of the NZAPHR will be completed late next year. Once in place the Human Rights Commission will monitor the plan¡¯s implementation.

The selection of the National Advisory Council followed a public nomination process. The members of the Council reflect the diversity of New Zealand society and cover a broad geographical spread.

Additional information about human rights and the Commission can be found at www.hrc.co.nz

Members of the National Advisory Council:

Glenys Baldick, Chief Executive Officer, Nelson Marlborough District Health Board, Nelson;

Linda Beck, Current Governor General appointed member of the Board of Trustees of RNZF for the Blind, Christchurch;

Kitty Bennett, National President, Maori Women¡¯s Welfare League, Wellington;

Malcolm Birdling, head tutor Public Law, VUW; Trustee - Hutt Valley Youth Health; Youth Advisory Forum Member, Wellington;

Dr Alison Blaiklock, Chair of Action for Children and Youth Aotearoa; public health physician, Auckland;

Dr Petra Butler, Law Lecturer, VUW, Wellington;

Weng-Kei Chen, President NZ Federation of Ethnic Councils; Asset Management Team Leader and Policy Engineer, Christchurch City Council, Christchurch;

Ava Colenso Fa'amoe, Chairperson, Pacific Information Advocacy Support; Trustee Representative on Taikura Trust; Auckland;

Darien Fenton, Secretary, Service & Food Workers Union; Vice President, Council of Trade Unions, Auckland;

Dr Manuka Henare, Senior Lecturer, Maori Bus Development; Director Mira Sz¨¢szy Research Centre for Maori & Pacific Economic Development, University of Auckland Business School., Auckland;

Tony Henderson, Coordinator, Ashburton Safer Community Council, Timaru

Tiahuia Kawe-Small, Resource Teacher o M¨¡ori Te Wharekura o Arowhenua Area School, Invercargill;

Fanaura Kingstone, Freelance Consultant (last assignment UNDP: East Timor), Tokoroa

Dr Doug Northey, Director Human Resources, University of Auckland; Member Employers & Manufacturers Assn (Northern), Auckland;

Thakor Parbhu, Consultant, Penney Patel Law; President Auckland Regional Ethnic Council, Auckland;

Dr Leonie Pihama, Senior Lecturer, School of Education, University of Auckland; Director, International Research Institute for M¨¡ori and Indigenous Education, Auckland;

Ced Simpson, Executive Director, Amnesty International NZ, Wellington;

Leah Whiu, Senior Lecturer, School of Law, University of Waikato, Hamilton;

Alan Wilcox, Managing Director of Executive Management Consultancy; Associate, Price Waterhouse Urwick; Chairman, Nat Spiritual Assembly of Baha'i of NZ, Wellington

Barry Wilson, Barrister; Former President, Spokesperson, Auckland Council for Civil Liberties; co-founder NZ Privacy Foundation (now merged with ACCL), Auckland

Special Advisors to the NAC:

Trish Grant, Senior Child Advocate, Office of the Commissioner for Children, Wellington

Dr Pat Hohepa, Commissioner, Maori Language Commission, Te Taura Whiri I te Reo M¨¡ori, Wellington;

Dr Hilary Lapsley, Senior Analyst, Mental Health Commission; Wellington.

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