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


NZ bid for UNCHR - Get Own House In Order First

Media Release 28 Jan 2004

NZ bid for UN Human Rights Board: Get our own house in order first.

New Zealand should markedly improve its own Human Rights record before seeking a place on the UN Commission on Human Rights. This is the view of academic and civil liberties advocate, David Small.

While welcoming the government's stated commitment to advance the international human rights agenda, Dr Small said that the first step for New Zealand should be to set an example for other nations.

"This would require, among other things, a complete overhaul of the legislation, the systems and the institutions that are responsible for the scandalous treatment of Algerian refugee, Ahmed Zaoui. In particular, there need to be limits and checks on the powers of the SIS, sections of the Police such as those involved in threat assessments, and the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security."

He also highlighted the case of the New Zealand Police giving the personal details of Afghani refugees to the Australian Police.

He said that the government has known for some years that the human rights of New Zealanders are being undermined by these agencies and has chosen to do nothing to address this.

Dr Small also identified Section 4 of the Bill of Rights Act (which weakens the Act in relation to other legislation) as an area of concern.

"If New Zealand applies for membership to the UN Commission on Human Rights, we should to it proudly, safe in the knowledge that we have no skeletons in our closet," said Dr Small


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Charlotte Graham: Empowering Communities To Act In A Disaster

The year of record-breaking natural disasters means that in the US, as in New Zealand, there’s a conversation happening about how best to run the emergency management sector and what philosophies best engage and protect communities in the event of a crisis.

How much of the responsibility for a community’s safety in a natural disaster is the Government’s, and how much can be left up to the community themselves? And how do we ensure none of our most vulnerable residents are left behind? More>>


CPAG Report: The Further Fraying Of The Welfare Safety Net

New Zealand’s welfare system has undergone a major transformation during the past three decades. This process has seriously thwarted the original intent of the system, which was to provide a decent standard of living for all New Zealanders in times of need... More>>


Signage, Rumble Strips, Barriers: Boost For State Highway Road Safety

Boost for road safety this summer Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter today announced a short term boost in road safety funding this summer and signalled a renewed focus from the Government on introducing safer speed limits. More>>


Risks & Adaptation: Cheaper To Cut Emissions Than Deal With Climate Change

The cost of climate change to New Zealand is still unknown, but a group of experts tasked with plugging the country's information gaps says it will likely be significant and it would be cheaper to cut greenhouse emissions than simply adapting to those changes. More>>


BPS HYEFU WYSIWYG: Labour's Budget Plans, Families Package

“Today we are announcing the full details of the Government’s Families Package. This is paid for by rejecting National’s tax cuts and instead targeting spending at those who need it most. It will lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2021." More>>





Featured InfoPages