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Educator and legal expert join Commission

12 February, 2008

Educator and legal expert join Commission

An experienced educator, Karen Johansen, and an international legal expert Jeremy Pope, have been appointed as new part-time Commissioners, adding to the expertise and experience available to the Human Rights Commission.

Chief Human Rights Commissioner Rosslyn Noonan said, “Karen Johansen and Jeremy Pope bring to the Commission extensive and diverse experience in promoting human rights nationally and internationally.”

Associate Minister of Justice, Hon Lianne Dalziel announced the appointments today. Karen Johansen is the principal of Gisborne Girls’ High School. A highly respected educator, she is a member of the Tairawhiti Trust, has acted as an adviser to the Ministry of Education and served as the deputy chair of the Tairawhiti Polytechnic Council. Karen Johansen, of Pakeha and Maori descent has iwi affliliations to Rongowhakaata, Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki and Ngai Tamanuhiri in the Gisborne and East Cape area.

Jeremy Pope is a lawyer and academic who has worked with the Commonwealth Secretariat and served as an anti-corruption consultant to the President of the World Bank. He helped to create two non-governmental human rights organisations, INTERIGHTS and Transparency International and assisted the election commissions of Zimbabwe, Uganda, Ghana and Bangladesh. In New Zealand he was responsible for the introduction of the Duty Solicitor scheme.

Ms Noonan said the new commissioners would bring fresh perspectives and energy to the Human Rights Commission’s work on race relations, equal employment opportunities, tackling discrimination, the Treaty of Waitangi and the broader human rights issues facing New Zealand.

She said Karen Johansen would provide valuable expertise for the Commission’s focus on the right to education while Jeremy Pope’s legal experience would strengthen the Commission’s engagement on access to justice and the place of human rights in New Zealand’s constitutional arrangements.


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