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

 


UN urges New Zealand to reduce Racism in criminal justice

UN urges New Zealand to reduce Racism in criminal justice system

The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has urged NZ to intensify efforts to reduce structural discrimination in the criminal justice system

“This is encouraging news” says Kim Workman, spokesperson for the Robson Hanan Trust and Rethinking Crime and Punishment. “We recommended to the UN Committee that it ask the New Zealand government to research the extent to which the over-representation of Māori in the criminal justice system is due to racial bias in arrests, prosecutions and sentences and develop a strategy to address the issue.”

The Hon Judith Collins presented the Government’s latest report on New Zealand’s progress in tackling racial discrimination and inequality to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on the 21 February.

“In its concluding observations, released on 2 March, the Committee reported that it remained concerned at the disproportionately high rates of incarceration and the over-representation of members of the Maori and Pasifika communities at every stage of the criminal justice system, and urged the government to intensify its efforts to address the over-representation of members of the Maori and Pasifika communities at every stage of the criminal justice system.”

“The Committee then went one step further. It also asked the NZ Government to provide comprehensive data in its next periodic report on progress made to address this phenomenon. In doing so, it referred to earlier recommendations in 2005 and 2007 which had gone unheeded. The 2007 recommendation, which we referred to in our submission, called for research on the extent to which the over-representation of Maori could be due to racial bias in arrests, prosecutions and sentences.”

“The issue of institutional racism in the criminal justice system has been ignored by successive governments for far too long. Hopefully, this UN recommendation will provide a wake-up call to tackle a difficult and long-standing issue.”

“The first step to tackling this issue is to acknowledge that a problem exists” says Kim Workman. “New Zealand for too long has resisted the idea that our own political and organisational structures and processes are racist. For a nation so passionately opposed to apartheid, it is a difficult thing to admit. If we openly acknowledge and address those issues, our stature in the eyes of other nations, will grow.
ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Water, Pests, Erosion...: Commissioner Releases Mixed Report Card On Environment

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment has released a mixed report card in her assessment of the state of New Zealand’s environment. “We are lucky to live in an exceptionally beautiful country, but we have some big issues to face up to” said Dr Jan Wright. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Private Schools Beneficiaries Of Extra Cash

“Not only did this year’s Budget freeze operational funding for state schools, but 86 per cent of secondary school principals say they don’t get enough funding, and the demand for school donations from parents is rising at 10 times the rate of inflation... Now we’ve got Hekia Parata proposing more cash for private schools." More>>

ALSO:

Shop Hours Bill Second Reading: Government Blocks Easter Trading Petition

The union representing retail workers is warning that the Government is out of touch with working people after passing the second reading of the Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill, a law handing local authorities the power to permit trading on Easter Sunday. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Shewan Inquiry Into Our Tax Haven Rules

Like the political equivalent of lithium, Prime Minister John Key is routinely administered to dull any politically dangerous mood swings amidst the general public... More>>

ALSO:

Law Commission: Review Of Search And Surveillance Act Begins

“For example, the Act was drafted before cloud-based storage of data was commonplace. In the light of these and other developments, the Commission will be examining whether the investigative powers in the Act are sufficient for law enforcement purposes. We will also consider whether the safeguards that surround those processes are adequate.” More>>

ALSO:

Houses, Campers And Cops: LGNZ Media Briefing

At their quarterly media briefing today Local Government New Zealand addressed areas where local authorities are feeling pressure and outlined their approach for the upcoming local body elections in September-October. More>>

ALSO:

17 Year Sentences In Baby Moko Case: Attorney General On Plea Bargain

“The Crown’s decisions in this case, including the decision to accept the manslaughter pleas, were motivated by the need to secure convictions for this horrendous killing and to avoid the significant risk that either of the defendants could escape such a conviction because of evidential issues.” More>>

ALSO:

As Govt Cuts Lobby Anti-Smoking Group Funds: On The Nation - Plain Packaging Debate

Imperial Tobacco leaves open possibility of law suit against New Zealand government if plain packaging is introduced, as planned. Says it’s a “last resort” but “of course we will defend the right to use our brands”. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news