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


Judgment: CPAG v Attorney-General




(CA457/2012) [2013] NZCA 402


This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment and reasons can be found at www.courtsofnz.govt.nz.

The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) challenging part of the Working for Families package introduced in 2004.

CPAG alleged that the in-work tax credit (forming part of the package) discriminated against people who receive an income-tested benefit. That was because the in-work tax credit was available only for those in full-time employment who were not receiving an income-tested benefit. This is known as the “off-benefit rule”. CPAG alleged this breached the Human Rights Act 1993 and the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 which prohibit discrimination on the grounds of employment status (which includes persons in receipt of a benefit).

The Human Rights Review Tribunal and the High Court each ruled against CPAG’s challenge to the off-benefit rule. Those decisions have been upheld by the Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal disagreed with the High Court on one aspect of the appeal but this did not affect the final outcome. The Court of Appeal found that the off-benefit rule, on its face, subjected beneficiaries to differential treatment which amounted to a material disadvantage.

But, in agreement with the Human Rights Review Tribunal and the High Court, the Court of Appeal has found that the off-benefit rule is a justified limit under s 5 of the Bill of Rights on the right to be free from discrimination by reason of employment status and does not therefore breach the Bill of Rights.

This is because the in-work tax credit deliberately created an earnings gap between people on a benefit and people who are working. The objective was to incentivise people into work and improve incomes for families with children. CPAG accepted this objective was important enough to justify limiting the right to freedom from discrimination but argued that the off-benefit rule was disproportionate to the objectives to be achieved.

The Court of Appeal has held that the discriminatory impact of the off-benefit rule is not out of proportion to the goal of incentivising people into work, and the evidence established that it only impairs the right to be free from discrimination to the minimum extent necessary to achieve the objective.

CPAG’s appeal has been dismissed accordingly but with no order for costs against it.


Judgment: Child_Poverty_Action_Group_press_release.pdf

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Campbell on: the local body election result in Wellington

For obvious reasons, politics is more of a big deal in the capital city than anywhere else in the country. Even so, fewer than four in ten eligible voters bothered to vote in Saturday’s local body elections in Wellington (turnout 39.66%).

Even less was felt to be at stake this time around than in 2016, when 45% of the electorate voted Justin Lester into the mayoralty.

To put it mildly, the Lester-led Council failed to live up to expectations. Lester will be remembered mainly for the fact that somehow, he managed to lose this election. . More>>


Could Do Better: Post-Sroubek Review Of Deportation Info

Ms Tremain acknowledges that the review highlighted some aspects of the process that can be improved and makes five main recommendations to strengthen the existing processes for preparing files for decision-makers. Those recommendations are: More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A New Book On The Leaky Homes Scandal

We all know that journalism is short of cash and under pressure from the speed, brevity and clickbait pressures of the 24/7 news cycle… but hey, given the right subject and a sufficiently stubborn journalist, it can still surpass most of the works of the academic historians... More>>

Regulation: Review Finds NZTA Road Safety Failings

The independent review, carried out by consultant agency MartinJenkins, lists at least 10 reasons for the failures including the agency being focused on customer service at the expense of its policing functions. More>>


Rod Carr: Climate Change Commission Chair-Designate Announced

Climate Change Minister James Shaw has today announced the appointment of Dr Rod Carr as Chair-designate for the Climate Change Commission. More>>


Compliance Complaints: 'Putting Right' Holidays Act Underpayment In Health

The Government is putting right a decade’s worth of underpayment to nurses, doctors and other health workers, says Health Minister Dr David Clark. More>>


IPCA: Disasterous Police Pursuit, Excessive Use Of Dogs

At no stage did Police follow the correct procedure for the commencement of a pursuit... A Police dog handler used his dog to help with the arrest of two of the young people. One suffered injuries resulting in his hospitalisation, and the Authority found that the use of the dog was an excessive use of force. More>>


‘Hard Place To Be Happy’: Report On Youth Residential Care

Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft says the report, A Hard Place to be Happy, contains important challenges from children and young people, aged 9 to 17, about their experiences in care and protection residences. “I found this report extremely difficult to read, and I think most New Zealanders would too.” More>>

Africa And Middle East Refugees: 'Family Link' Restriction Removed

The founder of the Double the Quota campaign has applauded the coalition government for Friday’s announcement that a discriminatory policy would be removed. More>>





InfoPages News Channels