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

 


Some NZ human rights issues not addressed in UN process

28 January 2014

The New Zealand Law Society has welcomed the largely positive response by the international community to the Government’s recent human rights report to the United Nations.

But the Law Society remains concerned that the report did not advise of what are considered to be significant human rights issues in the New Zealand context.

The Government yesterday made its report for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on human rights to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The Law Society says it notes the high value successive New Zealand governments have placed on human rights issues.

However, the Law Society submitted a shadow report as part of the UPR process in June last year and the concerns it raised have not been acknowledged or addressed in the Government’s UN report.

The shadow report referred to the enactment of five Acts, despite reports by the Attorney-General that those Acts appeared to be inconsistent with the New Zealand Bill of Rights.

Concerns about other legislation, the Bill of Rights reporting mechanism, use of Parliamentary urgency procedures, and conflicts with fundamental aspects of the rule of law were also raised in the Law Society’s report.

Law Society spokesperson Austin Forbes QC says the concerns raised are serious but have not been acknowledged in the Government’s report to the UN.

“No reference was made to the enactment of Bill of Rights-inconsistent legislation, to the issues with the reporting mechanism, nor to any of the Law Society’s rule of law concerns,” Mr Forbes says.

“The New Zealand Public Health and Disability Amendment Act 2013 is one example. It was enacted in one sitting day despite a negative report under section 7 of the Bill of Rights Act, and despite New Zealand’s international obligations to respect and ensure the right to freedom from discrimination. No reasons were given for the use of urgency.”

“In comparison to many states, as New Zealanders we enjoy an enviable human rights environment. But as the Government acknowledged at the previous UPR in 2009, there is room for improvement.”

The Law Society remains hopeful the issues raised in its shadow report will help inform the recommendations to come from the UN Human Rights Council.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On Bank Scandals (And Air Crashes)

Last month, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) filed proceedings against Westpac over activities that have some distinct echoes of the Libor scandal. More>>

Budget: Health Funding Must Keep Up With Need

NZNO: “The nursing team has been doing more with less for years. It’s getting to the point that we’re really worried about our colleagues, our patients, our jobs and the level of health care available for people in our country." More>>

ALSO:

Emissions Inventory: Time For The Government To Do The Right Thing

It’s time for the National Government to step up and do the right thing to reduce climate pollution as data shows New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions are higher than ever, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Budget 2016: More Partnership Schools To Open

Seven new schools will join the eight Partnership Schools already open, along with further new schools opening in 2017. “The growth of this policy is a reflection of the high level of interest from educators and community leaders,” Mr Seymour says. More>>

ALSO:

No Correspondence With English: Did Brownlee Make Up Sale Of Navy Ships ‘On The Hoof?’

Having revealed that several Royal New Zealand Navy vessels have not left port in years, New Zealand First is now asking the Minister of Defence to prove he did not come up with the idea of selling HMNZS Taupo and Pukaki until the media asked him. More>>

Housing Plans: Labour- Abolish Auckland Urban Boundary
The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis. More>>
Greens - State House Solution
The Homes Not Cars policy allows Housing New Zealand to retain its dividend and, in addition, would refund its tax, to spend on the emergency building of around 450 new state houses. More>>

ALSO:

Houses And Taxes: Post-Cabinet, Pre-Budget Press Conference

The Prime Minister said that the pre-budget announcements showed that his Government is “investing in a growing economy”. He re-affirmed the National Government’s commitment to lowering personal tax rates but that any such change must fit with the fiscal reality of the time. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news