Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Successive Governments Responsible For Massive Breaches Of The Right To A Decent Home — Human Rights Commission

Te Kahu Tika Tangata / Human Rights Commission has today launched Framework Guidelines on the Right to a Decent Home in Aotearoa and announced that it will hold a national inquiry into housing.

“New Zealand governments have signed up to a critically important human right: the right to a decent home. For generations, they have promised to create the conditions to enable everyone to live in a decent home, but this has not happened. Successive governments have failed New Zealanders,” says Chief Human Rights Commissioner Paul Hunt.

“For many people, especially young people, the goal of an affordable, healthy, accessible home has actually become more remote. These serial governments bear a heavy responsibility for this massive human rights failure which is blighting lives and communities.”

Mr Hunt adds, “The right to a decent home, although binding on New Zealand in international law, is almost invisible and unknown in Aotearoa.”

“The purpose of the Guidelines is to clarify for central and local government, and individuals, communities and iwi, what the right to a decent home means in New Zealand,” says the Chief Commissioner.

They were developed in partnership with the National Iwi Chairs Forum with the support of Community Housing Aotearoa.

"The National Iwi Chairs Forum has a specific responsibility to ensure the wellbeing and prosperity of whānau, hapū and indeed communities. With this responsibility sits Te Tiriti o Waitangi, which forms the underlying foundations of the relationship we have with the Crown," says Rahui Papa and Dame Naida Glavish.

National inquiry details to be announced later this year

The Human Rights Commission will use the Guidelines in a national inquiry into the right to a decent home under section 5(2) of the Human Rights Act.

Mr Hunt says the inquiry will focus on selected components of the housing crisis.

"The inquiry will engage with communities and officials and make findings, as well as constructive recommendations,” Mr Hunt says.

“The present government has made a promising start on housing, but it remains to be seen if it will do better than its predecessors and address New Zealand’s housing and human rights emergency. Based on the Guidelines, the inquiry will help ensure the government keeps its promises to everyone in Aotearoa New Zealand.”

An announcement on the inquiry structure, composition, terms of reference and timescale will be made public later this year.

Government accountability is key

The 48-page Guidelines are built on values such as fairness and manaakitanga (respect), the United Nations ‘decency’ housing principles, successive governments’ international promises, and Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

"There is no excuse for those who hold the pen, who are in positions of decision making and authority, to ignore the right for our people to a decent home and what a decent home means. We are interested in the views of the Crown and how they will instil these Guidelines into their policies and practices," says Rahui Papa and Dame Naida Glavish of the National Iwi Chairs Forum.

“If the right to a decent home is explicitly taken into account, it can strengthen and improve housing policies and other initiatives, and it can empower individuals, hapū, iwi and other communities,” adds Chief Commissioner Paul Hunt.

“One problem is that housing initiatives across the public and private sectors lack adequate explicit recognition of the human right to a decent home. Our Guidelines help to address this shortcoming. They provide a framework on which we can build.”

“The housing crisis in Aotearoa is also a human rights crisis encompassing homeownership, market renting, state housing and homelessness. It is having a punishing impact especially on the most marginalised in our communities," says Mr Hunt.

The United Nations independent expert on housing rights backed this view in a report on New Zealand tabled in the United Nations in June.

Leilani Farha wrote that housing speculation, a lack of affordable housing options, limited protection for tenants, substandard housing, the absence of an overarching Te Tiriti and human rights-based housing strategy, and a lack of adequate social housing or state-subsidised housing are the main causes of the crisis.

Mr Hunt says the Guidelines signal the different ways the right to a decent home can constructively contribute to a fair and dynamic housing system in Aotearoa New Zealand.

“We must recognise that everyone has the human right to a decent home grounded on Te Tiriti. The Guidelines highlight the unique context of Aotearoa, the importance of active and informed citizen participation, and the need for accountability.”

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Covid-19, 21/9: 1,085 Overall Cases, Auckland Moving to Level 3


14 new cases have been discovered in Auckland. Auckland will move to alert level 3 from 11.59pm on Tuesday night, and stay in level 3 for at least two weeks, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced. The rest of the country will remain in level 2, but will move from gatherings of 50 up to gatherings of 100... More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On the Great Covid Mask Debate, plus a music playlist


Ay caramba. Only yesterday, Otago University epidemiologist Dr Nick Wilson was still feeling it necessary to suggest that the government should maybe make mask-wearing compulsory, in the likes of schools and workplaces. The chronic official reluctance to do so is still something of a puzzle. From the outset of the pandemic right through until Delta arrived... More>>



 
 


Government: Keeping our Police safe to keep our communities safe

The Government is committed to keeping our frontline police officers safe, so they in turn can keep New Zealanders safe – with one of the largest investments in frontline safety announced by Police Minister Poto Williams at the Police College today... More>>

ALSO:



Government: Counter-Terrorism Bill Returns To Parliament

The Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill has returned to Parliament for its second reading in an important step towards giving enforcement agencies greater power to protect New Zealanders from terrorist activity... More>>


Trans-Tasman: Quarantine-free travel with Australia to remain suspended for a further 8 weeks
The suspension of quarantine-free travel (QFT) with Australia has been extended, given the current Delta outbreaks, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “When QFT was established with Australia, both our countries had very few recent cases of COVID-19 community transmission... More>>



Power: Bill Changes Bring Fairness To Charges

A key recommendation of an independent panel to make electricity charges fairer across all households will be put in place, the Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods has announced... More>>



Government: Parks expiry of licenses, WoFs and regos
As a result of the Delta outbreak, driver licences, Warrants of Fitness (WoFs), Certificates of Fitness (CoFs), vehicle licences (‘regos’) and licence endorsements that expired on or after 21 July 2021 will be valid until 30 November 2021, Transport Minister Michael Wood has announced today... More>>



Child Poverty Action Group: Highest jump in weekly benefit numbers since first lockdown

The current lockdown has triggered the largest weekly increase in benefit recipient numbers since the first lockdown last year, and Child Poverty Action Group is concerned the Government isn't doing enough to assist affected families... More>>


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels