web analytics

UN to NZ Human Rights – ‘can do better’

Written By: - Date published: 10:05 am, February 3rd, 2014 - 20 comments
Categories: child abuse, crime, democracy under attack, discrimination, john key, Judith Collins, Maori Issues, pasifika, poverty, sexism - Tags: ,

The latest report from the UN Human Rights Council shows the NZ government has been slacking off with respect to its protection of and support for the human rights of all Kiwis. (Draft report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review* New Zealand)  The government tried to gloss over some of the most worrying of the reports findings and recommendations.  It is particularly avoiding focusing on some of the deep seated underlying causes of discrimination and suffering.

nz human rights not for sale

Some like minister Judith Collins has talked up the government’s current legislative work.  She has tended to focus on punitive measures for offenders rather than on eliminating the damaging behaviours.  She also has tended to talk up the benefits of surveillance of criminal offenders, thus extending the reach of the surveillance state.

TV 3 News gave an overview of the report’s findings.

The international community has issued New Zealand more than 150 recommendations to improve its human rights record.

The recommendations, which come out of a United Nations meeting in Geneva, involve signing international conventions, reducing child poverty, minimising disparity between Maori and other New Zealanders and improving woman’s rights.

[…]

On Tuesday, the Law Society criticised Ms Collins’ national report for omitting “significant human rights issues in the New Zealand context”.

The society says the parliament’s use of urgency to push through laws and enactment of Bill of Rights-inconsistent legislation are key human rights issues.

On domestic violence, RNZ states:

The report said women and children are victims in the most severe cases of family violence, and men are responsible for two-thirds of the deaths of all children. Maori are over-represented both as perpetrators and victims.

domestic violence hurts all

Judith Collins reported responses to the poor report on domestic violence in NZ, focus on punishment while she only pays some limited and general lip service to prevention.  Radio NZ reports:

Justice Minister Judith Collins said the progress New Zealand is making in protecting women and children against violence is recognised internationally, but it is clear more work is needed.

She said the maximum penalty for breaching a protection order was last year increased from two to three years’ jail, and she was asking officials to explore the use of GPS and other technology to monitor people who breach protection orders.

However, on domestic violence the report asks for a focus on prevention and underlying causes. (The report takes a similar approach with respects to criticisms of NZ’s could-do-better record on ethnic discrimination, inequalities, and inter-related income inequalities and poverty).  The report

The UN draft report specifically says:

128.108. That the measures taken to reduce domestic violence be followed up, adapted and extended on solid empirical bases (Switzerland);

128.109. Improve the monitoring and evaluation of domestic violence  prevention programmes and agencies (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland);

128.110. Continue to strengthen measures and plans to address and effectively eradicate the causes of domestic violence against women, including training and capacity building programmes on human rights for civil servants of the State that address this issue (Chile);

128.111. Put in place a comprehensive policy against violence to slightly reduce domestic/family violence and protect vulnerable populations (Congo);

128.112. Further improve programmes that address violence against women and children (Germany);

128.113. Enlarge the scope of the White paper for Vulnerable Children and its Children’s Action Plan by taking into account the relationship between child abuse and contributing factors such as domestic violence and poverty (Slovenia);

Jan Logie of the Green Party  provides an overview:

The UN’s Universal Periodic Review Working Group issued 155 recommendations for New Zealand early this morning, many in relation to domestic violence and child poverty. This is up from only 64 recommendations at the last review of New Zealand.

25 of the recommendations related to women’s rights – particularly to equal pay and safety. 18 related to inequality and the socio-economic disparities that Maori, Pacific and minority communities suffer compared to other New Zealanders. 7 specifically refer to child poverty amongst many other important issues reflecting this Government’s failure to protect our rights.

Logie  summarises the key recommendations in the report, with respect to domestic violence and protection of children:

* Establish indicators to measure child poverty;

* Further strengthen and expand national action plans to reduce child poverty and that of their families;

* Speed up the rebuilding and compensation process in the aftermath of the Canterbury Earthquakes;

* Include economic, social and cultural rights Review in the Bill of Rights Act;

* Take concrete measures to ensure the implementation and promotion of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;

* Eliminate the gender pay gap;

* Put in place a national strategy to combat domestic violence;

* Continue combating and condemning racism and hate speech used by politicians as well as the expression of racism in the media, in particular discriminatory language and hate speech and the dissemination of racist ideas and languages;

* Make sure the Immigration Amendment Act will not create unfair discrimination;

* Continue its efforts to effectively implement the New Zealand Disability Strategy.

On human rights, NZ has been going backwards while Key’s government has been in power.

20 comments on “UN to NZ Human Rights – ‘can do better’ ”

  1. One Anonymous Knucklehead 1

    The Law Society? Fuck do they know about human rights with their expensive jackets?

    Entrench the BoRA, and issue the following statement:

    We take human rights abuses seriously. If any government employee is found to have breached human rights the next government will regard as a serious matter, and they will be referred to the police whether they were following National Party orders or not. We will provide protection from the National Party for any employee who refuses to obey such orders.

    • weka 1.1

      lolz @ jackets. I like the gist of your comment. Am curious how state employers would be protected from the National Party, and who the ‘we’ is in that sentence. Did you mean the Law Society?

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.1.1

        Nah, the Greens for example.

        Say, you rock up to work at WINZ, or wherever, and your manager tells you that the Minister wants you to do something that is in clear breach of the UDoHR. So you refuse, and you get fired (after a due process). Simply say that anyone in that situation will be compensated and reinstated, that the manager responsible will be disciplined.

        Then follow through. Entrench the BoRA. We can all think if plenty of examples where breaches of human rights were written into law and yet the defence of “I was just following orders” didn’t wash in The Hague.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.1.1.1

          Further thought: the Aotearoa New Zealand Parliament is sovereign. If human rights abuses are not going to be outlawed by an Aoteroa New Zealand parliament that respects human rights, and made retrospective, then human rights change every time the National Party can form a government.

  2. miravox 2

    reporting of this report by the herald is a new low in spin, imo.
    http://m.nzherald.co.nz/#!/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11195437

    No mention at all of the 155 recommendatiout to improve New Zealand’s “excellent” (according to Judith Collins) human rights record. Fantastic reception of the report she says.

  3. phil 3

    xox
    Only 155 recommendations! Excellent. Nothing here. Next!

  4. Tracey 4

    So between 2009 and this report national govt has guided us to a n additional 90 odd things to work on. An increase not a decrease.

    Pm says urgency record is low. True or false.

    • karol 4.1

      There are two aspects to the government’s abuse of urgency:

      1) the number of Bills rushed through the House under urgency
      2) When rushed through under urgency, the HRC recommendations can be sidelines or ignored, wthout the public necessarily being aware of what’s going on – and resulting in poor legislation.

      On #1) in 2011, both DPF, and Grant Robertson were critical of the number of Bills being rushed through under urgency.

      On #2, Andrew Geddis argues about some legislatio and the ways it overides HR issues, and results in laws with big holes in them.

      Also on #2 – Finlayson tries to argue against the Law Society’s submission, which said that the government was passing laws under urgency that did not meet with BORA requirements. Finlayson, though, is dancing on a pin. e says it’s all legal because they’ve used a loophole waiver saying the BORA doesn’t apply in the instance of the specific Bill/Act

      Mr Finlayson said that Section 7 notices, which are attached to legislation if they breach the Bill of Rights, did not prevent the passage of the law.

      “Some of the Society’s members may want an entrenched bill of rights allowing the courts to strike down laws made by a democratically elected Parliament. However, that is not the law of New Zealand under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act.”

  5. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 5

    If what Collins obfuscated was true – that breaches of protection orders were taken seriously – then those 2 children in Dunedin wouldn’t have been killed

    She said the maximum penalty for breaching a protection order was last year increased from two to three years’ jail, and she was asking officials to explore the use of GPS and other technology to monitor people who breach protection orders.

    Note the use of the words “maximum penalty”

    Fat lot of good that ‘increase’ had for the mother who has tragically lost her two children.

    The Judge showed more concern for the killer-to-be’s livelihood, than the safety of the mother and childrens’ lives.

  6. adam 6

    Going out on a limb and expecting to be bashed – but I don’t really like the Surfs telling me to do anything. Who are these smurfs anyway and why are they better than the corporations they work with? Some of these Surfs are not so pretty dictatorships and they criticize us? Surfs are not to be trusted, we would do better to make our own agendas, aspirations and determine our own way.

    • McFlock 6.1

      before bashing… wtf are surfs? I know what smurfs are, but it seems like you’re dropping jargon that I’ve never heard before?

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 6.2

      @ Adam

      I view your questions as important and they certainly have relevance – in this day and age of groups amongst groups being infiltrated by corporate interests.

      However, reading between the lines your comment – I do wonder how you think there would ever be a situation where we simply all made ‘our own way’ with no collective groups involved?

      I am making assumptions here that this is what you are implying by your comment.

      How are ‘organisational’ groups avoided?

      Because as I understand it – these collective groups – both governing bodies and ‘watchdog’ groups will always develop when people live in collective situations. This dual aspect develops, of governance vs watchdog groups and is necessary to ensure society does not have the concentration of power in any one group – that way corruption is bypassed.

      At present, however, the absolute necessity to avoid ‘concentration of power’ is being completely and utterly ignored – because the concentration of power by a few very wealthy people and groups is not being addressed. Part of this problem is that the ‘governing’ group keeps getting criticised and the ‘corporate’ group’s influence ignored.

      • adam 6.2.1

        Smurfs = UN – in particular the blue helmets peacekeepers.

        blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) is see groups/groupings are fine, just question whose interest they represent! Hence why I said, who is the UN in bed with, who do they really represent? And global watch dogs are going to embrace some idea many here might not be comfortable with – for example cosmopolitanism. It’s not like the organisations involved with the UN – the World Bank and IMF have been institutions for good. I’d even go as far to say many aspects of the UN give me the shits, and it would have been way worse if not for Peter Fraser, but even his attempt to curb the excesses of the powerful over the weak, have fallen by the wayside.

        • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 6.2.1.1

          Yes, I certainly share some of your concerns.

          It is good, though, to acknowledge when that group is coming out and lending weight to good causes though.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 6.2.1.2

          Adam, do you have any substantive rebuttal of any of the points the “Smurfs” have made? How about the Law Society?

          Because all I can see is you shooting the messenger.

          • adam 6.2.1.2.1

            I liked what the law society said. BUT.

            Essentially what I’m saying is, be careful of strangers, with other agendas, bearing gifts.

  7. Murray Olsen 7

    While Teina Pora still rots in prison, none of us have our human rights guaranteed. Even once he’s out, while we pay for an American spy agency paid by us to delete information on a case which goes to the heart of our sovereignty, the situation will be unchanged. And so on…… Only 155 recommendations? The UN can do better.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Celebrating the Entry Into Force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
    [Opening comments, welcome and thank you to Auckland University etc] It is a great pleasure to be here this afternoon to celebrate such an historic occasion - the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This is a moment many feared would never come, but ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Supporting disabled people to stay connected
    The Government is providing $3 million in one-off seed funding to help disabled people around New Zealand stay connected and access support in their communities, Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni announced today. The funding will allow disability service providers to develop digital and community-based solutions over the next two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Voluntary saliva testing offered to quarantine workers from Monday
    Border workers in quarantine facilities will be offered voluntary daily COVID-19 saliva tests in addition to their regular weekly testing, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. This additional option will be rolled out at the Jet Park Quarantine facility in Auckland starting on Monday 25 January, and then to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Next steps in firearms buy-back
    The next steps in the Government’s ambitious firearms reform programme to include a three-month buy-back have been announced by Police Minister Poto Williams today.  “The last buy-back and amnesty was unprecedented for New Zealand and was successful in collecting 60,297 firearms, modifying a further 5,630 firearms, and collecting 299,837 prohibited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Public Housing Plan announced
    The Government has released its Public Housing Plan 2021-2024 which outlines the intention of where 8,000 additional public and transitional housing places announced in Budget 2020, will go. “The Government is committed to continuing its public house build programme at pace and scale. The extra 8,000 homes – 6000 public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates President Joe Biden on his inauguration
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated President Joe Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States of America. “I look forward to building a close relationship with President Biden and working with him on issues that matter to both our countries,” Jacinda Ardern said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding will create training and employment opportunities
    A major investment to tackle wilding pines in Mt Richmond will create jobs and help protect the area’s unique ecosystems, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says. The Mt Richmond Forest Park has unique ecosystems developed on mineral-rich geology, including taonga plant species found nowhere else in the country. “These special plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Pre-departure testing extended to all passengers to New Zealand
    To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The change will come into force for all flights arriving in New Zealand after 11:59pm (NZT) on Monday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Better care for babies with tongue-tie
    Babies born with tongue-tie will be assessed and treated consistently under new guidelines released by the Ministry of Health, Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. Around 5% to 10% of babies are born with a tongue-tie, or ankyloglossia, in New Zealand each year. At least half can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Prisoner disorder event at Waikeria Prison over
    The prisoner disorder event at Waikeria Prison is over, with all remaining prisoners now safely and securely detained, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says. The majority of those involved in the event are members of the Mongols and Comancheros. Five of the men are deportees from Australia, with three subject to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago