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New Zealand

NZ New Human Rights Commissioner voices concerns

January 25, 2019 4:46 pm
[Source: consultation.hrc]

The New Zealand Human Rights Commissioner is alarmed with the outcomes of certain services provided to Māori and Pacific people.

The outcome of the services are also extended to women, disabled people, migrants and refugees.

Paul Hunt says these groups of people from society continue to experience worse outcomes in issues relating to housing, health, income, employment and education.

Amongst these, the new Commissioner has also called on the NZ Government to ensure human rights are made relevant in the everyday lives of citizens.

Paul Hunt says human rights place the well-being, dignity and equality of individuals and communities at the centre of all law, policy and practice.

He adds one of the human rights issues that needs addressing is poverty as almost 30 percent of New Zealand children live in households whose income falls below the income poverty line.

“Poverty is simply a human rights issue. We need to start viewing poverty as an intolerable injustice. At the same time, we need to recognise that by taking a human rights approach to issues such as poverty, we can more effectively address them.”

Hunt reiterates a human rights approach helps ensure the most vulnerable are not overlooked or forgotten when developing solutions.

A human rights approach would also ensure constructive independent accountability for government initiatives such as those aimed at poverty reduction and elimination.