Human Rights in NZ

I think most people like the idea of human rights. You know the right to vote, free speech, not be convicted without trial, not be tortured, to choose our own faith etc.

But the NZ Human Rights Commission seems to be far more ambitious than that. Let’s look at this Stuff article on what they see as human rights.

* a focus on eliminating poverty

Well poverty is defined as half the average income, so we have the HRC saying it is a human right for people who do not work even one hour a week to be paid at least half the average income.

* actions to safeguard people in detention and institutional care

Fair enough.

* measures that enable every child to grow up able to communicate in English and Maori and, where different, their mother tongue

Oh dear – the HRC says it is a fundamental human right that every child in NZ must be taught Maori, regardless of if they or their parents wish them to do so.

* improving democratic participation, including that of children and young people

Does this mean compulsory voting like compulsory Maori lessons?

* a focus on the place of the Treaty of Waitangi in New Zealand’s constitutional arrangements

What does this mean? That the Treaty should be supreme law?

* Educational participation and achievement rates for Maori, Pacific peoples and those from poorer communities are disproportionately low when compared to other New Zealanders

Actually almost twice as many Maori as non Maori now attend tertiary education.

* Other measures proposed in the report include: increased participation of disabled people in policy development and decision-making

I would have though the Cabinet was proof of this already being achieved 🙂

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