I thought the media cared about human rights?

The media will write hundreds of stories every year over issues such as the gender gap in wages, yet in the last fortnight they have totally ignored the looming massive breach of fundamental human rights being pushed through Parliament.

I am of course talking about the ending of equality of suffrage in Rotorua, with the law change that will give voters on the general roll just 39% of the voting power of those on the Māori roll for ward councillors. This law change will mean we no longer have equality of suffrage in New Zealand local government.

Now is this a minor issue? No. Look at the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 21(3) states:

The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

The media have said almost nothing on this. The Human Rights Commission is silent. The Council for Civil Liberties is silent.

And it isn’t just international law this breaks. Look at the NZ Bill of Rights Act 1990. Section 12 says:

elections shall be by equal suffrage

Now that is about parliamentary elections, but it is naive to think that once the precedent is set at local government level that equal suffrage isn’t needed, it won’t expand.

So we have this law change being pushed through Parliament ending equal suffrage, and the media are ignoring it.

Could this be linked to the $55 million they have taken from the Government requiring them to uphold the Treaty of Waitangi as defined by NZ on Air?

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