In the wake of the Devoy appointment – HRC to see 20-30% redundancies



Our most important watchdog, the Human Rights Commission is about to announce cut backs of between 20%-30% reducing it to a lap dog.

This news could come as soon as next week.

The boof National appointed to the HRC in September 2011, David Rutherford, has completed his scalping plans and the defanging is set to begin. Not content with stacking the Human Rights Commission with rugby-heads like Rutherford, National have appointed multivitamin spokesperson Susan Devoy to Race Relations, and ACT acolyte Ken Shirley, religiously conservative Ravi Musuku and homophobe Brian Neeson to the Human Rights Review Tribunal.

Not a critical or intellectually enlightened mind amongst them.

Hardly glorified guardians of human rights are they? More a team of human wrongs.

And this strangulation of funding to limit the ability of our watchdogs to guard against Government abuse is a tactic we see agains and again from this Government.

Public Broadcasting is supposed to be a watchdog, but by re-defining talent shows and lite entertainment as public broadcasting we mutilate the concept into cheap advertising filler to numb and distract rather than engage and challenge. Combine this redefined Circus Maximus content equation to cutting back on public broadcasting funding and the political appointment of John Key’s electorate chair onto NZ on Air into the mix, and we have a public broadcasting watchdog that has been neutered and muzzled.

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John Armstrong (hardly someone you would call a woolly socialist) pointed out what underfunding the Ombudsman is doing to slow unchecked political power. Slowing our Ombudsman watchdog to a snail’s pace could be considered an oversight, but when linked to the exact same resourcing problem at the Office of the Judicial Conduct Commissioner and we get a picture of two of our highest placed watchdogs so squeezed for funding that they can’t afford to bark.

The job losses at the Human Rights Commission will see a hollowing out of staff and critical thinkers. Our country will be a lesser place because of this.


  1. The closure of TVNZ7 and chronic underfunding of TVNZ7 indicates that we desperatelt need a mechanism by which funding can be maintained and not left to the whims of right wing governments.

    Why is it, I wonder, that MP’s salaries and perks are handled by an impartial committee, the Remunerations Authority, which is at arms length from politicians – yet far more important issues are at the mercy of politicians with their own agendas.

    As I’m writing this, I’m listening to Radio NZ. The issue of impending job cuts is being discussed. The consequences for our environment and especially endangered species will be dire as cost-cutting windfs back DoC’s activities.

    As such, it’s not sufficient for a new Labour government to reinstate funding for DoC, the Human Rights Commission, etc, but we need safeguards entrenched in legislation to protect our State services. These are services that reflect the values of our nation; our communities; and like the tuatara, demand protection.

    The underfunding of DoC may result in extinctions of endangered species. The irony is that a three-year term governmeny can have consequences that last forever.

  2. The whole purpose of watchdogs, commissions, complaints authorities etc. in the military-industrial-financial complex is to ensure that nothing interferes with the upward flow of wealth and the downward flow of power.

    If you were one of the 0.1% who control ‘the system’ would you have it any other way?

    As I’ve said many times, it’s all Orwellian. And it won’t change till it collapses.

    Looking forward to a dry spell that lasts two or three months. That should do it.

    Perhaps not. Then we will get overt fascism instead of covert fascism. But at least a few more people might recognise who their enemy is.

  3. these nats are worse thn the repubs in the usa.

    They have only one mindset and that is GUT GUT GUT till there is nothing left and the economy is at a standstill all the whiile their money men mates are making a killing with the moneythese Bars…… borrow.

  4. With my head in my hands, rocking back and forward and repeating “Tell me this isn’t some kind of sick joke”…………..First Susan Devoy and now this. WTF?
    Whats next? Give those fascist national front dudes a cup of tea, a biscuit and a sit down and lend them an ear so they can express their frustration and hurt at feeling so underprivileged for being white.

  5. National Inc. “Devoylution” of the HRC to pave way for the inHuman Rights Commission.

    After all for the greedy and power hungry; rights and democracy are unfathomable indeed a hindrance, the opposite is the objective.

  6. Eeeee by gum!. What I find slightly amusing, and frightening even is that when the sheeple asleeple finally awaken (as their redundancy kicks in, for example); as the 1% tends towards the .01%, the anger rises.
    Mussolini’s fait always springs to mind for some reason as blame is apportioned and recompense sought.

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