10 permanent staff (15% of the total FTE) and approx 10 staff on fixed term positions were disestablished officially yesterday at the Human Rights Commission while National have appointed their mates and friends like multivitamin spokesperson Susan Devoy to Race Relations, National Party MP Jackie Blue to EEO, and ACT acolyte Ken Shirley, religiously conservative Ravi Musuku and homophobe Brian Neeson to the Human Rights Review Tribunal.
This is on top of Rugby old boy David Rutherford being appointed as the hatchet man to scalp the HRC of its ability to bite.
There’s no point to back appointments as vacant as National’s with staff who are still committed to human rights when the appointments are supposed to devalue and undermine those human rights.
More levels of management have been added and less positions for advisors/educators and policy analysts while large numbers of staff are to compete for fewer positions.
Commissioners are paid quarter of a million each, managers over 100,000K the national govt chooses static funding for 5 years.
This leaves a Human Rights Commission that is all dressing and no window, our civil liberties have been stripped and human rights defense is now naked.
How appropriate that the Human Rights Commission has been gutted as National continue their blitzkrieg against us with the GCSB being able to spy on NZers, the military being able to arrest citizens for protesting and vast new unchecked search and surveillance powers to the Police.
Marriage equality celebrations and the pretense that we are a more equitable society have barely ended when the hangover from John Key’s brave new New Zealand wakes us to the sobering cold dawn reality of what NZs civil liberties look like in the shadow of corporate interests under his Government.
Don’t be afraid, be angry.
UPDATE: The HRC have contacted me regarding inaccuracies they claim are in todays blog. I have agreed to give them a right of reply over the pending job losses.
The Commission can confirm that a proposal on a new organisational design has been made to staff. The proposal is part of a self-initiated organisational review to clarify the Commission’s priorities for human rights. The proposal would see a potential reduction of the equivalent of 10 fulltime positions. It needs to be stressed that this is a proposal only and requires a full consultation before any decisions are made. The Commission comprises 71.35 full time equivalent positions.