Why the Human Rights Review Tribunal is so essential to NZ Democracy


Two-year Human Rights Tribunal backlog causing stress for complainants

According to data released to Open Justice, the average time it takes for the country’s foremost human rights court to deal with issues that complainants bring to the table is two years.

That figure has nearly doubled since 2015, despite the government appointing five new deputy chairs to the board in an effort to help clear the backlog of cases.

People do not appreciate how important the Human Rights Tribunal is to NZ Democracy.

If the State breaches your civil rights, you are able to take a case against the State via the Human Rights Tribunal.

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When Police included me in their illegal case against Nicky Hager and breached my civil rights, I took the NZ Police to Court via the Human Rights Tribunal and won.

From the event till justice was 5 years.

We don’t appreciate how weak and fragile the checks and balances to protect us from abuse by the State really are.

The underfunded Human Rights Tribunal is the only place you as a a citizen can hold the State to account for breaching your civil rights and have a chance of winning.

By delaying the justice, justice is denied.

The only way the State ever stops being abusive is if they are made to pay when they do.

The ACT Party have been very clear that after amputating 5 Ministry’s, they intend to gut the Human Rights Commission as well.

We don’t need less oversight of State abuse, we need far more of it!

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  1. The biggest threat to the wondrous capitalist-fascism roger and his merry filth gave us is that damned annoying democracy with a human rights clause written into it. It means that we fabulous rich ( At your expense, of course.) can’t easily exploit anyone. It does, after all, take a hell of a lot of people working ever harder to make one multi-billionaire on a small country who’s primary industry is agrarian and there’s only 5.2 million of you and there’s only nine of us. Can’t you see how beneficial we are to your lives? You now have 200,000 children living in poverty and all because they’re lazy. We have record social disasters like homelessness and environmental disasters looming because we’ve disadvantaged then exploited your primary industry and now, dear boys, we plan to rebrand AO/NZ a republic so there goes the Treaty and about bloody time, I say! The Treaty as only good for them Marees and what have they ever done for us? Should be like this Maree. In our pocket where he should be.
    ‘Jacinda Ardern’s agenda is a radical and sinister one – Winston Peters (Alan Jones)’
    Winston Peters joins Alan Jones to discuss how Labour are pushing a separatist agenda.
    “They’ve introduced this very innocent word called co-governance. What it really means is two governments” says Peters
    But dirty little winnie? Winnie The Poop. Little Winnie covered in roger douglas’s sticky little finger prints. We already have co-governance. It’s called capitalist-fascism. We pretend our vote means something when, in reality, it doesn’t mean a thing and now multi-billionaires control our sleeping and waking lives. The multi billionaires YOU helped enable wee winnie bend-over-here-comes-roger The Poop.
    What’s that, winnie, about fooling all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. Dear old Abe said that and you’re a lawyer for fucks sake. How did you not see that coming? Or were you and your boys’ timing a bit orf? The Internettery thingamajigerry trip you up did it?
    You’re fuckin’ awesome @ MB.

  2. “We already have co governance” – really interesting perspective CB. Except its no Co Governance, its more the pretence of having a democracy!

  3. Dont know if the Human Right’s Commission would deal with this but I think it should (NOt just ERA) and shows why we need it. (Via the Free Speech Union)

    “Last month, after posting a comment on Facebook, a Bluebird Sales Manager, Evelyn, was fired from her role. Bluebird publicly accused her of racism and announced she had been “removed” from her job. The comment was made by Evelyn in her own time, in a purely personal capacity, with no reference to her job or her employer.

    What was this grievous post? In response to Whittaker’s Chocolate releasing their Miraka Kirimi (Milk Chocolate) block celebrating Māori Language Week, she posted this:

    “Ffs ..This is OTT. It’s bad enough that schools, hospitals and TV Stations ram this minority language down our throats, you guys dont need to do it as well”

    While we wouldn’t know it from the way the word is thrown around so trivially, to accuse some of racism is actually very serious.

    Evelyn is not racist against Māori (or against any other race). Where she grew up in Northland, she comfortably did daily life with Māori. Her views about te reo may or may not be shared by other Kiwis, but that is not the same as racism.

    This is a common tactic by those who want to silence others they disagree with. Rather than addressing their arguments, or disputing their claims, they attack the person. Name-calling and accusations lobbed at their opponents suit these would-be-censors better than any reasoned debate.

    In an expletive-laden post on Tiktok, a self-proclaimed social media influencer, responded to Evelyn’s comments, who he calls ‘this hussy’ claiming ‘I am not a violent person, but some of these people need to be pissed on…’

    This was the same Tiktok user who Bluebird responded to within a day of Evelyn posting, confirming they had removed her from her duties and were ‘investigating’ the situation.

    “We believe in equality and dont tolerate racism. We can confirm that the employee has been suspended from their duties whilst we investigate>”

    The ‘investigation’ only last two days. I say ‘investigation’ because, up until the last 2 hours, they did this without consulting Evelyn, hearing her perspective, discussing with her why she made the post or what she meant, or referencing a code of conduct she had supposedly broken. At this meeting, before Evelyn had a chance to give her side, she was told she was going to be “held to account”. She was fired a few hours after the meeting.

    Later in the week, the self-proclaimed social media influencer that Bluebird engaged with began to post about Evelyn’s teenage daughter, trying to drag Evelyn’s family into the controversy.
    We can’t let this kind of bullying stand. We’re pushing back. Would you push back with us? Just $50 would make a big difference to our ability to help her.

    Allow me to make this clear. The issue is not whether Whittaker’s is allowed to advertise in te reo; of course they can. This isn’t about whether te reo is being pushed on people, or whether public outlets should use it; it’s an official language.

    This is about one thing: whether an employer should be able to dismiss an employee for a personal opinion expressed outside of work. This isn’t about Evelyn’s particular speech, it’s about the fact that she has the right to express her opinion on this issue, or any other, without having to bear in mind the orthodoxies of censorious critics.

    The lawyer we approached to help represent Evelyn keeps this front and center: ‘New Zealanders are entitled to exercise the right to free speech. This is true even if that involves expressing an opinion that is controversial, and if even the person who expressed the opinion later changes their opinion.”

    So yes we need the HRC more than ever and freedom of speech protections. What Evelyn said is not racism, possibly offensive to some but probably not to most, stupid obviously. This was a virtue signalling witch hunt pure and simple. Unless of course, we havent seen the whole story and there is more to it.

    • indeed fantail outside work hours/work place your/time/opinions/life is your own, you wouldn’t put up with your employer saying you can’t go fishing or you can’t wear cargo shorts at home…but we think this kind of intrusive over reach is ok. are some people slimy rancid douches? yup no doubt BUT that’s their RIGHT

  4. Now, now, Martyn, I’m sure we can count on the Independent Police Conduct Authority to deal with misfeasance.

    Hahahahahahahahahah… ah this is horrifying.

  5. I complained to the Human Rights Commision about having to pay large rent disparities, (fixed 25% of income compared to an ever increasing 50%-60% percent of income), despite being in exactly the same circumstances. Because our landlord was the council before the community housing provider trust took over. Now the rents and the annual increases are set and administered by the MSD, which is this government of kindness. For every $10 taken, only $2 is recoverable.
    Although this meets the legal definition of discrimination, which is “Unlawful discrimination occurs when a person is treated unfairly or less favourably than another person in the same or similar circumstances”, it’s not being implemented on any of the illegal grounds of discrimination such as race, gender disability etc. Therefore the commission found no grounds for discrimination.
    Unhappy with this legalistic dismissal, and wondering if the spirit of the law meant anything, I took it to the Human Rights Tribunal, who “strongly advised” me to get legal advice. Having no money for lawyers, I asked Community Law, but they couldn’t give me any advice as it’s not illegal. Which is telling in itself.
    Although it’s clearly discriminatory, unfair and harmful, neither the commission nor the tribunal would (or could) even tell what form of discrimination it is. To this day, ‘tis a mystery.

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