August Tūrangawaewae Newsletter

August Tūrangawaewae Newsletter

August 6, 2021

Successive governments responsible for massive breaches of the right to a decent home 

Successive governments in Aotearoa New Zealand have signed up to the critically important right to a decent home but have not created the conditions for that to happen. Te Kāhu Tika Tangata / Human Rights Commission has launched Framework Guidelines on the Right to a Decent Home in Aotearoa and announced that it will hold a national inquiry into housing. 

“For many, especially young people, an affordable, healthy, accessible home has actually become more remote.  Serial governments bear a heavy responsibility for this massive human rights failure which is blighting lives and communities,” said Chief Commissioner Paul Hunt. Read more

Click here for photos from the launch event.

Click here for guidelines in te reo Māori.

Human Right Commission to play a role in law banning conversion practices 

The Government’s introduction of the Conversion Practices Prohibition Bill has been welcomed by Te Kāhui Tika Tangata / The Human Rights Commission. The proposed legislation would criminalise conversion practices. If passed, it would also create a civil pathway for redress by establishing a new provision under which people can lodge a complaint that may lead to mediation.  The Commission will be working to prepare its complaints services in readiness for this law change. Read more.

Survivors of abuse and indignities must be at the heart of approach to address family and sexual violence 

Transformative changes to our laws, justice system, and structures of society are urgently needed to address New Zealand’s ‘shadow pandemic’ of family and sexual violence that has worsened in the COVID-19 era says Equal Opportunities Commissioner Saunoamaali’i Karanina Sumeo. These are among a host of recommendations made by the Commission’s submission to the government on a National Action Plan and Strategy to End Family and Sexual violence. Read more 

Countering misinformation report welcomed 

A new report The Edge of the Infodemic: Challenging Misinformation in Aotearoa by the Classification Office shows that 82% of New Zealanders are concerned about the spread of misinformation and 84% think something should be done. Chief Commissioner Paul Hunt said, “reliable information, diverse perspectives, and a broad range of views are vital for a healthy society. Misinformation undermines democracy, corrodes the fabric of society, and makes our communities unsafe.” Read more

Disability Studies, Disability Justice: Challenging Ableism Conference 2021 

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero raises issues of concern to disabled people and tāngata whaikaha in Aotearoa including: lack of accessible housing; lack of truly inclusive education and the high levels of violence and abuse experienced by disabled people. Read more.

Human Rights Commissions to collaborate with FIFA  

The Australian and New Zealand Human Rights Commissions will work with FIFA to assess the potential human rights impacts of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 on players, spectators, workers and local communities in both countries. The assessment will focus on the appropriate treatment of workers and volunteers, and the inclusion, safety and wellbeing of players, workers, and spectators. Read more 

Corporate and accountability information  

You can find our accountability documents on this corporate and accountability section of our website. This includes our latest Statement of Intent 2021/22—2024/25 which sets out the commission’s strategic priorities over three years and our Statement of Performance Expectations 2021/22 which sets out activities over the coming year. 

In the news: 

Human Rights Commission launches inquiry into housing crisis 

Chief Human Rights Commissioner Paul Hunt says successive government have not kept their promises to provide adequate housing to New Zealanders.  The Commission released guidelines for both public and private providers around how having a decent home to live in is a basic human right as well as announcing an upcoming inquiry into housing in Aotearoa. Read more. 

Disabled people report higher rates of sexual physical violence, new research  

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero was saddened but not surprised by new research which shows that disabled women in Aotearoa are nearly twice as likely to experience family violence than non-disabled women. “While I am saddened by this confirmation, it provides vital evidence that we can’t ignore of the magnitude of harm towards disabled people”. Tesoriero said the study demonstrates the “critical” need for prevention and appropriate support for people with disabilities. Read more

Calls for reinstatement of Indigenous Rights Commissioner 

Calls by the former Indigenous Rights Commissioner Karen Johansen for the role to be reinstated are being supported by Chief Commissioner Paul Hunt and Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon. "Contemporary Aotearoa New Zealand requires a full-time Race Relations Commissioner and a full-time Indigenous Peoples Rights Commissioner," Hunt said. One Race Relations Commissioner responsible for all ethnic minority communities and tangata whenua is "out-of-date".  “It reflects our understanding of New Zealand in the 1960s and 1970s”. Read more.

More news