A Bill to improve the Human Rights Commission’s ability to deal with crucial issues passed its third and final reading in Parliament today.
Justice Minister Amy Adams says the Human Rights Amendment Bill changes the composition, governance arrangements, functions and powers of the Commission.
“The old provisions in the Human Rights Act were too rigid. For example, new formal leadership positions couldn’t be created in areas of human rights if they were needed. The Bill addresses that inflexibility by revising the Commission’s structure and giving it powers to address additional problems and issues as they emerge,” says Ms Adams.
“For the first time in New Zealand, the Bill creates a Commissioner who will be formally responsible for disability rights. Our changes gives the Commission flexibility to determine its own direction, while retaining the statutory focus on the areas it typically receives the most complaints about.
“It also revises the Commission’s functions to reflect and preserve its independence. The changes made by the Bill will deliver better results for our most vulnerable New Zealanders and ensure the Commission continues to provide leadership in the important area of human rights.”
The Human Rights Amendment Bill received support from all parties in Parliament.