UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne today welcomed changes to the Human Rights Amendment Bill that would retain the distinct roles of the Race Relations, Equal Opportunities, and Disability commissioners.
Mr Dunne, who made retention of the commissioner roles a condition of his support for the Bill, said he was pleased that the Minister had amended the Bill.
“When it comes to Race Relations, Equal Employment and Disability issues, it is extremely important that there is a recognised and respected advocate whose job it is to address the issues that frequently emerge in these sometimes controversial areas and lobby constructively to resolve them.
“For UnitedFuture It is a matter of core values. The defence of human rights is fundamental to the values of UnitedFuture and we believe that modern New Zealand needs staunch advocates in these critical areas to create progressive change.
“We believe it would be wrong to remove roles that currently exists and change their focus away from areas that still require the direct advocacy and support provided by these commissioners.
“Accordingly I raised these concerns with the Minister of Justice, the Hon Amy Adams, and I am very pleased that she has recognised the legitimacy and value of retaining these roles,” said Mr Dunne.
The Bill, which was amended yesterday evening via a Government SOP, will now have the support of the UnitedFuture party as it progresses through the House.