Concerns about bigotry and harassment in New Zealand are ongoing, or even rising. Yet the primary state agency that deals with these issues – the Human Rights Commission – has been discredited and is in turmoil. The latest ministerial report is incredibly damning, illustrating that the Commission is not living the values it wants everyone else to live by.
For its supporters, the Human Rights Commission (HRC), plays an important role in fostering inclusion, understanding and harmony, by campaigning publicly against sexism, racism, homophobia and other forms of discrimination. But to its critics, it’s proved itself not up to the task of protecting human rights and, in the eyes of some, become a “politically correct” activist state agency, that goes beyond its proper purpose by policing free speech.
So, how can the Commission be reformed? Or should it be scrapped?