Breaches of the NZ Bill of Rights

Amy S Van Wey Lovatt made this Official Information request to Human Rights Commission

The request was successful.

From: Amy S Van Wey Lovatt

Dear Human Rights Commission,

According to your website, the HR Commissioner covers complaints of breaches of the Human Rights Act 1993. The preamble of the HR Act states: An Act to consolidate and amend the Race Relations Act 1971 and the Human Rights Commission Act 1977 and to provide better protection of human rights in New Zealand in general accordance with United Nations Covenants or Conventions on Human Rights.

The preamble of NZBORA 1990 states: An Act—(a) to affirm, protect, and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms in New Zealand; and (b) to affirm New Zealand's commitment to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Section 5(2)(ca) of the HR Act states that part of the function of the HR Commission is:
to make public statements promoting an understanding of, and compliance with, this Act or the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 (for example, statements promoting understanding of measures to ensure equality, of indirect discrimination, or of institutions and procedures under this Act for dealing with complaints of unlawful discrimination):

May parties submit complaints to the HR Commissioner for breaches of the NZ BORA which are not under section 19 (as seen under Part 1A of the HR Act) or employment issues (Part 2 of the HR Act). For instance, complaints against police and IPCA for violations of sections 21-25 and 27 of NZ BORA, complaints against DHBs for breaches of section 10, 11, 14 and 21 of NZ BORA, complaints against the HDC, Ombudsman, and Privacy Commissioner for breaches of section 27 of NZ BORA (e.g., not permitting complainants to take matters to the HRC after the HDC and PC failed to uphold their legislative duty or when the Ombudsman and Privacy Commissioner refuse to provide the evidence they used in their decision making, which is as legislatively required, and which is a breach of Natural Justice.)

If the HR Commission does not consider complaints of breaches of the NZ BORA (outside of section 19), which agency or agencies have been put in place "to affirm, protect, and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms in New Zealand".

Thank you for taking the time to fulfil your function and "to make public statements promoting an understanding of, and compliance with, this Act or the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990".

Kind regards,

Amy S Van Wey Lovatt

Link to this

From: Jaimee Paenga
Human Rights Commission


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Tēnā koe Amy,

 

Thank you for your information request, which was received by the Human
Rights Commission on 9 March 2021.

 

You asked:

o May parties submit complaints to the HR Commissioner for breaches of
the NZ BORA which are not under section 19 (as seen under Part 1A of
the HR Act) or employment issues (Part 2 of the HR Act).
o For instance, complaints against police and IPCA for violations of
sections 21-25 and 27 of NZ BORA, complaints against DHBs for breaches
of section 10, 11, 14 and 21 of NZ BORA, complaints against the HDC,
Ombudsman, and Privacy Commissioner for breaches of section 27 of NZ
BORA (e.g., not permitting complainants to take matters to the HRC
after the HDC and PC failed to uphold their legislative duty or when
the Ombudsman and Privacy Commissioner refuse to provide the evidence
they used in their decision making, which is as legislatively
required, and which is a breach of Natural Justice.)
o If the HR Commission does not consider complaints of breaches of the
NZ BORA (outside of section 19), which agency or agencies have been
put in place "to affirm, protect, and promote human rights and
fundamental freedoms in New Zealand".

 

The requests above, as currently framed do not immediately appear to be
requesting official information held by the Commission.

 

In order to ensure that we provide you with the correction information,
could you clarify if what you are seeking is

•                 information on the Commission’s position on what
complaints we can receive under the Human Rights Act, specifcally in
relation to the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act?

•                 information the Commission holds on what if any agencies
can consider breaches under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act?

 

If these questions are not an accurate reflection of the information you
are seeking, could you please provide further clarification to the
Commission.

 

If you have any queries, please feel free to us on [email address] or
telephone 0800 496 877. We are able to provide confidential services for
interpreting in 42 languages, and NZ Relay Service for those with speech
or hearing impairments.

 

Nāku noa, nā

 

Jaimee Paenga (she/her)​
Legal Advisor | Kaitohu Ture
New Zealand Human Rights Commission | Te Kāhui Tika Tangata 
t: [2]0800  496 877
[1][IMG] e: [3][email address]  |  w: [4]www.hrc.co.nz
a:  PO Box 10424, The Terrace, Wellington 6143
Racism starts small. We can give it no encouragement. No respect. No place. No power. We can give it nothing.
​[5]www.givenothing.co.nz
[6]Twitter [7]Facebook [8]YouTube [9]LinkedIn
​This message may contain information that is confidential or legally privileged. If you have received this email in
error please contact the sender immediately. You do not have permission to use or disclose this information if the
email is not addressed to you.
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References

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From: Amy S Van Wey Lovatt

Dear Jaimee Paenga,

Thank you very much for your prompt reply. Indeed, I am seeking information
• on the Commission’s position on what complaints we can receive under the Human Rights Act, specifically in relation to the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act; and
• information the Commission holds on what if any agencies can consider breaches under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act.

I do appologize for not framing it in a more traditional OIA format, as I had framed it as a request for information under section 5(2)(ca) of the HR Act which states that part of the function of the HR Commission is: "to make public statements promoting an understanding of, and compliance with, this Act or the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990".

Thus, I'm looking for better understanding of the legal framework for the compliance under the NZ Bill of Rights Act 1990.

Again, thank you for helping me reframe my request to be more in line with an OIA request.

Kindest regards,

Amy S Van Wey Lovatt

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From: OIA Inbox
Human Rights Commission

Kia ora Amy,

No worries at all, I will send this to the relevant team for response and aim to come back to you by 8 April 2020.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

Ngā mihi

Jaimee

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From: Infoline
Human Rights Commission

Kia ora Amy

Thank you for your email, which was received by the Human Rights Commission.

We will now consider your information request and aim to contact you within 20 working days.

If you need to contact us, telephone 0800 496 877 or email [Human Rights Commission request email]. We are able to provide confidential services for interpreting in 42 languages, and NZ Relay Service for those with speech or hearing impairments.

Nga mihi

Infoline
Human Rights Commission

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From: OIA Inbox
Human Rights Commission


Attachment 206947 Response to request for information Amy S Van Wey Lovattl.pdf
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Tēnā koe Amy,

Please find attached the Commission's response to your request for information.

If you are unhappy with this response, under the Official Information Act you are entitled to complain to the Ombudsman’s Office. Information about how to make a complaint is available at www.ombudsman.parliament.nz or on freephone 0800 802 602.

If you have any further queries about this response, please feel free to contact me directly.

Nāku noa, nā
Jaimee Paenga (she/her)​
Legal Advisor | Kaitohu Ture
New Zealand Human Rights Commission | Te Kāhui Tika Tangata 
t: 0800 496 877 | e: [email address] | w: www.hrc.co.nz
a: PO Box 10424, The Terrace, Wellington 6143

​This message may contain information that is confidential or legally privileged. If you have received this email in error please contact the sender immediately. You do not have permission to use or disclose this information if the email is not addressed to you.

​Please consider the environment before printing this email

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