On the revelation the chief Human Rights Commissioner gave a $200 koha to the Mighty Mongrel Mob Kingdom when he went to their hui - as I’ve said before, I don’t have a problem with him going to the hui. I think conversation’s good. And $200 is not a lot of money in the scheme of things.
But it’s the principle. What is he doing giving any taxpayer money to the Mongrel Mob? Did that not set off any alarm bells for him, giving money to an organisation, with some members of which profit off infringing on other people’s human rights?
He’s refusing to give interviews but in statement appears completely unapologetic, essentially saying he did nothing wrong.
“I was doing my job” he said. “The provision of koha is entirely culturally appropriate. To not offer koha at that pōwhiri would have been extremely disrespectful. “
That’s obviously nonsense. Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson was there and she didn’t give a koha. You don’t have to give one. It’s not an entry fee. It’s a gift willingly given.
The problem here is bigger than a $200 koha. The appointment of this guy was a mistake. He’s not very good at his job.
Compare him to other commissioners and you see how ineffective he is.
The Children’s Commissioner: always in the media demanding better for children
The Privacy Commissioner: constantly publicly warning organisations and giving people advice.
The Human Rights Commissioner: when was the last time you heard him say something worthwhile?
And there is a massive problem he should be weighing in on. If you accept that the right to shelter is a human right, then what we have going on in this country right now - with a housing shortage so bad families are crammed into hotels –is a massive human rights issue if not a human rights crisis.
Have you heard Paul Hunt on TV, on the radio, in the newspapers demanding better from the government over this?
Four days ago, the UN declared our housing crisis a breach of human rights. Paul Hunt welcomed the report, recommended government seriously consider the 27 recommendations - and then went back to doing whatever he fills his days with.
I’m not sure how much credibility this guy or this office has any more but whatever was left has been eroded big time by him giving taxpayer money to a gang.
Heather du Plessis-Allan is a journalist and commentator who hosts Newstalk ZB's Drive show.
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