Don’t cull EEO and race relations commissioners says TEU
TEU has told parliament it should scrap plans to disestablish the positions of Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner and Race Relations Commissioner.
Parliament is currently considering a bill, the Human Rights Amendment Bill 2013, which if passed will remove the specialist designations of Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner and Race Relations Commissioner from the Human Rights Act.
TEU women’s officer Suzanne McNabb says the areas of race relations and equal employment opportunities are both important to New Zealand. Removing these two commissioners sends a strong message to our citizens that the government does not consider these to be critical areas of human rights.
Suzanne McNabb says without the specific role of the EEO Commissioner, she believes important initiatives such as the ‘women in leadership’ programme at Massey University would not have started, let alone continued and expanded.
“The specific status of the EEO Commissioner enhanced the credibility of the recommendations such that New Zealand’s vice-chancellors took the commissioner’s recommendations seriously.”
TEU’s submission to parliament supports the Bill’s proposal to institute a Disability Rights Commissioner, saying such a position warrants a designation equivalent to the current EEO and Race Relations Commissioners.