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ACT calls for abolishing Human Rights Commission, Greens label the stance 'bizarre'

ACT is accusing the Human Rights Commission of pursuing a left-wing manifesto and for that, says the organisation "must be abolished".

David Seymour. Source: 1 NEWS

However, the Green Party labelled ACT's stance "outrageous, and frankly dangerous, for politicians to feel entitled to close down independent expert commissions when they don’t agree with them".

ACT leader David Seymour came out against the Commission after it called for the Government to "honour human rights and Te Tiriti o Waitangi" and laid out out 39 issues and ideas it wanted the Government to adopt.

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Chief Human Rights Commissioner Paul Hunt told Breakfast the first step is warm, dry, decent homes. Source: Breakfast

Some of those included Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon continuing the call for the collection of hate crime data and Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero saying there needed to be better employment opportunities for disabled people.

"Its new manifesto calls for a new hate speech law, a living wage, raising benefits by 47 per cent, 'fair pay' agreements, more government departments, two new human rights commissioners, and another public holiday, among a raft of other policies," ACT leader David Seymour said. 

"The Commission is no longer interested in helping real people with actual human rights issues, but simply advancing a left-wing agenda."

"The Commission has become a highly-politicised, left-wing organisation, and when it comes to actually helping people with human rights, it doesn’t help at all.

"ACT sees no purpose for it and would abolish it completely," Seymour said. 

Green Party's Golriz Ghahraman came out against Seymour's stance, saying it was "bizarre for a political party that claims to be about freedom to suddenly want to abolish the Human Rights Commission - the body entrusted with protecting of all our rights and freedoms". 

Golriz Ghahraman. Source: 1 NEWS

"It just shows how far ACT has moved to the extreme right.

"The rights of our disabilities communities, Rainbow rights, and minority equality movements have all been secured via the strength of our independent human rights system. It’s outrageous, and frankly dangerous, for politicians to feel entitled to close down independent expert commissions when they don’t agree with them.

"In Aotearoa, we have what it takes to make sure everyone has what they need to live with dignity, and the Green Party welcomes public discussion about how to achieve that."