by Anne Salmond

A steady erosion of human rights in New Zealand through legislation is being accompanied by Ministerial attempts to avoid searching scrutiny of these measures, and to silence dissenting voices.

In June 2013 the Law Society reported to the United Nations’ Human Rights Council that in New Zealand, “a number of recent legislative measures are fundamentally in conflict with the rule of law” and in breach of human rights. 

With a few exceptions, much of the GCSB media coverage has been superficial, and complicit in personal attacks and dismissive denials. Media had a vital role to play in answering the many questions around this Bill, and failed.

By and large, the New Zealand media have done a terrible job of reporting on the GCSB bill, despite its fundamental implications for democratic rights and freedoms in New Zealand – including, ironically, the freedom of the press.

Increasingly, our Government is behaving like a playground bully. If Ministers will not restrain themselves from abuses of power, others need to stand up and speak out

In its editorial today, the New Zealand Herald joins Andrew Geddis in castigating the Government for a constitutional outrage – denying the family carers of people with disabilities the right to appeal against unlawful discrimination to the Human Rights Commission or the courts.