Minister won’t express confidence in Chief HRC

It is very telling that Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins, speaking on behalf of the Justice Minister, would not express confidence in the Chief Human Rights Commissioner Paul Hunt following the revelation that he donated $200 of taxpayer money to the Mongrel Mob, National’s Police spokesperson Simeon Brown says.

“The Minister was at pains to distance the Government from the Chief Human Rights Commissioner stating repetitively that the commission is independent and that the Government doesn’t always agree with it.

“Given the Minister could not bring himself to even express confidence in the head of New Zealand’s taxpayer funded Human Rights Commission, Paul Hunt himself should do the right thing and hand in his resignation.

“Yes we must respect the independence of agencies like the HRC, but the Government must still take responsibility for the agency in regards to inappropriate use of taxpayer funding. I refuse to think the Minister thinks donating to organised crime is appropriate use of taxpayer funds.”

“The Government has again been weak on a gang issue. How many more times can they dismiss the harm these gangs bring to communities? How can they pretend they are just community motorcycle groups when the impact of methamphetamine as peddled by gangs is so widely experienced?

“Mr Hunt simply has to go and then the Government needs to take a long look at itself and how it is managing the rise of gangs in New Zealand.”