NZ human rights hijacked to enable UN's 'hidden' collectivist agenda.
Describes the hijacking of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act to enable implementation of the UN's 'hidden' collectivist agenda which had devastating effects on the country.
NZ human Rights hijacked to enable UN's 'hidden' collectivist agenda.
Anthony Ravlich MA, BSc, Dip Crim (Hons)
Human Rights Author and Activist (25 years)
Human Rights Council (New Zealand)
10D/15 City Rd.,
Ph: (0064) (09) 940.9658
Hijacking NZ Human Rights to implement UN’s ‘hídden’ collectivist agenda.
the following is a draft chapter on New Zealand for my forthcoming book. I have excluded a sizeable section on the rebuilding following the Christchurch earthquakes as well as the bibliography because it would be too long for some sites. However, they will be included in the book which is now nearing completion.
I consider it is virtually indisputable that the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 was hijacked ‘by and for’ a left-minority in Parliament and passed by only 36 per cent of Members of Parliament.
In my opinion, the bill of rights was pursued with low cunning and gross deceit which in another era, and if the public had been fully informed, may have led to a revolution.
The bill of rights, which omits more than half the human rights in the Universal Declaration, and permits the United Nation’s ‘hidden’ collectivist agenda described in chapter one, was passed under the Fourth Labor Government (the hijacking of the bill of rights is described in detail in the next section).
In my view, the left-minority are liberal collectivists, a social class often including academics and bureaucrats, who I consider are largely a creation of the UN’s ‘hidden’ collectivist agenda which saw their rise to power.
The UN’s ‘hidden’ collectivist agenda promotes the interests of collectives and totalitarianism and seeks to culturally cleanse the world of individual self-determination e.g. the seeking of truth, hopes and dreams, including the iconic American superhero.
The UN’s collectivist agenda also permits exploitation by omission under international law which allows creativity to be replaced by exploitation as a means of growth portending a global slave economy.
Perversely the UN’s collectivist agenda seeks to destroy the universal human rights truth upon which the Universal Declaration of Human Rights., which emphasizes the individual, is based.
The UN’s ‘hidden’ collectivist agenda amounts to a war on truth as defined by the Universal Declaration which the UN claims as its authority.
The UN’s ‘hidden’ collectivist agenda, which requires human rights omissions, is often reflected in State constitutions (see chapter one) as well as New Zealand’s bill of rights.
In my view, political globalization in the early 1980s saw the rise of the liberal collectivists to become the dominant elite in New Zealand as well as in numerous other countries.
The liberal collectivists also rose to dominate the UN, the European Union while also, in my view, the East Asia Community, including Australia and New Zealand, which is presently being formed.
I consider the major purpose of the bill of rights is to fulfill the UN’s ‘hidden’ collectivist agenda which seeks to replace individual self-determination, which is in the Universal Declaration, with collective self-determination which is not in the Universal Declaration e.g. individual freedom of thought is replaced by collective thought.
The UN’s collectivist agenda rather than emphasizing individual rights as required by the Universal Declaration seeks virtually the opposite by promoting the dominance of collectives.
Consequently, apart from the courts which generally uphold the individual freedoms in the bill of rights (see below), public policy permitted the human rights omissions driven by the bureaucrats behind closed doors to result in the gross neglect of large numbers.
For example, children’s rights were omitted from the bill of rights which, in my view, resulted in the gross neglect of many while the omission of the right to individual self-determination meant that big business was strongly prioritized at the expense of small entrepreneurs thereby favoring exploitation rather than creativity as a means of growth.
Generally, collective self-determination, which reflects the interests of the State and dominant elites, upholds and perpetuates the status quo and the establishment, including politicians, the mainstream media, academia etc. which are all captured by the collectivist ideology.
The collectives, the liberal collective, middleclass, professional women and middleclass, professional Maori and the trade unions have a common cause to fulfill the UN’s ‘hidden’ collectivist agenda otherwise they reflect their different political interests.
In such a highly politicized society reflecting collective self-interest there is very largely only political truth with very little room for universal truth i.e. life becomes a power game.
And consequently the dominance of the collectives meant individual ‘freedom of thought, conscience, expression, belief’ was transformed into ‘collective thought, conscience, expression and belief’.
The latter, in my view, created an overwhelming social conformity which was often disconnected from the reality of the lives of many people outside the establishment whose concerns were also often ignored by the mainstream media.
The UN’s agenda seeks to culturally cleanse society of individual self-determination i.e. seeking of truth, hopes and dreams. That truth is not wanted in such an ideologically controlled society is evidenced by the mass exodus from the country of the ‘best and brightest’ (see below).
I consider the crushing of the potential of the nation is meant to create a peaceful society devoid of any political conflict in the mainstream which may pose a threat to the dominant collectives or the State.
For example, knowledge of the hijacking of human rights may have incited rebellion during revolutionary times and this would very likely be initiated by the brightest New Zealanders who understand how distant causes such as constitutions can impact majorly on society.
The latter may explain why the MP’s voting pattern concerning the adoption of the bill of rights was, from my experience, very largely kept hidden (see the next section)
As described in both the preceding chapter the crushing of human potential is similar to what has been achieved with the Dalits (sometimes called untouchables, also called the ‘crushed people’) of South East Asia whose dreams are often limited to ‘street cleaning, manual scavenging and burying the dead’ yet have remained remarkably peaceful (see Dalits in chapter on Bangladesh).
Unlike during revolutionary times e.g. the French and American revolutions of the 18th Century, when constitutions and universal truth were of major concern these were not revolutionary times in New Zealand and New Zealanders very largely seemed to assume they had their human rights so their concerns revolved very largely around commerce and money.
In my view, the modern day middleclass are very largely oblivious to totalitarianism because they have rarely ever experienced being on the receiving end of it while they are themselves blinded by the ‘rock star’ economy image that New Zealand likes to project of itself (see below).
Geoffrey Palmer, in his personal writings, when engaged in having the bill of rights included in law, noted that he ‘found the proceedings profoundly depressing. It was clear New Zealanders knew little how government worked and the ordinary New Zealander did not seem to care much’ (Hiebert et al: 2015).
Although this may not be surprising as there had been so very little by way of human rights education (see below).
I consider the public were almost completely oblivious to the impact of political globalization in the early 1980s, with its ‘hidden’ UN collectivist agenda, on the human rights they thought they possessed.
In my view, the public were also deceived by a ‘divide and rule’ (see below) with social discontent channeled towards the Corporations and the wealthy one percent whereas, in my view, the real cause of the problem were those who determine ‘the rules of the game’ as found in UN human rights instruments and the bill of rights.
In my view, the latter allow the activities of the Corporations so discontent directed at the Corporations e.g. by the Occupation, simply addressed the symptoms rather than the cause.
While the bill of rights seemed of little importance to New Zealanders this contrasted with the importance attached to it by the State with Geoffrey Palmer being made Prime Minister for about two years primarily to make constitutional changes, including creating the bill of rights, while Helen Clark was Deputy Prime Minister.
The Universal Declaration consists of two sets of rights – civil and political rights and economic, social and cultural rights. New Zealand, like America, presently adheres to neoliberalism which consists of only civil and political rights, as does the bill of rights, however its many human rights omissions allow the UN’s ‘hidden collectivist agenda’.
Consequently, instead of the bill of rights being based on universal civil and political rights truth the UN’s collectivist agenda creates a collectivist ideology i.e. neoliberalism, enabling the dominance of collectives, culturally cleansing society of individual self-determination and permitting exploitation and the creation of underclasses.
The UN’s ‘hidden’ collectivist agenda also allows the IMF’s globalization policies and by permitting exploitation it strongly favors those countries best able to exploit a vast workforce, such as China and India, with the more creative West the major loser.
The latter had the desired effect of the UN’s collectivist agenda to culturally cleanse society of individual self-determination because exploitation meant there was far less need for creativity, entrepreneurial activity and the ‘best and brightest’.
In a world at war with truth the major target is self-determining individuals who may seek truth so the major target are countries in the West which has been the major champions of individual freedoms and individual self-determination.
The latter is unlike, in my view, the paranoid and fanatical control of totalitarian countries which would make the seeking of truth virtually impossible.
In my view, while nearly all New Zealanders seemed very largely unaware I consider the 1984 New Zealand Labor Party was taken over by liberal collectivists replacing the previously dominant elite, the post-second world war, liberal individualists.
I consider globalization has both economic and political dimensions. The onset of neoliberalism and globalization in New Zealand in 1984 led to States following IMF globalization policies, called Rogernomics in New Zealand, resulting in the rise of the Corporations i.e. economic globalization.
However, in the shadows of the Corporations and virtually unseen by the great majority of people, it was paralleled by political globalization, whereby nearly all States followed the UN human rights agenda including its hidden collectivist agenda.
The global rise of the liberal collectivists to dominate the UN can, in my view, be seen with the rise of Helen Clark, now in her second term as head of the United Nations Development Program and considered as a leading candidate to become the first, female, UN Secretary-General (see below).
Both left and right-wing politics benefit from the UN’s collectivist agenda which, for example, in addition to the omitted human rights strongly favoring left-collectives and their war on truth, also permitted IMF globalization and exploitation which strongly favor the Corporations and their profits.
I regard the liberal collectivists, although privileged in New Zealand by social class discrimination, permitted by the bill of rights, as largely a creation of the UN’s ‘hidden’ collectivist agenda which took effect in many countries at the onset of globalization and in 1984 in New Zealand they replaced the liberal individualists as the dominant elite.
It meant, in my view, that virtually the whole establishment, including academia, the mainstream media and politicians, are ideologically captured by the UN’s ‘hidden’ collectivist agenda. In my view, their major concern is to ensure obedience to ideology rather than the seeking of truth and success.
Typically, in practice, it meant helping e.g. providing employment, the more dependent, lower functioning individuals while ‘shutting out and shutting down’ the more independent, higher functioning individual often the ‘best and brightest’.
For the liberal collectivists there is to be no place in society for genius, greatness or super-heroes especially as, from my observation, the collectives themselves devolve into mediocrity with their most talented marginalized within the collective, unable to exercise a voice so hidden from the public.
I consider the liberal collectivists, who, from my experience, are very concerned to hide their hegemony, are a social class, privileged by social class discrimination, consisting of many academics and bureaucrats, including Sir Geoffrey Palmer and Helen Clark, who are the major drivers of the UN’s ‘hidden’ collectivist agenda. The political representatives of the liberal collectivists are often called left-neoliberals.
While the right-wing e.g. the National Party, have to abide by the collectivist ideology albeit sometimes reluctantly.
What has taken place in New Zealand since 1984 can be very largely understood as an ideological war, with deadly consequences, between the liberal collectivists and liberal individualists.
I consider the cultural cleansing by the liberal collectivists included removing many of the formerly dominant liberal individualists.
In New Zealand there certainly seems to have been a fanatical pursuit of such cultural cleansing resulting in a mass exodus from the country, including many of the ‘best and brightest’, with an estimated one million New Zealanders now living outside the country which has a population of about 4.6 million (see below).
I consider the mass exodus left few in the country who were sufficiently intelligent and articulate enough to hold the government to account.
Consequently, mediocrity is all New Zealanders are permitted to see so they are unaware of any enlightened leadership they could have. Such enlightened leadership could involve the higher level of consciousness often attained when beliefs are based on universal truth rather than ideology.
In my experience, many of the ‘best and brightest’ who remained in the country were often isolated and their potential crushed with a significant number ending up in the mental health and criminal justice systems, committing suicide or sometimes after having been stigmatized living similar lifestyles to the underclass. Often, in my experience, they felt New Zealand was no longer their home and they were essentially social outcasts.
The liberal individualists believed that individuals through hard work and ability could reach their full potential, and with opportunities available, including upward social mobility, could gain their just desserts on the basis of merit.
However, in reality, this did not apply to all, with women and Maori often having insufficient opportunities pre-1984 and the liberal individualists became to be seen as too individualistic i.e. lacking social responsibility.
Although the situation with respect to Maori is more complex with many adhering to a tribal culture which I consider has not embraced modernity. For example, in my view, it does not ‘pull its weight’ in the development of human knowledge as other modern cultures. And the latter means fewer employment opportunities available to Maori (see below).
While the liberal individualists were concerned to promote individual freedom of ‘thought, conscience, expression and beliefs’ to enable ‘bottom-up’ development and forge new paths into the future the liberal collectivists were concerned to promote ‘collective thought, conscience, expression and beliefs’ to enable ‘top-down’ control and perpetuate the status quo.
In my view, many of the liberal collectivists in the left-establishment have a totalitarian mind-set and seek the more extreme liberal totalitarianism which would be created if neoliberal absolutism (see chapter one) is ever adopted.
As stated in chapter one collectivism as witnessed under Stalin, Hitler and Mao and their mass atrocities was one of the major reasons for the creation of the Universal Declaration with its emphasis on individual rights i.e. people are not ‘numbers’ or expendable, and opposition to totalitarianism.
Also while liberals, whether collectivist or individualist, refrain from using direct violence as a means of control they instead use gross neglect by omitting human rights which, in my view, can often be just as deadly and involve far greater numbers including many, with their potential crushed, living lives barely worth living.
Also, in my view, the devastating consequences of gross neglect are evidenced by the social statistics which correlate with the human rights omissions (see below).
For example, more recently the high levels of domestic violence described in the People’s Report by the Glenn Inquiry (see below) can, in my view, be largely attributed to the omissions of children’s and family rights in the bill of rights but this is rarely spoken about yet if it involved, for example, discrimination against women and/or Maori, the outcry would be almost deafening.
Furthermore, in my view, if it was not for the rebuilding required following the Christchurch earthquakes New Zealand may have achieved ‘nil’ growth a likely consequence, in my view, of the cultural cleansing of individual self-determination (see chapter one). The IMF states:
“The pace of New Zealand’s economic recovery is likely to remain modest. Output growth should pick up somewhat to 2 percent in 2012 as earthquake reconstruction spending gains pace, although the size and timing of this spending is still uncertain” (IMF 2102 Staff Report on NZ, Scoop, 8 June, 2012, http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1206/S00179/imf-2012-staff-report-on-new-zealand.htm).
Geoffrey Palmer is described by his biographer as ‘a believer in using the law for social reform’ (Richards: April 2012).
And it certainly appears that he saw the collectivist ideology requiring collective thought and collective conscience etc. as a means to ‘socially reform’ independent thinkers often perceived as too individualistic. And, in my view, if you did not fit in you were excluded.
From my experience the bill of rights is vastly underrated and very largely ignored by New Zealanders who, in my view, have been led to believe, at least those that have given it any thought at all, it is a weak bill of rights which can be easily overridden by a parliamentary majority although this happened only about once per year (see below).
In fact, in my view, the bill of rights actually constitutes the ideology of the State which can be loosely described as ‘the rules of the game’ which is in sync with many other counties concerned to crush the potential of the nation by embarking on a war on truth and creativity while claiming peace as their goal.
Whereas, in my view, it is just States concerned to protect their power by removing the threat that independent thinkers pose.
While, in my view, at a massive social cost the peace objective seems to have been achieved with the “Global Peace Index’ ranking New Zealand in 2010 as the world’s most peaceful nation, for the second year running (World News: June 2010). Although the Dalits (sometimes called the untouchables or ‘çrushed people’) of South East Asia, suffering arrested development, have also been found to be remarkably peaceful (see chapter on Bangladesh).
New Zealand has repeatedly been ranked as one of the Top 4 most peaceful countries in the world by the Global Peace Index report published by Vision of Humanity which compares 162 independent states and evaluates “the level of safety and security in society, the extent of domestic or international conflict; and the degree of militarization”.
In 2014, New Zealand was ranked the world’s fourth safest country after Iceland, Denmark and Austria. In the previous year New Zealand was ranked third behind Iceland and Denmark (NZEDGE: 2015)
But rather than a peaceful society many New Zealanders (outside of the middleclass ‘rock star’ economy, see below) are, from my observation, living a hard life, invariably in a state of arrested development, with exceedingly little hope of improving themselves.
And while with many of New Zealand’s best thinkers joining the mass exodus there is little in the way of political violence much may have been suppressed to the level of criminality, for example, manifesting itself in high levels of domestic violence or requiring to be subdued by high levels of medication.
Inability to reach their full potential may help explain the increasing use of anti-depressants which were prescribed to 427,900 patients in the year to 30 June 2013, representing more than a 20% increase in the last five years (Mental Health Foundation: 2014).
While the New Zealand Drug Foundation reports that ‘New Zealanders as a population have some of the higher drug-use rates in the developed world, evidenced in the 2007/2008 New Zealand Alcohol and Drug Use Survey, which reports that one in six (16.6%) New Zealanders aged 16–64 years had used drugs recreationally in the past year’ (Drug Foundation: 2007/2008).
During the Cold War people were often aware of where they stood ideologically i.e. it was America’s freedom or Soviet communism.
However, the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe in 1989 enabled the creation of the NZ bill of rights act in 1990 with the collectivist ideology able to be hidden, bureaucratically-driven, behind closed doors, in the area of public policy.
In my experience, people who bother to give the bill of rights any thought are usually told, often by liberal collectivist academics, how weak it is legally because it can easily be over-turned by a simple majority of MPs, and their focus is directed to its effectiveness in the courts.
In my view, the creation of the bill of rights was far more about its omissions than the rights included. While the courts generally upheld the individual freedoms in the bill of rights it was its cultural impact when driven by the bureaucracy where its numerous omissions resulted in the gross neglect of many leaving the country almost unrecognizable from the egalitarian country it once was.
For example, children’s rights were omitted resulting in very high levels of child abuse and poverty (see below) while the exclusion of individual self-determination meant there was little protection for entrepreneurs from bureaucratic control contributing to the mass exodus from the country.
The promotion of a collectivist ideology behind closed doors could be described as a means of mind control as it was a virtual invisible force with New Zealanders unaware of the cause of their oppression (as well as depression).
The dominance of the collectives allowed individual freedom of thought, conscience, expression and belief to become collective thought, conscience etc which, from my observation, resulted in an overwhelming mass conformity in society. Anyone, in my view, who rose their head above the parapet was quickly isolated.
Liberal individualists were often accused by the liberal collectivists as being individualistic i.e. lacking in social responsibility. Although some saw charity as a private matter this failed to ensure many women and Maori from having sufficient opportunities in life.
The year 1984 can also be seen as involving a human rights ‘trade-off’ with perceived sexism and racism replaced by classism i.e. a class-based society, permitted by social class discrimination while the latter together with affirmative action gave much preference to professional, middleclass women and Maori.
This was, in part, foreseen in the late 1970s with New Zealand historian Professor Keith Sinclair describing the view of the then New Zealand Prime Minister, Norman Kirk, stating in his book 'A History of New Zealand': "Kirk saw clearly that while fear of communism was a declining element in international politics, racism was becoming a central issue" (Sinclair: 1991).
The communists of Eastern Europe, who were ideologically opposed to class exploitation, had championed economic, social and cultural rights at the UN.
The latter rights provided a socio-economic ‘bottom-line’ in these communist countries which protected people against exploitation and helped ensure equality.
With the collapse of communism in 1989 economic, social and cultural rights and consequently exploitation and equality became much less of a global concern.
Economic, social and cultural rights and equal rights were excluded from the bill of rights and without a socio-economic ‘bottom-line’ exploitation was permitted and an underclass created which helped fulfill the task of the cultural cleansing of individual self-determination because creativity and entrepreneurship was in less demand.
In contrast to liberal collectivism and liberal individualism, the ethical approach to human rights promoted in this book regards it as a duty to ensure all have, at least, all the core minimum human rights in the Universal Declaration i.e. both individual freedoms and individual economic, social and cultural rights, sufficient to enable individual self-determination.
The latter enables the seeking of truth, hopes and dreams and being able to reach full potential. If they wish, people can achieve higher levels of human rights which need to be earned.
The ethical approach could be described as socially responsible individualism.
By contrast, the communists of Eastern Europe while providing economic, social and cultural rights did not provide sufficient civil and political rights to enable individual self-determination and, for example, it is well-known that dissent often led to incarceration in gulags.
I consider the ethical approach, which is firmly based on the Universal Declaration, if included in the bill of rights would eliminate the UN’s ‘hidden’ collectivist agenda.
And if the ethical approach was reflected in international law it would lead to the collapse of both America’s neoliberalism and the UN’s neoliberal absolutism.
Both neoliberal variants, in my view, would have very little answer to the moral force of the universal human rights truth upon which the ethical human rights is based.
The New Zealand Human Rights Commission came close to designating New Zealand a ‘secular society’ but because of the UN’s ‘hidden’ collectivist agenda this would have strongly favored collective interests over the more independent New Zealanders.
In my view, the UN’s collectivist agenda reflects the interests of the considerable majority of State representatives, concerned to retain power, in the UN General Assembly as well as, in my view, the UN bureaucracy but the Universal Declaration is meant to guard against such opportunism.
The ethical approach is secular but is firmly based on universal human rights truth so can be seen as reflective of the interests of all as well as, in my personal view, reflecting God’s Universal Truth.
Ethical human rights, while secular, is recognized as equating with the Golden Rule (‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’) espoused by the major religions so religious political parties could have ethical human rights as their ethical base so help remove the separation of Church and State.
Also I consider it self-evident that human beings are not perfect and that this is also the case with their laws. The importance of believing in God’s Universal Truth is when there is ‘no appeal on earth’ and is described by John Locke (1689), regarded as the father of liberal rights.
John Locke states that when the ‘rule of reason’ i.e. the social contract, has collapsed and there is no ‘appeal on earth’ then you can only ‘appeal to heaven’ and exercise the ‘right of resisting’ such tyranny (Locke: 1965) (John Locke, Two Treatises of Government, Ed. By Peter Laslett, Mentor Books, New American Library, paragraphs 168 and 208, 1965. The latter is also quoted in my submission to the Auckland High Court ‘Freedom is not an impossible dream’ (cited below).
A New Zealand Herald report described it as an ‘astonishing concession’ under pressure from the Catholic Church that the New Zealand Human Rights Commission agreed to remove language from a 2004 draft report that stated that New Zealand is a secular state and that religion was only for the “private sphere.” (Turley: 14 July 2010)
New Zealand bishops considered that, since the Universal Declaration protects freedom of religion, “[t]o suggest that matters of religion and belief belong only in the private sphere undermines the right of churches to seek to influence public opinion and political decision making.” The bishops were supported by the evangelical Vision Network which insisted “no major religion sees itself as a privatized matter.” (Turley: 14 July 2010).
Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres promised to revise the language, including the description of New Zealand as a “secular state.” (Turley: 14 July 2010).
It would seem likely that a number of those ‘best and brightest’ whose lives have been very seriously damaged will seek accountability and compensation if and when the opportunity arises and, in my view, it is very largely those responsible for the hijacking, such as Geoffrey Palmer and Helen Clark, who should be held to account.
Hijacking of Human Rights
As I stated above I consider that the bill of rights was hijacked is virtually indisputable and can be seen from the Parliamentary Conscience Votes Database, which describes the voting patterns of MPs.
The latter shows that the bill of rights was passed by only 36 per cent of parliament and that the bill of rights was ‘by and for’ a left-minority, all of them Labor MPs (Voting Pattern: 21 Aug 1990 also see the appendix 2).
Of the remaining MPs involved in the conscience vote on the bill of rights 30.1 per cent were against the bill of rights and 33 per cent were absent from the house. The 35 MPs who voted for the bill of rights were all from the Labor Party while the 30 MPs who voted against it were all from the National Party except one from the New Zealand First Party.
Roger Douglas, Minister of Finance in the Labor Government, who promoted Rogernomics, which were very largely IMF global free market policies, voted for the bill of rights seemingly aware that its human rights omissions (see the UN’s hidden collectivist agenda described above and in chapter one the section on the IMF) would permit Rogernomics.
The 32 MPs who were absent from the parliament comprised 10 from National, 20 from Labor, one from United Future and one from the Progressive Coalition (It seems to be the practice of the database to give an MP’s latest party status. Consequently, the three MPs described in the database as being from the Act Party, which was not formed until 1996, were, at the time of the conscience vote on the bill of rights in the Labor Party (2) and National Party (1)).
The Labor Party’s constitutional rule 242 which requires MPs to abide by caucus decisions may well be the reason why many Labor MPs were absent at the time of the vote as it would be the only way to act according to their conscience. It certainly seems that if it was not for rule 242 the bill of rights might not have been passed.
Little seems to have been written on rule 242 but it is occasionally mentioned in the parliamentary debates:
Marie Hasler (NZ National – Waitakere) stated: “I accept that a Labor MP is probably a mere delegate, a mere cypher, a mere mouthpiece, a restricted agent, and, most of all, a servile pawn to the Labor leadership. However, Labor is not content with practicing its scandalous rule 242 within just its own ranks; no, Labor wants to inflict this piece of compulsory, groupthink, follow-the-leader mentality on to the whole House. It wants to impose its regime of member obsequiousness on every other member. I find it utterly amazing that the notion of individual conscience has become outdated. When did this happen, exactly?” (Electoral Bill: 1997) (‘Electoral (Party Registration) Bill: Second Reading, 22 Oct 1997, http://www.vdig.net/hansard/archive.jsp?y=1997&m=10&d=22&o=68&p=74 )
Also Murray McCully (National, East Coast Bays) stated: “Í remind them that the Opposition has nothing to equate with rule 242, which states that if one votes against the Government, or withholds a vote one is out…’ (NZBORB: 1990) (New Zealand Bill of Rights Bill, Second Reading, 14 Aug 1990, p3467, http://www.justice.govt.nz/policy/constitutional-law-and-human-rights/human-rights/domestic-human-rights-protection/about-the-new-zealand-bill-of-rights-act/New-Zealand-Bill-of-Rights-Bill-2nd-Reading.pdf
The above statistics on the voting patterns of MPs, although would have been recorded in Hansard (report on New Zealand Parliamentary Debates), were, in my view, very largely hidden from the public. I came across the above database by accident on the internet in May 2012, 22 years after the bill of rights was passed.
I did not begin promoting human rights until a year after the bill of rights was passed in 1990 but in 21 years of promoting human rights, also reading a reasonable amount of the New Zealand academic literature, I had never seen these figures before. I sent them to nearly every MP and received about 13 responses but no one disputed them.
Sir Geoffrey Palmer, with Helen Clark as Deputy Prime Minister, led the fourth Labor Government from August 1989 until September 1990 during which he engaged in considerable reforms of the country’s legal and constitutional framework, including the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act (passed on 28 August 1990 just before he retired as PM).
Sir Geoffrey Palmer, a former Professor of Law, is described as the architect of the bill of rights and was Deputy Prime Minister from 1984 to 1989, before becoming Prime Minister. Sir Geoffrey Palmer received his knighthood in 1991, one year after the passing of the bill of rights in 1990, while Roger Douglas received his knighthood in 1990.
Helen Clark, a former lecturer in political studies, was Deputy Prime Minister during the period Sir Geoffrey Palmer was Prime Minister. She became Prime Minister serving three consecutive terms (1999 to 2008). She was chosen to Head the United Nations Development Program in April 2009 and is now serving her second term. She is now regarded as a leading candidate to become the first woman to become next UN Secretary General (Campbell: 1 July 2014).
Divide and Rule
While economic globalization, under IMF globalization policies, led to the rise of the Corporations, its parallel, political globalization, where nearly all States followed the UN human rights agenda including its hidden collectivist agenda, led to the rise of the liberal collectivists.
Although for nearly all New Zealanders the rise of the liberal collectivists seemed very much ‘under the radar’, in the shadows of the Corporations.
While almost simultaneously with the liberal collectivists’ rise to political power in 1984, I believe I witnessed while working for a government department the creation of an ‘old boys and girls network’, which seemed to reflect the interests of the liberal collectivists, within the bureaucracy.
I consider political globalization meant that the leaderships of the global establishment, almost without exception, were ideologically captured by the UN’s ‘hidden’ collectivist agenda.
In my view, it is likely that it was the rapid pace of change (see blitzkrieg policies in New Zealand below) as well as a ‘divide and rule’ (see below) which contributed to the minds of left activists and academics seeming to ossify in the Cold War when the discontented left-wing promoted anti-capitalism and anti-Corporations.
In my view, these left activists are describing a time when States still had much sovereignty but with the onset of globalization nearly all States gave up significant sovereignty and abided by the UN’s human rights agenda, with its hidden collectivist ideology, which also permitted States to execute the IMF’s globalization policies.
The latter is evidenced by nearly all State constitutions permitting the UN’s ‘hidden’ collectivist agenda which also enabled States to pursue the IMF’s globalization policies (see chapter one).
So while the left-activists, given their Cold War perspective, were able to understand economic globalization when seeing the rise in global power of the Corporations they, almost without exception, failed to see or understand the rise of the liberal collectivists under political globalization.
Activists often express concern about the effects of the Corporations on climate change, the decimation of the animal population, environmental damage and exploitation.
I consider while the Corporations may well be the direct or immediate cause of many of these problems the real, although distant cause, are what can be loosely called the ‘rules of the game’ e.g. international human rights law, as determined at the United Nations.
Consequently, I consider that what such a very large number on the left fail to see is that the Corporations and capitalism simply obey the ‘rules of the game’ as does the rest of the establishment and consequently are often merely a symptom rather than a cause of such problems.
In my view, it is hard to see how capitalism can be blamed when the ‘rules of the game’ are determined at the UN where the global free market and global exploitation undermined creative growth and the domestic free market.
Consequently it is hard to take seriously left-wing protests against the Corporations when they also promote the UN’s human rights agenda, allowing the ‘hidden’ collectivist agenda, which permits the activities of the Corporations.
The ethical approach to human rights would, however, limit the free market because all must be ensured, at least, all the core minimum human rights in the Universal Declaration and consequently there can be no exploitation.
However, the ethical approach would also protect capitalism in the long-term by enabling individual self-determination which would result in a more competitive domestic free market, a very important source of creativity, new ideas and the development of human knowledge.
In addition to the failure to see the effects of political globalization the creation, in my view, of a ‘divide and rule’ hid the reality from the discontented.
I consider, a far-right political party, the Act Party, founded in 1994 by former Minister of Finance in the Labor Government, Roger Douglas, and joined by two other former Ministers of the Labor Government in the 1996 elections was in order to create a ‘divide and rule’ to hide the hijacking and political globalization, (ACT: 2008 ).
The former Labor Ministers were Roger Douglas, Richard Prebble and Ken Shirley. They had all voted for the bill of rights almost certainly seeing that the rights omitted permitted States to implement IMF globalization policies, which they strongly advocated as Rogernomics.
In my view, social discontent was channeled by the liberal collectivists, who dominated the establishment and the mainstream media, as well as their many supporters, towards Roger Douglas, the Act Party, the Corporations and the one percent of the wealthy.
The modus operandi of the liberal collectivists was often to focus on lifting up the lower functioning, often victims of social class discrimination, while ignoring and isolating the higher functioning who are perceived as a threat to this social class which is also very concerned to hide their hegemony.
I witnessed the modus operandi of the liberal collectivists most clearly in the Occupation protests where those in control, from my observation closely linked with the Green Party, seemed more concerned with deflecting discontent away from the hijacking and political globalization than utilizing the more intelligent to achieve a successful outcome.
In the group discussions of the Occupation the young, bright protestors were often just ignored leaving them bewildered instead the controllers wanted to hear from those who were less bright and articulate.
In my view, the Occupation protestors would have made a bigger impact if they had stood for human rights e.g. including equal rights and economic, social and cultural rights, which had been excluded in the bill of rights. I took the opportunity to inform the protestors of this on various occasions and although some of the younger, brighter protestors were interested, those in control simply ignored it (Ravlich: 5 Dec 2011).
Consequently, from my observation, apart channeling of discontent towards the Corporations away from the left-establishment I consider no significant change was sought.
Some of those individuals most prominent and best known to New Zealanders who I consider were involved in channeling public discontent toward the Act Party and the Corporations were Jane Kelsey, Professor of Law, described by the university directory as ‘one of New Zealand’s best known critical commentators on issues of globalization and neoliberalism’ (Auckland University: 2015) (Jane Kelsey Profile, Auckland University , 2015 -2016, https://unidirectory.auckland.ac.nz/profile/j-kelsey) and John Minto who is described as a veteran New Zealand socialist activist.
In my view, this domestic ‘divide and rule’ reflects what I consider to be a ‘divide and rule’ at the global level between the UN General Assembly, which created the UN’s ‘hidden’ collectivist agenda, and the IMF, which determines globalization policies, described in chapter one.
What I consider was very socially destructive in New Zealand, perhaps more so than in other neoliberal countries, was the rapid pace in which neoliberalism was implemented with Roger Douglas, the 1984 Labor Government’s Minister of Finance, describing the implementation of the neoliberal policies in 1984 as a ‘policy blitzkreig’ (Hayward: 21 Aug 2012).
According to Philippa Mein Smith Rogernomics has been likened to a ‘blitzkreig’ because the reforms proceeded so fast and extensively, with all the zeal of a crusade (Smith: 2012).
History New Zealand states that ‘nowhere else were they [neoliberal policies] implemented with the speed and zeal shown by Douglas and his supporters’ and adds that ‘New Zealand was quickly reinvented as one of the most free-market economies in the industrialized world’ and ‘the agenda came thick and fast: deregulation, privatization, the sale of state assets, and the removal of subsidies, tariffs, tax breaks and price controls (NZ History: 1 Oct 1986).
An example of the ‘policy blitzkreig’ described by Roger Douglas was, in my view, the ‘well-known’ severe benefit cuts of April 1991 which were implemented about eight months after the bill of rights was passed and which I consider would have been the major cause of the present virtually ‘permanent’ underclass. In my view, this heralded a society based on exploitation rather than creativity i.e. furthering the cultural cleansing of individual self-determination.
If economic, social and cultural rights had been included in the bill of rights I think the severe benefit cuts could have been successfully challenged in the court.
For example, Paul Hunt suggests the use of negative judicial review. He states: “In April 1991, the New Zealand government introduced cuts in welfare. According to the Human Rights Commission, the reduced rates brought some beneficiaries below the Treasury’s own “income adequacy” level. If New Zealand law provided that individuals have a right to an adequate standard of living, why could a court not declare that the cuts were unlawful because they violate this right?” (Paul Hunt, Reclaiming Social Rights, p68).
(Human Rights Council : 3 Nov 2006) (‘ Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in New Zealand’ , Human Rights Council Press Release, 3 Nov 2006, http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0611/S00038.htm )
In what began my human rights activities I protested the impending benefit cuts in April 1991 by throwing a brick through the window of the Christchurch employment service because I considered the benefit cuts violated the right to a reasonable standard of living included in the economic, social and cultural rights which New Zealand had ratified under international law.
While I got nation-wide television coverage the reasons for my protest, which also led to court appearances, were not told the public.
As a result of my activities the New Zealand Labor Party set up a Parliamentary Select Committee under Christchurch Central MP, Lianne Dalziel, to look into my activities and the concerns of residents regarding the benefit cuts.
Also the Human Rights Commission, who I was in contact with, in their submission to the Finance Bill warned the government that the benefit cuts could be in breach of international law and advised them against such action.
( Submission: 1991) http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0611/S00038/economicsocial-and-cultural-rights-in-new-zealand.htm May hv to ck with the human rights commission
Another area which in my view would have made New Zealand’s experience of neoliberalism far harder than in other countries was the extraordinary prominence given to Maori tribalism.
I consider the rise of the Maori culture reflected the promotion of collectivist cultures by the UN’s ‘hidden’ collectivist agenda and was driven by the dominant collective, the liberal collectivists, who appeared to be the major supporters of Maori tribalism.
If the measure of modernity is the Universal Declaration in my view the promotion of Maori tribalism was designed to take the country backwards in an attempt to eliminate the individual freedoms of Western culture, part of New Zealander’s British heritage, to ensure no challenges to the liberal collectivists.
New Zealand changed majorly from a country which promoted self-help and its ethnic, largely business, communities to a country which promoted dependency and Maori culture.
Upward mobility seemed based largely on descent and affirmative action rather than merit which meant it was very difficult to better oneself by virtue of one’s hard work which is virtually the only hope those lower on the lower social scale have of advancement.
I consider the dominance given a dependency and, in my view, a repressive tribal culture, would have contributed to many of the best and brightest leaving the country including the more independent Maori as indicated by one in six Maori living in Australia (Hamer: Aug 2009) (Measuring Maori in Australia: insight and obstacles, Paul Hamer, Ministry of Social Development, Social Policy Journal, Issue 36, Aug 2009, https://www.msd.govt.nz/documents/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/journals-and-magazines/social-policy-journal/spj36/measuring-maori-in-australia.pdf ).…………………….
According to Geoffrey Palmer’s biographer it was the latter’s experience when studying in America of the slums of South Chicago with its racial divisions which persuaded him that ‘New Zealand could not afford to have a permanent underclass defined by race’ (Richards: 2012) (‘Good Government: The United States Shapes a New Zealand Politician’, Raymond Richards, 2012, http://www.inter-disciplinary.net/at-the-interface/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/rrichardsdpaper.pdf ).
As Deputy Prime Minister when the New Zealand Labor Party won the 1984 election Geoffrey Palmer declared that the Labor Government would ‘investigate Maori grievances that had arisen since 1840, when Maori and the Crown had signed the Treaty of Waitangi to regulate colonization’(Richards: 2012) (‘Good Government: The United States Shapes a New Zealand Politician’, Raymond Richards, 2012, http://www.inter-disciplinary.net/at-the-interface/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/rrichardsdpaper.pdf).
The Treaty of Waitangi Amendment Act provided a process for addressing long-standing grievances, especially those involving the Crown’s historic seizures of Maori Land resulting in Maori receiving compensation for on-going claims
(Richards: 2012) (‘Good Government: The United States Shapes a New Zealand Politician’, Raymond Richards, 2012, http://www.inter-disciplinary.net/at-the-interface/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/rrichardsdpaper.pdf
From my observation the special privileges accorded Maori tribalism was often justified by New Zealand being designated a bicultural society because the Treaty of Waitangi was increasingly considered the founding document of New Zealand which establish a partnership between the Maori tribal leaders and the Crown. http://www.fatimahfoundation.org.nz/page/treaty-of-waitangi.
The latter partnership led to New Zealand being described as a bicultural society giving Maori a special status because in reality New Zealand is a multicultural society as seen in the demographic profile.
New Zealand Demographics Profile 2014: the population is 4,401,916 (July 2014 est) of which 71.2 percent are European, 14.1 percent are Maori, 11.3 percent are Asian and 7.6 percent are Pacific people, (index mundi: 2014) (index mundi, 2014, http://www.indexmundi.com/new_zealand/demographics_profile.html ).
In addition to addressing Maori grievances the major aim of the New Zealand government appears to have been to eliminate disparities between Maori and non-Maori. In 2002 Tim Caughley, New Zealand’s representative at the UN stated that the fourth periodic report to the UN Human Rights Committee 'highlighted a number of significant developments……in particular, in the process of settling claims under the Treaty of Waitangi and the elimination of disparities between Maori and non-Maori (UNHRC: 9 July 2002) (United Nations Human Rights Committee, Seventy-fifth session, Summary Record of the 2015th Meeting, para 3, 9 July 2002).
Te Ara, The Encyclopedia of New Zealand, describes the Treaty of Waitangi as a written agreement made in 1840 between the British Crown (the monarch) and more than 500 Māori chiefs. After that, New Zealand became a colony of Britain and Māori became British subjects (Te Ara: 9 Nov 2012) (Te Ara, The Encyclopedia of New Zealand, 9 Nov 2012, http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/treaty-of-waitangi ).
Consideration of the Treaty was built into the law-making process in New Zealand. "All Ministers seeking approval to introduce bills into Parliament must indicate whether they were consistent with the principles of the Treaty. The Treaty was also incorporated into a range of domestic legislation. Regardless of whether a particular Act referred to the Treaty, the Courts had interpreted relevant legislation in a manner consistent with the Treaty whenever possible" (UN Human Rights Committee: 16 March 2010) (Human Rights Committee, Ninety-eighth session, Summary record of the 2697th meeting, para.14, 16 March 2010 )
Affirmative action for Maori was one way special privileges were bestowed on Maori tribalism. Section 19(2) of the bill of rights allowed for such affirmative action. It states: "Measures taken in good faith for the purpose of assisting or advancing persons or groups of persons disadvantaged because of discrimination that is unlawful by virtue of Part II of the Human Rights Act 1993 do not constitute discrimination" (the latter was also used to ensure affirmative action for women).
The reduction of disparities between Maori and Pakeha higher on the social scale was evident politically and economically.
Such affirmative action certainly appears to have benefited Maori politically as seen in Parliament where Maori make up 18.9% of Parliament while only making up 15.2% of the total population (Farrar: 18 April 2011).
In parliament Maori were permitted two political parties chosen on racial grounds: The Maori Party (July 2004 to present) and the Mana Movement (April 2011 to 2014). By contrast if other racial groups did likewise, in my view, they would be regarded as racist.
While Maori (and women) benefited from affirmative action in the bureaucracy (Ravlich: 2008) (‘ Freedom from our social prisons…’, Anthony Ravlich, Lexington Books (2008), p64 ).
In 2001 the asset base of the Māori economy was estimated to be worth $9.4 billion, this figure rose to $16.5 billion by 2006, and is now estimated it was worth at least $36.9 billion in 2010 (Maori economy: 2015) (Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Maori economy, 2015, http://www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/infrastructure-growth/maori-economic-development/for-maori-business/?searchterm=maori%20economy http://www.mbie.govt.nz/what-we-do/maori-economic-development/the-maori-economy ).??????
Disparities at the lower social levels were also reduced with many Europeans, as the gap between rich and poor increased, being reduced to living similar lifestyles to Maori which from my observation treat a significant number as virtual outcasts (see below).
In my view, non-discrimination on the grounds of race was so strictly adhered to that there was a considerable reluctance by New Zealanders to discuss the deficiencies of Maori culture and how that might well have contributed to any increased racism.
The sensitivity of tribal Maori regarding their own failings could also evoke threats of violence on their part which would deter many New Zealanders from entering into such discussions.
There also seems little distinction made between racial and cultural differences. For example, to dislike another culture does not amount to racism. The latter occurs when an individual is treated unfairly because of their color while a dislike of a repressive, dependency culture, which is how I see Maori tribalism, is, in my view, as legitimate as a dislike, even hate, for communism or fascism.
Although Maori tribalism does have a spiritual tradition which means it is much less prone to the profound arrogance of the secular, liberal collectivists which I described in my article, ‘Profound arrogance at the UN’ (cited in chapter one) where there is also a discussion, involving Maori tribalism, with an Islamic Associate Professor of Law.
However, secularism would likely be a barrier to Maori gaining greater dominance than they have in New Zealand society and could also be used as way of oppressing Maori as described in the chapter on Bangladesh where the Awami League Government implemented a secular plan, in my view, to suppress the Muslim population.
Few people would regard Pope Francis as racist (although because of the racial sensitivity that exists in New Zealand there may be some) yet during his visit to Africa he expressed what I consider is a modern view of tribalism when he told the youth at the Safaricom Stadium in Kenya that ‘tribalism destroys’
He stated: “Tribalism can only become with an ear, a heart and hand. If you do not dialogue with each other, if you do not listen to each other, then you are going to have divisions like dust; like a worm that grows in society,” he said.
The Pope noted that ‘only dialogue between the different groups would resolve the issues of concern’. Pope Francis asked all those attending the meeting at the stadium to stand up and hold hands saying this signified unity against tribalism.
He concluded: “To overcome tribalism is a daily endeavor, you have to listen to others, it is the work of opening your heart to others and it is the work of your hands,”.
(Groin: Nov 2015) ( ‘Fighting tribalism must be your daily endeavor – Pope’, Jane Groin, 27 Nov 2015, http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/news/2015/11/fighting-tribalism-must-be-your-daily-endeavour-pope/ ).
Also, what is rarely ever discussed in mainstream New Zealand is that Maori discriminate amongst their own people on the basis of Whakapapa, or family lineage, which is permitted by the exclusion of non-discrimination on the basis of birth, which includes descent, from New Zealand’s human rights law.
Such discrimination, together with the social class discrimination that exists in New Zealand, may help explain why, from my observation, many Maori seem virtual outcasts, as if for some it is their destiny to live their lives sleeping and begging on the streets.
While not exclusively Maori begging on the streets, from my observation, they make up by far the majority in Auckland, at least. By contrast I see few Pacific Islanders begging on the streets.
In my view, as was the case with professional, middleclass women and the liberal collectivists both groups favored by social class discrimination, professional, middleclass Maori would have been favored according to Whakapapa.
Non-discrimination on the grounds of birth seems to apply particularly to Maori. Hiri Mead states: "In te ao Mäori, Whakapapa underpins the whole social system. Classification by whakapapa establishes eligibility in tribal matters. It legitimizes participation in hapü affairs and opens doors to kinship privileges and to iwi assets (Mead: 2003) (Mead, H.M., Tikanga Maori, Wellington, Huia Publishers, 2003, p43)".
However, in my view, affirmative action is really meant for those who have suffered the worst forms of discrimination who are often found lower on the social scale consequently I consider favoring those higher on the social scale by the exclusion of non-discrimination with respect to birth cannot be in ‘good faith’ which is required by Section 19(2) of the bill of rights.
Tribal Maori, generally, seem to fail to ‘pull their weight’ if the development of human knowledge is used as a measure and this seems also to be largely due to the cultural cleansing of individual self-determination which seems intrinsic within Maori tribalism i.e. independent thinkers would be regarded as a threat to the Maori elite.
Failure in terms of the development of human knowledge is indicated by lack of educational attainment. In 2013 in terms of having NZEA level 2 qualifications when leaving school 87 per cent of Asians had this level of qualification, 80 per cent of Europeans/Pakeha, 39.9 per cent of Pacific Islanders and 28.8 per cent of Maori.
(Tapaloeao: 19 March 2014) (‘Closing the gaps: Maori-Pacific report card – Good but could do better’, Vaimoana Tapaloeao, 19 March 2014,
Individual self-determination requires both survival rights and self-help rights but the latter seems very lacking at the lower social level with Maori becoming ever more trapped in dependency which is indicated by their dependency on benefits being far higher when compared to Pacific people, who originate from the Pacific Islands.
The benefits received by Pacific people far more closely correlate with their percentage of the population than do Maori. At the end of December 2012 there were 109,000 on a Domestic Purposes Benefit (DPB). Maori, who comprise 14.1 percent of the population, make up 42.8 per cent of those on the DPB. By contrast, 10.1 per cent of Pacific people are on the DPB and make up 7.6% of the population.
Those on invalids Benefits numbered 84,000 of which 22.7 per cent were Maori (14.1 percent of the population) and 5.1 per cent were Pacific people (7.6 percent of the population).
Those on sickness benefit numbered 61, 000 of which 28.1 per cent were Maori (14.1 percent of the population) and 6.6 per cent were Pacific people (7.6 percent of the population).
Those on the unemployment benefit totaled 54, 000 of which 38.8 per cent were Maori (14.1 percent of the population) and 8.9 per cent Pacific people (7.6 percent of the population).
(Benefit Fact Sheets: 2012) (National Benefit Fact Sheets, Ministry of Social Development, 2012, https://www.msd.govt.nz/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/statistics/benefit/2012-national-benefit-factsheets.html ).
In addition, in terms of Maori self-help according to Te Puni Kokeri self-employment rates for Maori are approximately half those of most other ethnic groups (Te Puni Kokiri: Feb 2007) (Our Publication – Fact Sheets, Te Puni Kokiri, February 2007, http://www.tpk.govt.nz/en/in-print/our-publications/fact-sheets/small-to-medium-enterprises/download/tpk-sme-2009-en.pdf )..
And that there seems to have been little change over the past eight years is indicated by a report released in March 2015 on Māori entrepreneurialism by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment which finds that about 10 percent of Māori are self-employed or are employers compared with about 20 percent for the general population. The report is based on data taken from the 2013 census. (Radio NZ: 13 March 2015). Certainly having lived in the Auckland CBD for many years I can only remember one business owner being Maori.
Māori ethnic population in the Auckland Region total 137,133 which is 24.3 percent of New Zealand’s Maori population (QuickStats: 2013) (QuickStats Auckland Region, Statistics New Zealand, 2013 http://www.stats.govt.nz/Census/2006CensusHomePage/QuickStats/AboutAPlace/SnapShot.aspx?id=1000002
I attribute the lack of involvement of Maori in small business as due very largely to tribalism as, from my observation, many seem to seek to share in any profits made by those exceedingly few who make an attempt to start up their own business.
However, inability to follow their dreams and set up in small business effectively cuts out numerous opportunities for Maori so it is not surprising that at times of high unemployment they often have recourse to drugs and crime which would very likely increase racist views in the general population whereas, in my view, it is best seen as indicating a cultural problem rather than a problem due to race.
While also from my observation some Maori criminality seems to have political overtones e.g. a challenge to the Pakeha system seems sometimes to be a source of mana in the tribe.
Social problems involving Maori are virtually always considered to be due to racism while no mention is made of the deficiencies of tribalism.
For example, a recent UN report highlighted the over-representation of Maori in prison. Maori make up 50% of the population in jail, despite accounting for just 15% of all New Zealanders.
Rather than tribalism the cause is seen as being due to the State and institutional racism.
Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox says researchers have been talking about discrimination in the court system for a long time.
"Nobodies listened to that for many years, and I think it helps when the UN puts a bit of light on it because then we get a bit of action. (Walker: May 2015) (Maori imprisonment rates blamed on institutional racism, Nick Walker, Newstalk ZB, 18 May 2015, http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/news/national/maori-imprisonment-rates-blamed-on-institutional-racism/
However, Geoffrey Palmer, perhaps anticipating high rates of imprisonment given the underclass created by the bill of rights (see below), seemed to ensure that the bill of rights provided more than adequate protections for criminal offenders with ‘search, arrest and detention’ comprising 7 human rights out of a total of 20 human rights in the bill of rights.
And there has also been public concern that the bill has been too lenient on criminal offenders. The New Zealand delegate, Mr Keating, told the UN Human Rights Committee: " Most of the early jurisprudence since the adoption of the Bill of Rights had related to criminal procedural issues, and had caused considerable public alarm, for the Bill of Rights was perceived as having created more loopholes for defendants in criminal cases" (UN Human Rights Committee: 23 March 1995) (Human Rights Committee, fifty-third session, Summary record of the 1394th Meeting, CCPR/C/SR.1394, 23rd March 1995).
While I consider Maori have every right to believe in tribalism ethical human rights requires that all individuals, including those in collectives or tribes, have a duty to the community.
The latter includes not violating the ethical human rights of others which, for example, criminality often can. New Zealanders, in my view, would be justified in requiring some form of compensation from Maori for such violations of ethical human rights. However, first, in my view, the omitted rights need to be included in the bill of rights so Maori are given a choice (see below).
It is well-known, but little spoken about, that many Maori outside of their elite benefited little, or not at all, from the compensation for Maori grievances and the existence of Maori political parties, from my observation, remaining largely concerned with wealth distribution from European to Maori, seemed to make little difference.
In my view, much good will has been shown to Maori by New Zealanders but, I consider, this can be taken too far. For example, tribal Maori seem to be seeking special status in perpetuity by including the Treaty of Waitangi in a constitution.
The latter could allow them to avoid the arduous task of self-help, which can involve challenging the status quo, and sharing the burden of the development of human knowledge.
In December 2010, the terms of reference of a major Constitutional review was decided. Deputy Prime Minister Bill English and Maori Affairs Minister, Pita Sharples, said the review would cover issues such as the size of Parliament, the length of the electoral term, Maori representation, the role of the Treaty of Waitangi and whether New Zealand needs a written constitution.
A New Zealand academic of Maori, Irish and French descent (it is generally recognized that the great majority of Maori are of mixed descent) Dr Brian McDonnell believes the pendulum has swung too far in redressing Maori grievances.
Dr Brian McDonnell, a senior lecturer in film studies at Massey University explains it well. He states: “It has been the move to enshrine the Treaty of Waitangi in a written or more formalized constitution that I feel should be the 'bridge too far' for well-meaning, reasonable, moderate people, both Maori and Pakeha, to say 'enough'.
Dr McDonnell believes such a constitution will trap Maori in a “suffocating self-definition as in need of special pleading and a special status”. He believes personal advancement should be the result of merit and not the consequence of gender, ethnicity or socio-economic status.
“Constitutionally, we cannot have two types of citizenship, two groups of citizens depending on your ethnic group – one made up of people like myself who Whakapapa back to iwi and hapu and those who don’t. “The order in which your ancestors arrived as migrants, settlers to this country cannot give you a constitutional status that is different from anyone else.
“To embed this in some permanent way is intolerable. People who are born here belong to the land equally. “We are at a risky time in our nationhood and are like a boat being rowed by people looking fixedly towards the past”.
Human rights certainly seems to have been side-lined in the Key Government’s Constitutional Review. The Constitutional Advisory Panel to oversee the review consists of 12 appointees whose biographical information show that none have had a human rights background (Advisory Panel: 4 August 2011) ( Media Release: Constitutional Advisory Panel named, 4 August 2011, Human Rights Network, New Zealand).
The constitutional review comes at a time when many of New Zealand’s ‘best and brightest’, who would best be able to hold the government to account on the subject, have joined the mass exodus from the country.
An Independent Maori Constitutional Working Group, convened by Professor Margaret Mutu (Ngati Kahu) and its Chairperson is Moana Jackson (Ngati Kahungunu/Ngati Porou), was set up.
Jackson states: "The issue is not how the Treaty might fit into a constitution but how a constitution might be based upon the Treaty," (Independent Constitutional Working Group: 5 Aug 2011) (Media Release: ‘Independent Constitutional working group’ 5 August 2011, Human Rights Network, New Zealand
However, to my knowledge, Maori are not being informed of the benefits that would accrue to them if omitted human rights were included in New Zealand’s bill of rights. These omitted human rights would automatically be included in the Treaty of Waitangi.
Article the third of the Treaty of Waitangi states: “In consideration thereof Her Majesty the Queen of England extends to the Natives of New Zealand Her royal protection and imparts to them all the Rights and Privileges of British Subjects” (Treaty of Waitangi: April 1840) (‘Treaty of Waitangi, Treaty2U, NZ Government, April 1840,
As would be expected, if you believe in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the inclusion of the omitted human rights would of great benefit to both Maori and Pakeha.
In my view, the poor should have a voice of their own in the mainstream media so they can inform/influence the democratic majority. Maori could then hold their elite to account as well as demand a share in the compensation.
A voice in the mainstream media would require no forms of discrimination such as social class discrimination and discrimination on the grounds of birth should exist which allow the mainstream media to exclude the voices of the poor.
Furthermore, the inclusion of the rights to individual self-determination and economic, social and cultural rights could be of assistance to more entrepreneurial and creative Maori wishing to follow their dreams. For instance, some of the compensation given Maori could be used to help such independent Maori to help themselves as well as perhaps employ other ‘outcasts’.
The inclusion of omitted rights would, in my view, help set many Maori (and Pakeha) free – from the streets, crime, drugs, dependency, and enable them, with greater independence, to follow their dreams e.g. aspire to small business. It would seem likely that being able to follow their dreams would provide added motivation to Maori at school to achieve educationally.
While I consider it would take a very brave Maori to challenge their elite by claiming such rights I consider that they should be included to provide a choice and necessary support to any possibly ‘lone’ individual in their fight.
Also, in my view, it would also give the long suffering ordinary New Zealanders hope that Maori tribalism will not be a burden in perpetuity. However, in my opinion, New Zealanders have partly themselves to blame because I consider they are too soft in their dealings with Maori who, in my view, while they may not like it would actually respect a tougher approach.
For instance, I consider Maori constitutional aspirations to include a collectivist Treaty of Waitangi amounts to cultural warfare and New Zealanders need to protect their Western culture which emphasize individual rights.
Also as New Zealanders still seem to have a strong cultural attachment to Britain.
The latter cultural attachment is indicated in the recent flag debate where New Zealanders preferred to retain the flag with the union jack reflecting its British heritage by 56.6 per cent to 43.2 per cent (NZ Flag: 11 May 2015) 'Union Jack flag', URL: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/media/photo/union-jack-flag, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 11-May-2015.
New Zealanders are constantly being told that the Treaty is the foundational document of New Zealand. But an important historical fact which I discovered but, as is very likely the case with nearly all other New Zealanders, have never heard mentioned before is that the English laws, including ‘imperial laws’ such as the UK Bill of Rights 1689 and the Magna Carta 1297 (and also English common law rights), came into force in New Zealand, on the 14th January, 1840, predating the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, on the 6th February 1840, by 23 days (English Laws: 1908) (English Laws 1908, No.55, http://www.enzs.auckland.ac.nz/docs/1908/1908C055.pdf ).
The above imperial laws are still in effect in New Zealand (see Imperial Laws Application Act 1988).
Palmer stated in the Parliamentary debate on the bill of rights: “The rights contained in the Bill [bill of rights] are those that, generally speaking, are already considered to be part of our law, either in statute or in common law. They date back to the Magna Charter, and to the [UK] Bill of Rights of 1689. They also reflect New Zealand’s obligations under international instruments such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.” (Bill of Rights Bill: 10 Oct 1990).
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is often described as ‘A Magna Carta for all humanity, Human Rights for All’ (United Nations, http://www.un.org/rights/50/carta.html ).
The Magna Carta is said to establish the rule of law. Fiona Crichton states: “Heralded as the beginning of English constitutional law…..it deals with the relationship of the Crown and the Church, and the Crown and common people” (The New Zealand Legal System, Fiona Crichton, Auckland District Law Society Inc., p17, http://www.adls.org.nz/information-for-public/legal-system ).
Also, the Bill of Rights 1689 is a predecessor of the United States Constitution, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights (Bill of Rights-1689, Australianpolitics.com, http://australianpolitics.com/democracy-and-politics/bill-of-rights-1689 ).
Crichton states that Bill goes further than the Magna Carta: “The bill went further than setting out the relationship of the Crown to parliament in that, in part, it identified the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty” (The New Zealand Legal System, Fiona Crichton, Auckland District Law Society Inc., p17, http://www.adls.org.nz/information-for-public/legal-system ).
From my research, historically, human rights are the foundation of New Zealand not the Treaty of Waitangi.
Also, while many New Zealanders have, at time of war, been prepared to die to protect their ‘way of life’, including human rights, it is very much doubted New Zealanders, even Maori, would be prepared to die for the Treaty of Waitangi.
The ethical human rights approach promoted in this book (see chapter four) and parliamentary sovereignty could coexist.
The ethical approach would require a very firm ‘human rights bottom-line’ – the core minimum obligations of the State with respect to both civil and political rights and economic, social and cultural rights which could be included in a New Zealand Ethical bill of rights and be entrenched and made supreme law.
The Ethical Bill of Rights would include all the human rights presently omitted from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights including those omissions which permitted the UN’s ‘hidden’ collectivist agenda.
However parliament could retain sovereignty when dealing with the higher levels of human rights and this would reflect the views of the political parties chosen by the democratic process.
Embarking on such a new direction for the country may attract many New Zealanders back. Kea New Zealand, which conducts a five-yearly ‘census’ Every Kiwi Counts 2011,
found in their on-line survey of over 15,000 New Zealanders living offshore that 27% of respondents are currently looking for jobs in New Zealand for themselves or others (Every Kiwi Counts, Kea New Zealand, www.keanewzealand.com/ekc2 ).
.Kea New Zealand Global CEO Dr Sue Watson says of the results: “Our overseas respondents are not only searching for employment in New Zealand, they are also seven times as likely as those living here to have a post-graduate qualification. These results are showing us there is a real opportunity to reconnect with this talent pool of global Kiwis for the benefit of the New Zealand economy.”
Also, the survey shows nearly 46% of overseas-based Kiwis in the survey report that they earn over NZ$100,000 per annum while one in five (21%) aged over 50 earn more than NZ$200,000 per annum.
Dr Watson adds: “We now know that over a quarter of overseas New Zealanders are actively looking for jobs for themselves or others in New Zealand, so there is a large connection and communication job to be done if we are to entice those Kiwis looking to return home”.
The emphasis on ethical ‘bottom-up’ development e.g. the small entrepreneur, could encourage many New Zealanders to return and invest in small/medium business.
In June 2010 after making a stand on principle I appeared in the Auckland High Court where I told the High Court Judge, Lyn Stevens, who is now on the Court of Appeal, that many of those at the bottom of the social scale had been ‘crushed and isolated’ due to social class discrimination.
I called it a New Zealand Tragedy and that I had been a first-hand witness having lived in poverty and mixing with those at the bottom of the social scale for many years. I am convinced that no one was meant to survive with their sanity intact and able to articulate what had taken place but I had the advantage of human rights which enabled me to fight throughout.
After viewing some of the terrible social statistics the Judge believed my account asking me why I had not informed New Zealand earlier (Ravlich submission: 23 June 2010). Also see, (Ravlich: 21 April 2011) ????
And just as with my protest in Christchurch in 1991 the reasons for my protest was excluded by the media. While two reporters from two major newspapers were at my court case their news reports only reached the internet and made no mention of the New Zealand Tragedy (their articles can be found at the end of the submission, see Ravlich: 21 April 2011)
In my view, the above victims of what I saw as a vicious social class discrimination which seemed to last perhaps as long as 20 years……… should be compensated and the government should publicly admit its culpability.
In my view, many of the victims of discrimination may well have suffered ‘psychological trauma’ which may have contributed to the high levels of child abuse. And the children need to know when they get older what their parents had been put through by the State. This, in my view, would facilitate forgiveness by the children as well as self-forgiveness by the parents.
Such compensation is supported by Article 8 of the Universal Declaration which states: “Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law”.
Apart from individuals seeking accountability and/or compensation one possible form of compensation often used is affirmative action for those most severely discriminated against and/or those with entrepreneurial talents, who were also often treated as social outcasts. The latter could employ other victims.
In my view, accountability and compensation is required and I consider it is very largely those responsible for the hijacking of the bill of rights such as Geoffrey Palmer and Helen Clark who should be held to account.
I had tried on innumerable occasions to inform the public of the ‘New Zealand Tragedy’, writing articles on the internet, making incessant use of talkback radio, had my own show on Planet Radio (although it only reached a small largely ethnic population) for about 18 months, wrote a book, tried on a number of occasions to inform Helen Clark, the then Prime Minister but received no reply although I did have some regular contact with Rosslyn Noonan, the then Chief Human Rights Commissioner.
I even stood as a political candidate for a ‘minor, minor’ unregistered political party, the Human Rights Party (which is also described in the above submission) in two elections while in the last election I had my book outlining the ethical approach to human rights as the political party’s ethical base but this also failed to reach the mainstream media and consequently the democratic majority.
In my experience, unless it is reported in the mainstream media where it can reach the democratic majority you are virtually ‘a voice in the wilderness’ i.e. you virtually do not count.
A major problem I faced as an activist was the human rights ignorance of the population. Few seemed aware that if they were discriminated against their lifestyles would also very likely suffer.
My previous book describes how the bill was very little understood by New Zealanders (Ravlich: 2008) (‘Freedom from our social prisons….’, Anthony Ravlich, Lexington Books 2008, pp52-55) .
For example, Paul Rishworth states: “The White Paper debates had shown that the bill of rights was largely irrelevant to the concerns of ordinary working people" (Rishworth: 1995). ( Rights and Freedoms ed Grant Huscroft and Paul Rishworth, Brooker's Ltd 1995, p23).
Also, I consider the lack of human rights education of the population is a major factor for the lack of interest.
In my view, it is apparent that people have been deliberately kept ignorant of human rights so they are unable to see its relevance in their lives or are able to hold the State to account.
Human rights education is required under section 5(a) of the Human Rights Act 1993 but I was personally informed by the Human Rights Commission, who have a duty to educate people, that it has never been funded.
In March 2010 New Zealand underwent a review of its human rights record by the UN Human Rights Committee. New Zealand’s report, ‘Questions Posed on Treatment of Maori, Asylum Seekers, Human Trafficking’, to the UN Human Rights Committee was headed: Delegation: “We Are Determined, as a Country, to Make Human Rights Relevant in the Daily Lives of New Zealanders and of Citizens around the World”
This was reiterated twice in the body of the report and Simon Power, the former Minister of Justice, stated:
“In concluding the two-day discussion, Mr. Power emphasized that the challenge for his and any Government was to ensure human rights were pertinent in the daily lives of citizens and, in doing so, bolster the application of internationally-agreed rights instruments, including the Covenant. New Zealand must work hard so that its citizens did not believe such treaties -- and discussion of their application -- were the remit of high academic and international bodies” (UNHRC: 16 March 2010). However, to my knowledge, since the above statements were made no such human rights education has taken place.
The ethical approach to human rights which is advocated requires that the poor have a voice of their own in the mainstream media so they can influence the democratic majority. The latter was the principle upon which I stood when making the above court appearance.
In my view, without the human rights language the poor, in particular, would be very seriously disadvantaged in a human rights world because, in my experience, the establishment were extremely intolerant and dismissive of contrary views e.g. socialist or religious views, but did make some allowances with respect to human rights because they like to think they also believe in human rights.
It seems astounding that major constitutional changes are being considered while both Pakeha and Maori have so very little understanding of human rights.
But also it is of major concern that a constitutional review is being done at a time when many of the country’s ‘best and brightest’, who could best hold the government to account, now live off shore.
Bureaucrat’s Bill of Rights
While courts generally upheld the individual freedoms in the bill of rights the latter’s human rights omissions enabled the UN’s ‘hidden’ collectivist agenda to be bureaucratically-driven, on a daily basis, behind closed doors impacting on New Zealanders as a virtual invisible force.
And consequently the cause i.e. the human rights omissions, of many social problems were hidden from New Zealanders.
In my view, in terms of public policy those groups whose rights were omitted such as children’s, family rights, and the rights to individual self-determination e.g. small entrepreneurs etc., are ignored or impeded by the bureaucrats subjecting them to gross neglect leaving many people feeling as though they do not count and that New Zealand no longer feels like their home.
The bill of rights when implemented behind closed-doors by the bureaucrats meant the collectivist ideology is virtually an all pervasive, ‘invisible’ force constituting a form of ‘mind control’ because it captures the leadership of the whole establishment, including MPs and the mainstream media.
And, from my observation, it was very rare for anyone in the establishment to admit to the human rights omissions irrespective of the social cost e.g. the omission of children’s rights which, in my view, lead to major violations of children’s rights is, to my knowledge, still not admitted to while the failure to include individual self-determination would have helped explain the mass exodus.
Also, in my experience, New Zealanders were often told it was a weak bill of rights as it was not entrenched i.e. the latter requires a super-majority of MPs to change it, as originally conceived by Geoffrey Palmer, to alter the bill of rights.
Palmer presented the bill to the House as non-controversial as it was an ordinary Act of Parliament which could be easily overturned by a majority of the house and that the rights included already existed in New Zealand law.
However, Geoffrey Palmer would likely have been aware that the bill of rights would be considered part of New Zealand’s constitutional framework which would give it a higher status than ordinary law.
Judith Collins a recent Minister of Justice saw both the bill of rights and Treaty of Waitangi as being a part of New Zealand’s constitutional framework.
She states: “Both the Treaty of Waitangi and human rights legislation form a part of New Zealand’s constitutional framework. New Zealand’s constitution is not based solely on one piece of legislation or document but rather it is to be found in a range of formal legal documents, in decisions of the courts, and in practices” (Judith Collins, Minister of Justice, personal email, 6 June 2012).
Also, the New Zealand Human Rights Commissions regards the bill of rights as having special status. It states: “Although the BoRA [bill of rights] is not entrenched legislation and it does not confer the power on the Courts to strike down inconsistent legislation, it has acquired special status as a result of the rights it protects” (Human Rights in New Zealand: 2010) (Human Rights in New Zealand 2010, New Zealand Human Rights Commission, p29, https://www.hrc.co.nz/files/7014/2388/0544/Human_Rights_Review_2010_Full.pdf )
And from my experience, very often amongst themselves, MPs, judges and academics often regarded it as important constitutional law (see below).
Also as Governments often do not like to be seen violating human rights Parliament only acted contrary to the bill about once per year (see below).
Geoffrey Palmer described the bill of rights as a Parliamentary Bill of Rights to ensure Acts passed were consistent with the bill so there would be no erosion of individual freedoms.
Palmer stated: “….the Bill is a Parliamentary Bill of Rights. It states that the Attorney-General must provide a certificate with the introduction of any measure that is contrary to the Bill of Rights” (Parliamentary Debates: 17 July 1990).
He also stated: “The New Zealand Bill of Rights and associated proposals for changes to the Standing Orders will encapsulate the role of Parliament as a guardian of fundamental rights and freedoms in New Zealand. In that sense the Bill is very much a parliamentary Bill of Rights” (Bill of Rights Bill: Oct 1990).
However, in my view, it was actually a Bureaucrats’ Bill of Rights with their strict implementation having a wide-ranging cultural impact ensuring the UN’s ‘hidden’, collectivist agenda was executed.
There was some brief discussion of the omitted rights in the parliamentary debates. Graeme Lee (National, Coromandel) stated that family rights, the rights of the unborn child, the right to life, and economic and social rights were omitted (Parliamentary Debates: 14 Aug 1990 ).
While Warren Kyd (National, Clevedon) considered there are ‘glaring defects in bill. There is no right not to associate – there is no right not to be a member of a union’. And also: “No view is taken on rights of property (and) takes no view on the unborn child (Parliamentary Debates: 14 Aug 1990)…………
However, I could find no mention made by the National Party, which is closely aligned with the Corporations, in the parliamentary debates of certain human rights omitted to enable the IMF’s globalization policies.
The latter include the individual right to self-determination, non-discrimination with respect to intellectual property rights and social class, duties to the community or protection against exploitation.
And that the bill of rights had much more to do with what rights were omitted than included was alluded to briefly in the parliamentary debates without further discussion although, in my view, it foretold how the bill of rights would be implemented with certain rights ‘excluded totally’.
Warren Kyd described it as the ‘sinister aspect of the Bill’. He stated: “When one starts dealing with rights and deciding that those are proper and those that are not the possibility arises that rights, by not being included, could be excluded totally. That is seen as a sinister aspect of the Bill.” (Parliamentary Debates: 14 Aug 1990).
While George Gair (National, North Shore) also considered that the omission of rights would denigrate those rights and stressed that ‘rights that are defined tend to denigrate rights that are not defined, and they circumscribe and restrain rights that are defined’ (Parliamentary Debates: Aug 1990).
While the Labor Minister of Justice, W.P. Jeffries, also indicated the considerable involvement of the bureaucracy on the bill of rights. He stated: “it is a fact of life….that much legislation comes from the machinery of the Civil Service” (Parliamentary Debates: 10 Oct 1990).
Jeffries also described the reach of the bill of rights: “A Bill of Rights of this kind has an educative value and educative power that will guide the Government, the Civil Service, and the major political parties every single day of the year” (Parliamentary Debates: 10 Oct 1990).
Apart from being a Bureaucrat’s bill of rights to fulfil the UN’s ‘hidden’ collectivist agenda there seemed little reason for a bill of rights.
In 1985, Geoffrey Palmer introduced a white paper entitled A Bill of Rights for New Zealand which was to be entrenched e.g. require a supermajority of Parliament to overturn it. In its interim report, the Justice and Law Reform Select Committee noted that it received 431 submissions, of which 243 opposed the bill (56 per cent), 35 supported the bill (8 per cent) and 56 provided qualified support (13 per cent) ( Hiebert et al: 2015).
Because an overwhelming majority of the submissions were opposed to an entrenched Bill of Rights it was rewritten as an ordinary Act of Parliament. The Bill was introduced to the House and submissions called for: 78 submissions were received of which 23 were in support of the Bill, 23 were opposed to it, 25 did not explicitly support the Bill but suggested amendments, and another 7 expressed neither support nor opposition to it (Bill of Rights Bill: 17 July 1990).
In the parliamentary debates Doug Graham (Remuera, National) said the public had rejected the bill of rights and that the government had failed to hold a promised referendum. He stated:
“When one reads the white paper on the question of whether the Bill of Rights should be supreme law the comment in paragraph 7.4 on page 53 is interesting. (It states): “To enact a Bill of Rights which can be overridden, either expressly or impliedly, by a simple majority of the Government’s parliamentary supporters would be no real advance on a present situation with respect to the protection of our basic rights and freedoms”.
Doug Graham added: “I agree entirely with that comment” (Parliamentary Debates: Aug 1990) and further added: “However, the Government has proposed such a Bill of Rights. The New Zealand bill of Rights will be just another law that can be repealed or amended by a simple majority and that does not carry the matter any further.” (Parliamentary Debates: Aug 1990)
Furthermore, Doug Graham stated: “It is not for the House simply to pass a Bill of Rights; it is up to people to want a Bill of Rights and to vote in favor of it by way of a referendum. However, people are not being given an opportunity to express their view by way of referendum. To the extent that people have been able to express a view, that view has been overwhelmingly against a Bill of Right. Unquestionably, the public has rejected it” (Parliamentary Debates: Aug 1990).
He added: “For the Government to force legislation through on such a fundamental issue as this without going to the public by way of referendum can only mean that it knows what the Opposition members know; that the public does not want it” (Parliamentary Debates: Aug 1990).
Also Warren Kyd saw little justification for a bill of rights. He stated: “Opposition members are disappointed in the legislation because there has been no great public call for a bill of rights. There has been no popular movement, and no lobby groups have pestered for the bill” (Parliamentary Debates: 14 Aug 1990).
He added: “In most countries, bill of rights have been the result of popular movements. In Britain a rebellion occurred before a bill of rights was introduced. In America a revolution occurred before one was introduced” (Parliamentary Debates: 14 Aug 1990).
Warren Kyd stated that ‘there was no great public call for a Bill of Rights’. And added that: “The Bill seems to be merely the brain-child of the Prime Minister, with no great interest group behind it” (p3453). (Parliamentary Debates: 14 Aug 1990).
Janet Hiebert et al in their book ‘Parliamentary Bills of Rights’ state: “Although New Zealand National was united in its opposition to the New Zealand Bill of Rights Bill, it did not provide a consistent position” (Hiebert: Oct 2015)
From my reading of the parliamentary debates the National Party did not seem to realize that, in my view, the Labor Party intended that it was the ‘sinister side’ of the bill of rights as described by Warren Kyd MP which was how the bill of rights would be implemented.
I consider, despite their opposition to the bill the National Party underestimated the low cunning and gross deceit of the leadership of the then Labor Party.
Colin Keating, New Zealand’s Ambassador to the UN (1993-1996) and New Zealand’s representative when New Zealand’s performance was reviewed by the UN Human Rights Committee, seemed to view the enactment of the bill of rights as being politically inspired rather than being inspired by universal truth which, in my view, such bills should be.
Keating described the bill of rights as being part of a ‘domestic political process’ reflecting ‘a particular set of cultural values’.
Colin Keating said that there had been ‘considerable skepticism on the part of the public as to the desirability of concretizing human rights in law. A desire for flexibility had led to overt reluctance to the permanent entrenchment of a set of principles devised by a particular set of people at a particular time and reflecting a particular set of cultural values’ (Summary Record: 23 March 1995).
Also Mr Keating stated: “The characteristics of the Bill of Rights should be seen in the appropriate historical context, and the reasons for its enactment were part of a domestic political process” (Summary Record: 23 March 1995).
Labor MP, Richard Northey (Labor, Eden), in the parliamentary debates, challenged the view that the human rights omissions created a hierarchy of rights i.e. that the rights included are more important than the rights excluded.
He stated: “It was said that the Bill sets down a hierarchy of rights, yet clause 28 [of the bill of rights] states clearly that other rights and freedoms are not affected, and nor are they. They will remain with the same status in law that they carry now”
Clause 28 of the bill of rights states that other rights and freedoms are not affected. It states: “An existing right or freedom shall not be held to be abrogated or restricted by reason only that the right or freedom is not included in this Bill of Rights or is included only in part”.
However, in my experience, the public were often told the bill of rights was ordinary law but amongst themselves politicians, judges and academics seemed to regard it as constitutional law which would create a hierarchy of rights.
And that constitutional law is more powerful than ordinary law can be seen from the Irish experience.
.In October 2011 the Irish Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter, when answering questions about Ireland’s human rights record at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva recognized that ordinary law proved insufficient to protect children’s rights and the latter needed to be included in constitutional law.
Mr Shatter reaffirmed an "absolute commitment" to hold a referendum next year to enshrine children's rights in the constitution. "We accept that the HSE [Health Service Executive] has failed to deliver adequately their statutory obligation to ensure children's protection," he said, adding that a proposed single new agency would improve the situation (MacCormack: 6 Oct 2011).
Also, Colin Keating, New Zealand’s representative when New Zealand’s performance was reviewed by the UN Human Rights Committee said that the Bill of Rights had a ‘slightly higher status’ than other law. He stated:
“As to the concern expressed regarding the status accorded to the Bill of Rights, he said that it actually had a slightly higher status than other law, since it included a provision requiring the Attorney-General to make a statement to Parliament regarding any possible inconsistencies between proposed legislation and the Bill of Rights. Accordingly any attempt to repeal it would most likely be subject to public scrutiny, which was not necessarily true for other laws” (Summary Record: 23 March 1995)
Ordinary or Constitutional Law
In a human rights world, New Zealand likes to be seen upholding human rights and the bill of rights, which all public bodies must abide by, has considerable moral force especially when also regarded as constitutional law.
While the bill of rights was presented as ordinary law by Geoffrey Palmer in the Parliamentary Debates on the bill of rights he also referred to it as ‘an important Constitutional measure’ (Bill of Rights Bill: 17 July 1990).
As did Richard Northey when he called the discussions ‘an important Constitutional day for New Zealand because there is progress towards the achievement of a bill of rights’ (Bill of Rights Bill: 17 July 1990).
Reflecting the confusion regarding the status of the bill of rights can be seen in the Ministry of Justice’s descriptions. For instance, in ‘The New Zealand Bill of Rights Act (Overview)’ it states: “‘The Bill of Rights Act is an ordinary statute and so does not override other legislation’ (Ministry of Justice: March 2002).
Whereas, in the Ministry of Justice’s ‘Constitutional Policy and Human Rights’ it describes the bill of rights as ‘Another constitutional document’ (Ministry of Justice: 2013).
Similar confusion exists elsewhere. In the ‘New Zealand Bill of Rights Act: A Commentary’, the bill of rights is described as ‘…a short, but important piece of constitutional law’ (Butler et al: 25 Jan 2005).
While in “The New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990: its operation and effectiveness” it states: “The Bill of Rights is an ordinary statute and not entrenched” (Glazebrook: 22 July 2003).
In 2012 a private member’s amendment bill from the Green Party described the bill of rights as ‘an Act of fundamental constitutional importance’. The amendment bill saw it as necessary to entrench the bill of rights by requiring 75 per cent of MPs to agree to any change. It states: “Because the Bill of Rights is an Act of fundamental constitutional importance, this Bill will also entrench its provisions so that these cannot be amended or repealed by a simple majority of the House” (Green Party: 2012).
If the Green Party amendment had succeeded a 75 per cent of MPs requirement would have made it very difficult to include any omitted rights even those recommended by the New Zealand Human Rights Commission i.e. equal rights, children’s rights and perhaps also non-discrimination on the grounds of social origin (social status at birth) (see below).
The above Green private member’s bill obviously agreed with the human rights omissions in the bill which permitted collective dominance, the cultural cleansing of individual self-determination and exploitation.
Powerful or Weak Bill of Rights
Rather than being a ‘weak’ bill of rights, which, from my experience, left-academics often described it as being, the following shows how powerful it actually is:
Under Section 7 of the bill of rights the Attorney General is required ‘to report to Parliament where Bill appears to be inconsistent with Bill of Rights’.
Sir Geoffrey Palmer states: “The possibility of an adverse report by the Attorney-General will, I think, have a salutary effect on those involved in the legislative process. It will send a clear message that legislative proposals must be consistent with those basic principles before a Bill is introduced” (Palmer: 10 Oct 1990) (New Zealand Bill of Rights Bill – introduction, Geoffrey Palmer, 10 Oct 1990, p13039, http://www.justice.govt.nz/policy/constitutional-law-and-human-rights/human-rights/domestic-human-rights-protection/about-the-new-zealand-bill-of-rights-act/New-Zealand-Bill-of-Rights.pdf )
Geoffrey Palmer also stated that ‘a Bill of Rights provides a set of navigation lights for the whole process of Government to observe’ (Butler: 2006).
While in July 2002, Tim Caughley, New Zealand’s representative, told the UN Human Rights Committee, who were reviewing New Zealand’s human rights record: “The Bill of Rights is a 'road map' for public agencies: "All agencies of the Government were required to act in accordance with the BORA" Mr Caughley (New Zealand), (Summary Record: 10 July 2002)???????????).
While parliament is sovereign and the bill of rights is able to be trumped by ordinary statute in twenty years only 19 bills have been passed by parliament against the advice of the Attorney General.
The former Minister of Justice, Simon Power, told the UN Human Rights Committee in 2010: “Thus far, 49 bills had been found by the Attorney-General to be inconsistent with the Act. Of those bills 19 had been enacted as introduced, 9 bills had been enacted after being amended during the legislative process to address the Attorney-General’s concerns, and 21 had not been enacted” (Human Rights Committee: 16 March 2010).
While the above Green Party member’s amendment bill very largely confirms this stating: “A recent analysis suggested that since 1991 more than 20 Bills have been passed without identiﬁed inconsistencies being removed” (Green Party: 2012).
As stated above s7 of the bill of rights requires the Attorney-General to report to parliament on inconsistencies and the human rights omissions appears it may have affected the culture of parliament itself in terms of what is discussed.
The former Minister of Justice, Simon Power, who said that ‘I have always told myself I would leave politics before the idealism left me’, stated in his valedictory speech on 5 October 2011: “It's our job to tackle the tough issues, the issues the public pays us to front up to, and come to a view on. There are many debates that Parliament does not want to have for fear of losing votes or not staying on message: abortion, adoption law, children's rights, and sexual violence issues. I don't share this timid view” And he added: “The truth is, if we don't have those debates here, where will we have them?” (Power: 5 Oct 2011).
Sir Ivor Richardson, President of Court of Appeal from 1996-2002 considers the bureaucracy rather than the courts played the major role in the promotion of the bill of rights.
And, in my view, this would also allow bureaucrats to exclude people’s rights i.e. in the words of Warren Kyd ‘that rights, by not being included, could be excluded totally’ (see above).
Richardson states: “Litigation plays an important lesser part in assuring compliance with basic legal standards and challenging ways of thinking.
He considers the role of the bureaucracy cannot be over emphasized: “In practice………the Bill of Rights has had a major but less publicized impact on the regular functioning of government — and not restricted to the duty of the Attorney-General under s 7 to report to Parliament any provision in a Bill which appears to be inconsistent with any of the rights and freedoms contained in the Bill of Rights.
“The important further point going beyond s 7, and which cannot be overemphasized, is that all governmental agencies, including local government agencies, are required to build Bill of Rights standards into decision-making at all levels. So that wider impact affects day to day administration and policy development within government” (Richardson: 2004).
Also, the strong impact of the Bill and that governments do not like to be seen ignoring human rights is described by ‘Elections New Zealand’:
“While the Bill of Rights Act 1990 may provide weaker constitutional protection than Palmer wanted, its impact has been significant on the behavior of both governments and the courts. Its power has come from its persuasive force. Governments want to avoid passing new bills that conflict with the Bill of Rights Act 1990. As a result, the provisions of the Bill of Rights are taken into account when policy is drafted. Its impact therefore is strong, but largely invisible to the public. Similarly, the courts have been receptive to interpreting new legislation in a way that complements, rather than conflicts with, the Bill of Rights” (Elections NZ: ) (Elections New Zealand, Civil and Political Rights in New Zealand, http://www.elections.org.nz/maori/ntkm-democracy/rights-in-nz.html.)????????.
Human Rights Omissions/Statistics
Only very rarely, apart from the NZ Human Rights Commission and Amnesty International (US), will anyone in the establishment, including MPs, talk about the human rights omissions.
Amnesty International (America) described the omissions: “The New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 (BORA) did not have protected legal status, which allowed for the possible enactment of legislation contrary to its provisions. The BORA did not incorporate all the rights provided in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights or the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Amnesty: 2010).
Also, some omitted human rights are recommended for inclusion by the NZ Human Rights Commission - ‘equal rights’, children’s rights, and also non-discrimination on the grounds of social origin (i.e. social status at birth) is regarded as significant (Human Rights in New Zealand: 2010) (Human Rights in New Zealand 2010, New Zealand Human Rights Commission, https://www.hrc.co.nz/files/7014/2388/0544/Human_Rights_Review_2010_Full.pdf
The New Zealand Human Rights Commission states: “The BORA [bill of rights act] affirms New Zealand’s commitment to the ICCPR [International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights], although there is no explicit reference to equality before the law, the right to privacy or reputation and family and children’s rights (which are also found in the ICCPR), are not found in the BORA, but are partly addressed in other legislation” (Human Rights in New Zealand: 2010) (Human Rights in New Zealand 2010, New Zealand Human Rights Commission, p29, https://www.hrc.co.nz/files/7014/2388/0544/Human_Rights_Review_2010_Full.pdf
The Commission also states that the ‘omission of social origin or social class is also considered significant’ (Human Rights in New Zealand: 2010) (Human Rights in New Zealand 2010, New Zealand Human Rights Commission, p29, https://www.hrc.co.nz/files/7014/2388/0544/Human_Rights_Review_2010_Full.pdf .
New Zealand has constantly ignored (in 1995, 2002, and 2010) the recommendations of the UN Human Rights Committee to include many omitted civil and political rights in the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990.
The following are the recommendations of the UN Human Rights Committee which are concerned with civil and political rights:
1) 1995: “The Committee recommends that the State party take appropriate measures to incorporate all the provisions of the Covenant into domestic law” (Concluding Observations: 1995);
2) 2002: “The State party should take appropriate measures to implement all the Covenant rights in domestic law” (Concluding Observations: 2002)
3) 2010: “The Committee reiterates its concern that the Bill of Rights Act 1990 (BORA) does not reflect all Covenant rights………..The State party should enact legislation giving full effect to all Covenant rights” (Concluding Observations: 2010)
While in the Concluding Observations of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights which deals with economic, social and cultural rights the Committee in addition to recommending that New Zealand ‘adopt a human rights approach to [Christchurch] reconstruction efforts’ (Section 21) also states that it is concerned that ‘economic, social and cultural rights are not recognized in the Bill of Rights’ and ‘urges’ New Zealand ‘to incorporate economic, social and cultural rights into the 1990 Bill of Rights’ (Section 10) (Concluding Observations: 30 April 2012).
Typically when questioned by the UN Human Rights Committee about the omissions New Zealand argued that the human rights omissions are covered by other legislation. Former Minister of Justice, Simon Power, told the UN Human Rights Committee: “Where certain Covenant rights had not been directly included in the Bill of Rights Act, they had been given effect by other legislation and the common law” (Summary Record: 15 March 2010).
Economic, social and cultural rights, although ratified by New Zealand under international law in 1978, were also excluded from the bill of rights although the select committee did recommend that they be included as principles to aim at but Geoffrey Palmer followed the Western tradition of only including individual freedoms in constitutional law which placed restraints on the powers of government rather than ‘welfare rights’ which made resource demands.
Geoffrey Palmer in the Parliamentary debates on the bill of rights stated: “The select committee recommended the inclusion of some social and economic rights as principles to aim at. Such rights would not have been enforceable, and it was decided not to include any of them in the Bill. Bills of Rights are traditionally about putting restraints on the powers of the State. Hence, they tend to focus on procedural rather than substantive rights. Social and economic rights are in a different category. That does not mean that those rights are of lesser importance, but, rather, that they should be protected in a different way”
Palmer stated in the parliamentary debates: “A Bill of Rights is traditionally concerned with putting restraints on the powers of the State and is about guarding individual liberty. Social and economic rights are in a different category requiring positive action by the State” (Parliamentary Debates: 14 Aug 1990) (New Zealand Bill of Rights Bill, Second Reading, 14 August 1990, p3450, http://www.justice.govt.nz/policy/constitutional-law-and-human-rights/human-rights/domestic-human-rights-protection/about-the-new-zealand-bill-of-rights-act/New-Zealand-Bill-of-Rights-Bill-2nd-Reading.pdf ).
My research shows that many of New Zealand’s worst social statistics correlated with the human rights omissions (see Appendix 1).
Our council’s submission on 23 May 2011 to the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which was conducting a review of New Zealand’s record, is entitled ‘New Zealander’s must speak out about the human rights omissions or be reduced to mere numbers’ (Submission: 23 May 2011).
The submission lists many of the human rights omissions and provides the serious social statistics which correlate with the omissions. This list is provided in the appendix (further serious social statistics can also be found in my article, (Social Statistics: 11 Dec 2011).
The submission lists the following omissions giving the relevant social statistics: children’s rights, individual right to pursue one’s economic and social development (individual self-determination), family rights, property rights, equal rights, non-discrimination with respect to social origin and birth and non-retrogression i.e. ensuring existing rights are not removed.
The UN’s ‘hidden collectivist agenda’ is accommodated in the bill of rights by the exclusion of the right to individual self-determination, property rights (including intellectual property rights), duties to the community, and the State’s core minimum obligations with respect to economic, social and cultural rights.
Part ll, Article 2(1), of the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights provides a list of prohibited grounds of discrimination such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status”.
However, New Zealand human rights law leaves out non-discrimination with respect to social origin, property (including intellectual property), language, birth as well as ‘other status’.
In 2010 the New Zealand government when responding to a list of questions from the UN Human Rights Committee stated: “The prohibited grounds of discrimination in the Human Rights Act 1993….do not expressly cover language, social origin and property as provided for in the Covenant (List of Issues: 24 Dec 2009).
By accident or design New Zealand appears to have failed to include the omission of non-discrimination on the grounds of birth, which allows Maori to discriminate on the grounds of Whakapapa and supports New Zealand’s status as a Constitutional Monarchy, when responding to the list of issues.
The above grounds of non-discrimination which were excluded enabled collectives, including the Corporations, to be favored while suppressing individual self-determination using bureaucratic compliance.
In my view, the exclusion of non-discrimination with respect to intellectual property as well as duty to the community permitted the ‘secular, liberal collectivists’, both domestically and at the UN, to keep many important human rights truths ‘in-house’ by virtually regarding human rights as their intellectual property while having no duty to share their human rights intellectual knowledge with those they choose not to.
Consequently, in my view, employers, sometimes expressing concern about confidentiality when hiring staff, exercised discrimination on the grounds of intellectual property choosing only those they trusted to share their human rights knowledge with.
The latter, I consider were often the lower functioning, more dependent individuals, often of the same class, often those professional women, especially feminists, and Maori professionals afforded affirmative action rather than those chosen on merit.
In my view, employers were often more concerned to ensure compliance rather than achieve success and those perceived as ‘too truthful’ were overlooked. In my experience, whistleblowers are very rare in New Zealand society.
It was not uncommon to hear of people being excluded from employment for being overqualified even when there were sparse opportunities available elsewhere.
There may also have been a national security concern when hiring staff. Human rights is part of a counties ‘way of life’ and the protection of which people are prepared to die in times of war.
Consequently, the avoidance of exposing serious human rights deficiencies may be seen as a matter of national security.
Colin Keating, New Zealand’s representative told the UN Human Rights Council: “ With regard to discrimination in employment, he noted that all Governments exercised some discretion as to which individual were employed to maintain national security” (Summary Record: )(UN Human Rights Council, Summary Record of the 1394th Meeting, CCPR/C/SR.1394, 11, N9580485pdf)
In my view, discrimination on the grounds of intellectual property was also used to favor the intellectual property of the Corporations and the global free market.
For example, in my view, small business and the domestic free market appeared to be discriminated against, suppressed by bureaucratic red-tape.
The latter, which is also described in chapter one, was exposed after the first Christchurch earthquake in September 2010 when the government had to assumed higher executive power and used ‘orders in council’, to cut though the red tape involving 22 statutes in order to assist small business (Recovery Act: 2010).
In my view, the failure to include the right to individual self-determination in the bill of rights meant that small entrepreneurs could not challenge bureaucratic red-tape.
Also the right-wing National Party while often giving lip-service regarding the importance of small business failed to take the opportunity to extend the assistance to small business nation-wide after the first Christchurch earthquake.
Julian Smith, the general manager of MYOB, an Australian multinational corporation that provides tax, accounting and other services to small and medium businesses, said that the Government’s support of Canterbury businesses in the wake of the region’s 7.1 magnitude quake should be replicated nationwide.
He said: "In less than a week, they cut through red tape to provide wage assistance for employers, access to emergency funding, and a truly impressive level of flexibility from the IRD [Inland Revenue Department], with much of it managed through a central, local source”
"However, the kind of model they have put in place, and clearly demonstrated they have the capability to do so, is essentially one that businesses all around the country are asking for," he said.
He said a survey, of more than 1000 New Zealand business owners, in August 2010 showed increasing dissatisfaction with red tape and the performance of the Government. It reported almost twice as many businesses were dissatisfied with the support of the Government (29 percent) than those that are satisfied (15 percent) (MYOB: 27 Sept 2010).
Entrepreneurial risk taking is also extremely difficult when failure can mean you, and perhaps your family, joining the underclass. And it is also, in my view, made more difficult by the exclusion of family and children’s rights as the family unit often plays a very important part in small business often run by families. Business owners are often motivated by providing a good life for their children made more difficult when children are attributed as being of little importance in a society which shows little interest in growing the economy to provide them with employment.
The importance of a small family unit can be more clearly seen in Maori tribalism where, from my observation, its extended family/whanau, makes it virtually impossible for many Maori to operate a small business when so many others, without contributing, seek to share in the profits.
Consequently it may not be surprising that Maori’s educational achievement (see below) is so lacking because young Maori see little hope in fulfilling their dreams.
More recently the findings in the People’s Report of the Glenn Inquiry into domestic violence can, in my view, be attributed to a considerable extent to the omissions of children’s and family rights in the bill of rights while the ‘ideological capture’ of the State may help explain the State’s seeming lethargy in addressing the problem.
The inclusion of children’s rights in the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 was not included for discussion in the Green Paper for Vulnerable Children launched in July 2011 (see below) despite the inclusion of these rights being recommended by the NZ Human Rights Commission (Human Rights Commission: 2010) (Human Rights in New Zealand 2010, New Zealand Human Rights Commission, http://www.hrc.co.nz/human-rights-environment/human-rights-in-new-zealan... ).
From 2004 to 2008, the reported number of substantiated child maltreatment findings for children 16 and younger had risen from 8,500 to 16,000. During that time, the total number of children in that age range remained at about 1 million (Human Rights Committee: 16 March 2010).
In 2011 Committee expert Maria Herczog, UN rapporteur for New Zealand on children's rights, said that infant and child mortality rates remained "staggering"…. that twenty percent of New Zealand children lived in poverty, and the high rate of Maori and Pacific poverty was of particular concern….that New Zealand lacked "an overarching comprehensive child policy" that integrated the Convention on the Rights of the Child into legislation and strategy frameworks (3 News: 28 Jan 2011) (UN: Child mortality in NZ ‘staggering’, 3 News, 28 Jan 2011, http://www.3news.co.nz/nznews/un-child-mortality-in-nz-staggering-2011012812#axzz3lzHaLvcs )
It appears that while the conventions with respect to non-discrimination on the grounds of gender and race took almost immediate affect e.g. affirmative action, in New Zealand the failure to include children’s rights in the bill of rights meant the convention on the rights of the child was of much less concern.
By 2013 the People’s Report state that Child, Youth and Family substantiated nearly 23,000 cases of child abuse (Glenn Inquiry: 28 Nov 2014).
While the report describes New Zealand as having ‘the fifth highest rate of child abuse in the OECD’.
The People’s Report states that ‘indications are that in a similar percentage of child abuse cases there is also domestic violence happening’ and that ‘almost 60% of all reported violence in New Zealand is family related’ (Glenn Inquiry: 28 Nov 2014).
Jonathan Boston, Professor of Public Policy at Victoria University, describes the child poverty rate as almost doubling since the 1980s. He states: “For instance, on one measure of income poverty (i.e. those living in households with equivalent disposable incomes below 60% of the median, after housing costs) the child poverty rate in recent years has been around 25%, this is almost twice the rate experienced during the 1980s, which averaged about 13%” (Boston: May 2013).
While a Unicef report, ‘Children of the Recession’, compared New Zealand’s performance with some other countries. It stated that New Zealand’s child poverty rates have come down by less than half a per cent since 2008. By contrast, Australia reduced its child poverty rate by more than 6 per cent over the same period, and Finland and Norway, countries with similar populations, reduced theirs by more than 4 per cent and 3 per cent respectively (Unicef report: 29 Oct 2014).
Professor Paul Hunt, a New Zealander now at Essex University (UK), who was guest speaker at the AGM of the Human Rights Foundation, said that while he personally would like to see children’s rights included in New Zealand’s law that this is unlikely to occur in the near future (Ravlich: Feb 2012) (‘Ethical human rights likely to be children’s and freedom’s last hope in New Zealand’, Anthony Ravlich, San Francisco Bay Indymedia, 26 Feb 2012 https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2012/02/26/18708196.php ).
Professor Hunt, who was the United Nation’s Special Rapporteur (expert) on Health for six years and formerly a member of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, was giving a talk on ‘Poverty in New Zealand: A Human Rights Imperative’ at the Auckland University Law School.
Professor Hunt was largely concerned with economic, social and cultural rights which have also been omitted from the bill of rights, and he described how poverty was getting worse in New Zealand and he provided three indicators of this:
1) He pointed to a 2008 New Zealand Living Standards Survey by the NZ Ministry of Social Development which showed that 19 percent of children (0-17) have relatively high hardship rates;
2) Professor Hunt said that in relation to child health levels, rheumatic fever in New Zealand was amongst the worst in the world, see (The Porritt Lecture: 3 Nov 2010) (The Porritt Lecture, by Professor Innes Asher, Starship Hospital, 3 November, 2010, http://www.cpag.org.nz/assets/Health/MIAsherPorrittLecture3Nov2010.pdf );
3) He also pointed to the considerable growth in the use of food banks. He may have been referring to statistics released in December 2010 which showed that the Salvation Army distributed 67,000 food parcels during the year compared to 30,000 in 2008 (‘New Poor stretching food bank resources’, see (New Zealand Labor: 22 Dec 2011) (New Zealand Labor Party, Press release, 22 December 2011, Scoop New Zealand. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1112/S00169/new-poor-stretching-food-ba... ).
Dumbing down New Zealand
I consider the cultural cleansing of individual self-determination resulted in a mass exodus, including many of the ‘best and brightest’, with an estimated one million New Zealanders, out of a population of 4.6 million, now living outside the country.
Consequently, in my view, the State effectively gave away much of the countries intellectual property to ensure they were not held to account while the loss of such intellectual property also signaled a decline in the development of human knowledge with exploitation replacing creativity as a means of growth.
As at 30 June 2013, an estimated 640, 770 New Zealand citizens were present in Australia. Other major destinations for New Zealanders are the UK, USA and Canada (Statistics NZ: 22 June 2012).
Kea New Zealand is a global network, which is largely government funded, with a membership of half a million expat New Zealanders.
Kea Global Chief Executive, Craig Donaldson, said it was estimated that there are one million Kiwis living overseas. He added that “New Zealand has the highest proportion of highly skilled workers based off shore of any country in the OECD…’(Kloeten: 3 Dec 2014).
That the ‘best and brightest’ seemed to be the major target in New Zealand can be seen from the survey findings of Kea New Zealand ‘Every Kiwi Counts 2011’ and other authoritative surveys.
According to Kea New Zealand’s on-line survey of over 15,000 New Zealanders living offshore:
• Compared to on-shore New Zealanders in the 2006 Census, the overseas Kiwis surveyed are about seven times as likely (34% v 5%) to have a post-graduate qualification and almost three times as likely (31% v 11%) to have a Bachelor’s degree;
• Only 1% of overseas Kiwis say they have no formal qualifications, compared with nearly one quarter (24%) of New Zealand residents who say the same (Kea New Zealand: 7 Dec 2011).
An OECD report in 2005, ‘Counting Immigrants and Expatriates in OECD Countries: A New Perspective’, stated that both New Zealand and Ireland had the highest percentage, 24.2 per cent, of its highly skilled (i.e. a tertiary education) leaving their countries (Dumont et al: 2005).
.A World Bank study in February 2010, ‘The Economic Consequences of the Brain Drain of the Best and Brightest’ in February 2010 described New Zealand, one of five countries chosen for the study, as ‘the OECD country with the highest tertiary brain drain rate’ (World Bank: Feb 2010).
New Zealand Ministry of Education research, entitled ‘Beyond Tertiary Study’, states: New Zealand had lost 35 percent of its PhD students overseas. It stated: “The results showed that for those domestic students who last studied in 2003 and achieved their doctorate, around 65 percent were employed in New Zealand four years after they last studied. This was lower than for students who last studied at masters (72 percent) and bachelors (75 percent) level” (Smart: Sept 2011).
The ‘big picture’ of the purging of home-grown intellectual talent can be seen on the map ‘Migration and the Brain Drain Phenomenon’ shows that New Zealand falls into the category ‘more than 20%’ share of a countries nationals with a university education who live in (another) OECD country’, (OECD: 2015).
The above ‘big picture’ indicates that the ‘brain drain’ does not just apply to small countries like New Zealand, which is sometimes is claimed, but also large countries in Africa, Iran, the Philippines, Madagascar, as well as Great Britain, including Ireland.
In addition, it is frequently said that New Zealanders (i.e. ‘brains and brawn’) leave for higher salaries overseas but this may well not apply to the ‘best and brightest’. A World Bank’s study which includes New Zealand, ‘The Microeconomic Determinants of Emigration and return Migration of the ‘Best and Brightest’ – Evidence from the Pacific’ concluded:
‘…..we find that narrow measures of income gains or economic incentives for migrating play a very minor role in determining which of the highly skill migrate and return……the current migrants in our survey offer suggestions more closely linked to improving the career opportunities rather than to simply raising salaries..” (Gibson et al: June 2009).
To counteract concerns about the ‘brain drain’ Treasury researchers argued that rather than a ‘brain drain’ it was a ‘brain exchange’ i.e. there are incoming highly skilled immigrants (Hayden et al: 2001).
However, compared with the exiting New Zealanders the immigrants would be invariably politically safe being reluctant to ‘speak out’ in their new country and would also be less likely to join trade unions. Also, immigrants would often lack the local knowledge necessary for much entrepreneurial activity.
While, in my view, immigrants were often preferred to New Zealanders it seems that Asians also were affected by the cultural cleansing of individual self-determination. Despite being high achievers in the discrimination was such that they were afforded affirmative action. New Zealand had reached the absurdity of affirmative action for ‘tall poppies’.
Asians are generally acknowledged to have a strong work ethic and are by far the highest achievers at school despite often being handicapped by having to learn English. For instance, in the Ministry of Education’s table of Highest Attainment of School Leavers (2009) it shows that those ethnic groups who reach university entrance level (or level 3 qualification or higher) are as follows: Asian, 65 percent; European/Pakeha, 49 percent; Pasifica, 25 percent; Maori, 20 percent
(Education Counts: 2010).
According to Race Relations in 2011?????, annual UMR Research surveys on perceived discrimination undertaken since 2001, ‘have consistently shown Asian people to be perceived as the most discriminated against’.
It states: “An average of around 75 per cent of survey respondents identified Asian people as suffering “a great deal” or “some” discrimination” (NZHRC: 12 July 2012) (New Zealand Human Rights Commission’s report to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, 4. Discrimination and Harassment, 12 July 2012)
One of the two priorities of the NZ Human Rights Commission with respect to discrimination is to ‘actively focus on inclusion in all aspects of New Zealand life as a means to break down discrimination against Asian New Zealanders and other minority ethnic groups” (NZHRC: March 2012) (Race Relations in 2011, NZ Human Rights Commission, Ch 4, p23, March 2012, Auckland, New Zealand ).
The Race Relations Commissioner, Joris de Bres, considers more Asians should be given affirmative action.
He told the New Zealand Federation of Multicultural Councils in Wellington: “There are very few Asians on the boards of District Health Boards, not enough Asian teachers in our schools, not enough Asian local councilors community board members and Asian migrants continue to face discrimination in applying for jobs.’
Mr de Bres said that one of the organizations that has strongly focused on Asian recruitment over a recent years is the New Zealand Police…..All public agencies should be doing the same. Some private sector organizations, such as the major banks, have also reached out to Asian communities because it makes good business sense.’ (ONE News: 11 Feb 2012) (‘Asians face most discrimination in NZ – survey’, ONE News, February 11, 2012, http://www.3news.co.nz/nznews/report-outlines-race-motivated-discrimination-2012021117#axzz3nFc4eCpX ).
I consider the purging and crushing of potential described above which is part of the cultural cleansing of individual self-determination seriously undermines the capacity of the country to survive by crippling ‘bottom-up’ development in the independent sector.
For example, the country’s over reliance on the farming sector could be dangerous as can be seen with the seventh consecutive decline in dairy prices by June 2015 (Radio NZ: 17 June 2015) (‘Diary Prices Decline’, Radio New Zealand, 17 June 2015, http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/businessnews/audio/201758707/dairy-prices-decline ).
HSBC chief economist Paul Bloxham, who first coined the phrase "rock star" in January last year to describe New Zealand's economic growth, says the economy is still a rock star despite lower dairy prices and slower growth in major trading partners.
Bloxham said a range of indicators showed the New Zealand economy continued to be supported by a construction boom [e.g. the Christchurch rebuild] and that overall GDP growth was also running well above trend at 3.5 per cent year on year (NZ Herald: 10 April 2015) (‘Economy still humming 'rock star' song’, New Zealand Herald, 10 April, 2015, http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11430263 ).
According to an international report from the OECD rising inequality has wiped a third off New Zealand’s growth in recent decades. The report found the impact of inequality on growth stems from the gap between the bottom 40 per cent with the rest of society not just the poorest 10 per cent (Kloeten: 10 Dec 2014).
Consequently, it certainly appears that those who are benefiting from the ‘rock star’ economy are those in the top 60 per cent while growth in GDP may have had more to do with an act of nature i.e. the rebuilding following the Christchurch earthquakes, rather than the government.
From my observation the image that New Zealand projects of itself very largely only reflects the ‘rock star’, middle class economy.
Compliance with the UN
On 28 December 1978 reflecting the onset of political globalization the UN human rights agenda and IMF economic globalization New Zealand ratified the international covenants on civil and political rights and economic, social and cultural rights both of which come under international human rights law.
The latter included the UN’s ‘hidden’ collectivist agenda.
The New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 and the New Zealand Human Rights Act 1993 are both based on the above international law.
The bill of rights “aims to affirm, protect, and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms in New Zealand—and to affirm New Zealand’s commitment to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The Act does not, however, contain all the rights set out in the ICCPR. (It does not secure a general right to privacy, for instance.)’ (bill of rights: 8 Oct 2014).
Section 3 of the New Zealand Human Rights Act 1993 describes the latter as an ‘Act to bind the Crown’ and states it is, ‘An Act ..to provide better protection of human rights in New Zealand in general accordance with United Nations Covenants or Conventions on Human Rights
In addition, New Zealand also ratified the convention on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination on 22 November 1972 and the convention on the elimination of discrimination against women on Jan 1985 with Maori and women accorded affirmative action.
Affirmative action is included in section 19(2) of the bill of rights which states: “Measures taken in good faith for the purpose of assisting or advancing persons or groups of persons disadvantaged because of discrimination that is unlawful by virtue of Part 2 of the Human Rights Act 1993 do not constitute discrimination”.
However, in my view, because of discrimination middleclass, professional women and Maori were strongly favoured over those for whom the affirmative action was really meant for – those women and Maori who suffered the worst affects of historical discrimination, many of whom would found at the bottom of the social scale.
The failure to include non-discrimination on the grounds of social origin was raised by the UN Human Rights Committee during New Zealand’s review in March 2010. As this was the first time it was mentioned in the summary records it certainly appears that this was in response to our council’s submission which described the effects of such discrimination (Submission: 16 March 2010).
Committee member Ms Zonke Majodina (who on 14 March 2011 was elected as the new Chair of the Committee) raised the non-inclusion of discrimination on the grounds of social origin: “On the specific question of whether New Zealand law currently prohibited discrimination on the full range of Covenant grounds, the written replies seem to concede that discrimination on the basis of social origin and property was still not expressly prohibited (Summary Record: 16 March 2010).
The exclusion of non-discrimination on the grounds of social origin i.e. social status at birth, allowed for both social class and socio-economic discrimination while the exclusion of non-discrimination on the grounds of birth, which includes descent i.e. family lineage permitted the Maori equivalent form of descent-discrimination, Whakapapa.
Consequently, I consider it cannot be affirmative action ‘in good faith’ when such descent-based discrimination is used to strongly favor middleclass, professional collectives of women and Maori.
Consequently while non-discrimination with respect to women and race now exists social class/socio-economic discrimination can exclude large numbers of women and Maori.
The exclusion of discrimination on the grounds of birth also appears necessary because New Zealand is a constitutional monarchy (Ravlich: Jan 2013) (‘Descent discrimination in NZ’, Anthony Ravlich, Auckland Indymedia, 25 Jan 2013, http://www.indymedia.org.nz/articles/643 ).
While the role of the Governor-General, appointed by the Queen, is described as very largely ceremonial it appears the omission of the above ground of non-discrimination with respect to birth can allow, in an unusual situation, the Governor-General to decide who governs.
Sir Kenneth Keith describes such a situation where ‘the position within the House or the governing party is unclear’:
“Situations like this were rare in New Zealand under the first past the post electoral system, but have been less rare since the introduction of the proportional representation electoral system. The essential principle in such situations continues to be that the Queen, as a constitutional monarch, or the Governor-General, as her representative, acts in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister or Ministers who have the necessary support of the House of Representatives. Where that support is unclear, the Governor-General relies on the elected representatives in the House, and especially the party leaders, to clarify whether a party or grouping of parties has the support of the House to govern, or whether fresh elections will be required” (Keith: 2008) (On the Constitution of New Zealand: An Introduction to the Foundations of the Current Form of Government, The Rt Hon Sir Kenneth Keith, 1990, updated 2008, see internet”.
From my research very little has been written about discrimination on the grounds of social class/socio-economic status however an exception was a report for the Irish Department of Justice which describes socio-economic status/social origin as creating significant obstacles to equality of opportunity, equality of outcomes and equality of participation.
The report confirms the above observation whereby social class discrimination can preference different classes within, for example, race and gender. It states that while there may exist non-discrimination with respect to certain grounds such as race and gender social class discrimination means many of the latter can be overlooked. The report states:
“In most countries overt discrimination on the basis of social origin or socio-economic status is rare. However … discrimination on the basis of socio-economic status/social origin is linked with, and underpins, discrimination on the more widely covered grounds such as disability and race … [many of these groups] also experience a higher risk of poverty and social exclusion, (Kilcommins et al: 2004).
The Irish report describes widespread recognition of such discrimination: “A concern to prohibit discrimination on the basis of social origin/socio-economic status is evident in many international legal instruments, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR) and the ILO Convention No.111, Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958.
The Constitute Project describes 187 constitutions which have a general guarantee of equality of which 89 countries include non-discrimination with respect to social status and 41 countries have a similar non-discrimination regardless of parentage. Also, 55 countries make mention of social class.
However, there seems to have been little attempt to seriously address the problem with little having been ‘developed in way of an effective legal remedy’. Also, no legally binding conventions with respect to descent have been devised by the UN which seem necessary to ensure domestic implementation as has been the case with respect to gender and racial discrimination (see above). Also with respect to little having been developed with respect to a legal remedy the Irish report states:
“The report adds that this concern recognizes that discrimination on the basis of social origin/socio-economic status is pervasive and operates as a constraint on an individual’s social mobility. However, despite the widespread recognition that individuals face discrimination on the basis of their social and economic backgrounds, little has developed in the way of an effective legal remedy”
The lack of progress in devising a UN convention on another form of social discrimination, caste discrimination, despite being prohibited by constitutions, is described in the section on Bangladesh.
‘It has been said that if New Zealand was to erect a huge statue like the Statue of Liberty, it would be the Statue of Equality’ (see below).
New Zealanders are, in my view, nurtured class-blind with social mores placing much emphasis on equality. Class is not ‘officially’ recognized in New Zealand despite the creation of a visible underclass on the streets of New Zealand in 1991 following the severe benefit cuts and the creation of a ‘rock star’ economy within the middle classes.
Also, economic, social and cultural rights, which is meant to protect against class exploitation, has been very largely dealt with at the level of the United Nations keeping New Zealanders, and most likely populations in many other countries, ignorant of such class discrimination.
Whereas in South-Asia religion condones caste discrimination and it is openly talked about, from my observation, in New Zealand social class discrimination is rarely talked about.
In terms of social mores, equality is portrayed as very important to New Zealanders yet equal rights were not included in the bill of rights and neither was non-discrimination with respect to social class, socio-economic status or birth.
In my experience, the secular collectivists are a social class and are very concerned to conceal their hegemony and their social class discrimination is far more covert than overt. So while New Zealanders seemed generally aware it was a different Labor Party which took power in 1984 they invariably failed to see just how very different they were from the liberal individualists and the old Labor Party which was comprised of many non-professionals and did not seem class-based.
Jack Nagel in the British Journal of Political Science (1998) provided statistics on the occupations of NZ Labor MPs – in 1935 only 17.9% were from a professional, semi-professional background but by 1984 this had risen to 73.2% (Ravlich: 13 Oct 2004) (‘Social Justice Gaining Momentum’, Anthony Ravlich, 13 Oct 2004, http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0410/S00152.htm )
The government projects New Zealand as a country with social equality without a strong class system.
The New Zealand Immigration Service website on 17 Dec 2006 states: “Social values: New Zealanders have a very similar way of life and share values common to most Western countries, but there are some special features. We are passionate about sport, and have a firm belief in social equality. The social welfare system prevents extreme poverty, and the nation has neither a strong class system nor major social tensions. Differences between high and low-income people are not pronounced”.
While the Auckland University website describes the country’s social norms for international students. It states: “New Zealanders have a way of life that’s similar to most Western countries, but there are some special characteristics. Kiwis are passionate about sport and have a firm belief in social equality. The social welfare system prevents extreme poverty, and the nation has neither a strong class system nor major social tensions. Some minor ethnic tensions exist, but are low by international standards. Goodwill between races is usually evident”.
It is also added: ‘New Zealand people dislike formality and tend to see each other as equals’; ‘In the work place, relations between the sexes are egalitarian’ (New Zealand Social Values: 2016) (New Zealand Social Values, Auckland University, 2016, (https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/for/international-students/is-life-at-auckland/is-living-in-auckland-and-new-zealand/is-new-zealand-social-values.html ).
While describing Political Values Te Ara, The Encyclopedia of New Zealand, states that a Statue of Equality rather than a Statue of Liberty would be more appropriate for New Zealand:
“It has been said that if New Zealand was to erect a huge statue like the Statue of Liberty, it would be the Statue of Equality. Like other countries, it has developed its own national character, and equality, fairness and honesty are values which most New Zealanders see as important … New Zealand’s political culture has changed slowly over time – it is a country of slow evolution rather than rapid revolution (Te Ara: ) (Political values in the 19th century, Te Ara, The Encyclopedia of New Zealand,… http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/search/teara?keys=social+values).