The Green Party strongly supports today’s announcement to amend the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 to provide a statutory power for senior courts to make declarations of inconsistency under the Act.
“At its heart, this amendment is about protecting New Zealanders’ human rights across the board,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.
“There is nothing more important or fundamental than that. But there have been numerous cases over the years of Parliament passing legislation, including where advice from the Attorney General that the legislation fails to comply with the Bill of Rights Act.
“While it wasn’t part of our Confidence and Supply Agreement with Labour, today’s announcement goes a long way towards enacting long-standing Green Party policy that Governments should be bound by the Bill of Rights Act.
“As lawmakers, human rights should be at the forefront of our minds at all times. It’s good to know that regardless of what any Parliamentarians of the day may bring into law, there is now a mechanism in place to review those laws if they’re deemed to breach New Zealanders’ human rights.
“The Green Party has always believed that fundamental human rights are the framework for a fair and just society.
“Today’s announcement does highlight the positive human rights reform that is now possible as a result of this new Government. We will continue to look for opportunities to strengthen human rights legislation over the coming years.
"Upholding human rights, and laws that support that, is a key part of our kaupapa, and for that reason I am very pleased about today’s announcement,” said Mr Shaw.