16 Jul 2018

Panel to look at Human Rights Commission candidates

2:54 pm on 16 July 2018

By Jo Moir, Political Reporter

Justice Minister Andrew Little has tasked an independent panel with screening candidates to fill the roles of Chief Human Rights Commissioner, Race Relations Commissioner and Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner.

Andrew Little

Andrew Little Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

Mr Little has appointed experienced public servants Pauline Winter, Sir John Clarke and Al Morrison to the panel and he expects them to report back to him with their recommendations in August.

The commissioner positions have already been advertised and Mr Little has asked political parties to use their contacts to encourage people to put their names forward.

Ms Winter is the former chief executive of the Ministry for Pacific Peoples, Sir John Clarke was previously the chief executive of the Ministry of Māori Affairs and Mr Morrison is a deputy state services commissioner and former journalist.

Mr Little wants to ensure the new commissioners are non-partisan and apolitical so he will consult cross-party before recommending appointments to the Governor-General.

Mr Little said a broad cross-section of the community had already responded to the three commissioner positions that have been advertised.