25 Mar 2013

Maori Council backs Devoy as race relations envoy

8:34 pm on 25 March 2013

The Maori Council is fully supporting the appointment of Dame Susan Devoy as Race Relations Commissioner.

The co-chairs of the council say the position has a proud history of advocating on behalf of Maori and they are sure the former squash player will do a good job.

Sir Edward Taihakurei Durie compares the Relations Commissioner role to that of the Waitangi Tribunal, saying both educate and investigate breaches of basic human rights.

Maanu Paul says the council is comfortable with some of Dame Susan's comments made in the past, including that she found the burqa disconcerting.

Mr Paul has no doubts about Dame Susan's ability.

He says the office requires a person who the country has recognised has contributed the fabric of society and Dame Susan has done that though sport and charity work.

Mr Paul says that type of work is the hallmark of someone that the office of the Race Relations Commissioner can be trusted with.