Correspondence with the Mayor of Dunedin - Three.
28 April 1998
The Mayor of Dunedin
P.O. Box 5045
Dear Mayor Turner,
In regard to the ongoing matter of the use of the unemployed by the Dunedin City Council, the Centre notes your views on the human rights issues in Communist China and the United States, contained in an article in the Otago Daily Times of Monday 27 April.
As you will be aware there are a number of conventions which constitute international law in the area of the human rights of the unemployed.
The Unemployment Provision Convention, 1934, ratified by New Zealand on 29 March 1938 and never denounced, sets out the conditions under which those in receipt of an unemployment benefit may be required to work against their will and also the conditions under which they may decline employment.
If it may the Centre would like to draw to your attention the provisions of Article Nine which allow for the unemployed to be forced to work against their will on only:
|" . . . relief works organised by a public authority."
The Centre would also like to draw to your attention the provisions of Article Ten.1.b.(i)and (ii).
Subsection (i) means that a person may decline work in their own area of expertise if that person is going to be disadvantaged in terms of either wages or conditions that could have been expected had that person not lost their employment.
Subsection (ii) means that a person may decline work in areas outside their own area of expertise if the wages and conditions are below those which normally apply for that type of work.
It is the view of the Centre that by requiring the unemployed to take part in Taskforce Green schemes the New Zealand Government is in breach of subsections (i) and (ii) and that the Dunedin City Council is endorsing this apparent breach of the rights of the unemployed under international law.
The Centre wishes to draw your attention again to its letter of 2 April 1998 in which the matters of low salaries and restricted sick leave were mentioned. As you will
be aware, the Dunedin City Council is apparently in breach of the relevant sections of Article Ten.
In view of your public comments on the human rights abuses of the citizens of Communist China and the Unites States, the Centre would very much appreciate an indication from you of when you intend to speak out on the human rights abuses of the unemployed of Dunedin by the local authority which exists to serve them.
Please find enclosed a copy of C44, The Unemployment Provision Convention, 1934.
J M STEVENSON (Mr)
29 April 1998
J M Stevenson
7 McCurdy Street
Dear Mr Stevenson
Thank you for your letter of the 28th of April 1998.
I reiterate the comments I made to you in my letter of the 7th of April and ask that you
provide more precise information on exactly what your evidence is before the Dunedin
City Council can take it further.
MAYOR OF DUNEDIN