Comments of the Centre on the decision of the New Zealand Human Rights Commission.
The Centre notes that the reply received from the Human Rights Commission was the decision of the Commissioner
herself; Ms Jefferies.
The most important part of the decision was the statement that the complaint could not be accepted under Part II of the Human Rights Act 1993.
The Centre was aware of the nature of Part II of the Act and therefore laid the complaint under that section of the Act which provided for the Commision to " . . . enquire generally into any matter which may infringe human rights and which include any law, practice or procedure, whether governmental or non-governmental . . .". That power is provided under Part I of the Act; not Part II.
It would therefore appear that Ms Jeffries had the power to investigate the New Zealand Government but declined to exercise it.
Why did the Government appointed Commissioner apparently decline to exercise the power available to her, stating instead that a complaint could not be accepted under a part of the Act that was not cited in the first place ?
The Centre is of the view that the reason is not straight forward collusion, but is rather an effect of the psychological makeup of New Zealanders, who, as a people, find it extremely difficult to challenge any form of authority.
As a people, New Zealanders tend to operate interpersonally on the basis of an unconscious similarity of emotional operation; they feel that those they meet share their world view. They bond.
It is therefore the view of the Centre that because of the way New Zealanders interact with one another, it is difficult for a given individual to conceive of challenging the authority - either individual or governmental - which represents the leadership of this shared, emotionally similar world.