Chief Human Rights Commissioner Paul Hunt stated last week, “many renters are having to make trade-offs between their fundamental human rights, such as the right to adequate food and the right to a decent home. A home is first and foremost a fundamental human right and not an investment,” he repeated. This garbage is fairy tale nonsense.

He continued on…referring to a non-existent country he called Aotearoa NZ, Hunt claimed it’s in breach of a “legally binding international human rights obligation.” What this agreement was he didn’t advise, but probably he was referring to the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. That was simply a wish list of perceived desirable aspirations and as such worthy.

My complaint is the word “Rights.” Saying someone has a human right to something implies that someone or something else has an obligation to provide it and therein lies the problem.

For there always has been and doubtless always with be, a sector of society expecting the rest of us to provide these things for them with no effort from themselves. It’s dangerous territory.

Plainly they have no such meaningful right to these things failing which there wouldn’t be complaints about their absence.

On rental housing Hunt called for price controls. Ignoring the well proven reality that rent controls always lead to shortages, Hunt instead quoted Ireland’s favourable statistics re housing.

What he failed to mention and in fairness probably didn’t know, is Ireland is, God only knows why, the leading property developer nation in the world. As an aside, that reality supports a burgeoning bankruptcy business, a standard denouement for all property developers.

For example, with the collapse of communism 3 decades back, Irish developers were first in to Eastern Europe building modern hotels, offices and apartments.

At the time we subscribed to a specialist Eastern European commercial property magazine and I well recall one cover story of a major Irish developer in Eastern Europe. It’s theme being why he was pulling stumps. In his words, he had the choice of living in the west or dying in the east, specifically of alcohol poisoning. As he explained it was culturally impossible to do even the smallest deal without a full day’s vodka consumption with the other party. As his company was huge, deals were being done in vast numbers and he was engaged in full-time drinking.

The one characteristic common to all developers is excess. Thus when the 2008 financial crash occurred, numerous Irish developers went bankrupt, leaving in their wake thousands of unsold homes, unsold because they grossly exceeded the market demand. It’s that reality that explains the country’s current happy housing situation.

The Human Rights Commission should be scrapped, at least in name. There’s certainly a need for bodies to uphold people’s legal rights but I’d have thought that’s pretty well covered already.

Meanwhile with nigh on 100 employees writing nonsense reports and such-like, the cost to the tax-payer is immense. The only positive aspect of this is circa $500,000pa. of this waste goes to me in rental, the Commission being in one of my company’s buildings. Perhaps there’s a justice-dispensing God after all.


Maybe the word is rite? If they don’t get what they want they rest of us endure a punishment rite and that is having to read what they write. All of my life I’ve had to work, negotiate and co-operate, to get whatever was my right. Two things are free, fresh air and sunshine. I’m going outside to enjoy some now, as is my right?

Wayne Senior Fairbrother August 31, 2022 at 10:16 am

Just like our politicians’ current delusional thinking about crime. They actually seem to believe that nearly all crime is the result of colonialsm. Singapore, like NZ, was colonised by the British, but for a longer time, and much more harshly. Yet despite that, Singapore’s population don’t seem to use colonisation as an excuse for, and a license to commit crimes? So why is NZ so different? Food for thought. Some interesting statistics from about 10 years ago: NZ versus Singapore. With similar population size. NZ has: 58 times more serious assaults. 57 times more assaults. 57 times more burglaries. 45 times more gun crime. 31 times more drug-related crime. 27 times more vehicle theft. 11 times more drug trafficking offences. 10 times more rapes. 3 times more murders. We are crime central compared to Singapore. However, Singapore has 38 times more Police Officers than NZ. Could there possibly be a connection? https://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/compare/New-Zealand/Singapore/Crime

    Very good point on the number of police.

    Id be happy (amongst others) to sponsor additional Police, provided they were trained correctly and passed the sniff test and they separated them from the road patrol; like it use to be..A hair brain decision John Banks (who cant remember flying in a helicopter with Dotcom) facilitated.

    The net result was a potentially small short term cost saving, while the real Police lost creditably. This having been further eroded with increasing political interference, in order to control the headlines.

    Meanwhile, petty crime and youth offending is most of the time not even attended through lack of resource or bears no consequence. This is where it starts..

Don’t know what cemetery Hunts brain was excavated from but it should definitely be reinterred and his wasteful position as a current Govt shill abandoned .
How about a Responsibilities Commissioner instead of this bloody guff and wet pronouncements.

Cripes, I’ve just seen the new Tax on Kiwisaver released today. The figures look horrible. Do we have a right to save for our retirement without the government creaming the top off it?

I’ve noticed over the last few years that larger publicly traded property companies, particularly from the US, have started investing by purchasing, in large numbers, Irish apartments, mostly in Dublin.

Either the management of these companies is assessing the oversupply in the Irish residential market is coming to end and placing their capital appropriately, or, more likely, it is the ultimate sign of the excesses of credit that has been available leading up to this year, signified by the fact that these companies, desperate to deploy capital are investing the avalanche of cash they have on hand in what is developer central, and therefore property investor hell.

Housing (shelter) is a basic human need, not a basic human right.

Those are two different things

Especially irritating are the comments about “renters having to make trade offs between things such as etc”
This is known as ‘budgeting’ and is neither unique to renters, nor comment worthy.
Since money was invented people have made trade offs between what they want, what they need and what they can afford.
When i sweep in to power there will be no more of these nonsense Gov departments.

Hooray Colin! You’ll get my vote. (as long as you have some other good policies)

In support of Colin, there are several of these ridiculously expensive, wasteful and damaging government departments that should be disbanded … Race Relations Commissioner top of that list.

    It will be the first to go…then the Human Rights lot, then Wimmens affairs, then the military, then the embassies, then the Social Welfare will get an overhaul. The Police and the IRD will get the powers needed to crush white collar crime and gangs. Government employees will be legally limited to a fixed % of the population. We will sink the Americas cup mob, and establish a ministry of public decency to limit food to fatties and anyone wearing lycra will need to pass a BMI test.

And finally…all cellphone towers to be deactivated between 10 am and 8 pm.

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