< April 2023 newsletter

Human Rights Commission partners with Iwi Chairs’ Forum

The Human Rights Commission (HRC) is supposedly an independent Crown entity, but this is no longer the case. It appears to be greatly influenced by the National Iwi Chairs’ Forum, a group seeking a profound change to the existing political order.

 Under the Forum’s influence, the Commission has set a course to become a dual-governed entity. According to Tricia Keelan, deputy chief executive of the HRC who also has the role of ‘Pou Ārahi’ (a representative on the Executive for the Māori perspective of the organisation) - “we aim to provide a living demonstration of Matike Mai Aotearoa within the next five years, if not earlier.”

To uncover just how much influence the Forum has on the Commission, an IOA application revealed that our request would be very difficult to fulfil due to the sheer volume of material. Consequently, we agreed to confining the enquiry to a summary of the engagement with the NICF for the two years from July 2020 – July 2022. This summary can be seen HERE.

In a move to further 'the partnership with Maori' ideology, the He Puapua chair Professor Claire Charters has recently been appointed to the Commission as the ‘Indigenous rights governance partner’, even though the Commission has theoretically been told to stop work on He Puapua. (He Puapua is the controversial report commissioned in 2019 by the New Zealand Government to inquire into and report on  measures to achieve the goals set out by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples).

In this newly created role, Professor Charters will provide Maori leadership with a view to enhancing the Commission’s governance. 

“I’m looking forward to putting into practice a lot of my hopes and ambitions for constitutional transformation” she said.

On the announcement of this appointment, the Chief Human Rights Commissioner, Paul Hunt, said: “We are grateful to the National Iwi Chairs Forum, and Claire Charters, for this joint initiative”, adding “The Human Rights Act requires the Commission to deepen understanding of the relationship between human rights and te Tiriti, and our joint initiative with the Forum will help us deliver what Parliament has asked us to do.”

Race Relations Commissioner, Meng Foon goes on to explain:

“Claire has extensive experience working on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and that will be a huge asset as we support the implementation of the declaration here in Aotearoa New Zealand.”


  • Matike Mai Aotearoa is a report on constitutional transformation for New Zealand, initiated by the Iwi Chairs' Forum.
  • Besides being chair of the committee that produced He Puapua, Claire Charters was lead organiser of the Constitutional Kōrero: Transforming New Zealand’s Constitution at University of Auckland last year. This was held “to present arguments and options for constitutional transformation to realise Māori rights in te Tiriti o Waitangi, He Whakaputanga and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples”.


Human Right Commission - news

University of Auckland: Law professor Claire Charters joins Human Rights Commission

Institute of Public Administration New Zealand (ipanz):

Media coverage

Politik: Human Rights Commission hires He Puapua author

Go back to the April 2023 newsletter



Proponents of the campaign to embed separate race-based systems at all levels of government in New Zealand  - whereby tangata whenua govern themselves and the Crown govern the others - as suggested in the Matike Mai and He Puapua reports - came one step closer to realising their goal by having the Crown entity The NZ Human Rights Commission state that it is proud to publish a report which makes the preposterous claim that that the elimination of racism will not occur without promoting race-based constitutional change and co-governance with Māori.  Continue reading

Update on complaints re ‘Land of the Long White Cloud’ series

There has been a disappointing response from the Race Relations Commissioner in relation to complaints made by members of the public about the a seven-part series published by the NZ Herald - “Land of the Long White Cloud – confronting NZ’s colonial past”. The commission has turned a blind eye to the series’ negative effect on race relations, instead lamely suggesting the correspondent contact the Media Council, or complain to the independent Human Rights Review Tribunal. Please see below a typical response received by a member of the public: Continue reading

Complaint made to HRC over race-based policy

A North Waikato land owner has made a complaint to the Human Rights Commission about the Waikato Regional Council's proposed Plan Change 1, which would allow iwi to develop land and change land use when everyone else with similar land is denied the same right. Click HERE to read a news report on this issue. Continue reading

What the hell is co-governance? An explainer……

‘Co-governance’ is an emerging and developing model of decision-making in New Zealand. The term refers to a shared governance arrangement - with representatives of iwi on one side, and representatives of central and/or local government on the other, each side having equal voting rights at the decision-making table. Continue reading