SJA staff
Published on
Which commissioner role is next in Labours sights?
Social Justice Aotearoa CEO Jackie Foster has today said, her concern is “if one
commissioner’s role is being removed, which commissioner is next?”
Jackie Foster, for the second time in a week, has accused Carmel Sepuloni, Minister in
charge of the current legislation , of not listening to previous children’s commissioners,
when they say” abolishing the children’s commissioner is the worst thing that could
happen for the tamariki of Aotearoa.
Dr Russell Wills , Children’s Commissioner 2011-2016 said on Radio New Zealand “ There
is a belief among this government that one person can’t be an advisor to a Minister as
well as a public advocate. That is nonsense and clearly brings into question the roles of all
independent crown entity commissioners”.
Professor Jonathan Boston , a public policy specialist, made a public submission forcefully
opposing the proposed changes, and furthermore said “I think a fair reading of what is
going on is that recent Children’s Commissioners – particularly Russell Wills and Andrew
Becroft – have caused considerable embarrassment to various ministers and senior
officials and because of that this government wants to neuter the commissioner’s role”.
“Look out to those who currently hold positions in independent Crown entities because if
you do your job well, if you advocate as you are required to advocate, then you run the
risk of being exterminated and that kind of policy is not acceptable in a constitutional
democracy like New Zealand.” Foster said.