Media release: Immigration Minister called on to uphold New Zealand’s human rights reputation

The Minister for Immigration, Iain Lees-Galloway, should ensure prominent human rights voices are able to be heard at the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) 2018 General Assembly in Auckland in August.

The New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties is concerned to learn that IHEU board members and speakers have had their visa applications refused or are still waiting for decisions after several months. (See Stuff article.)

"New Zealand's Bill of Rights Act gives everyone the right to freedom of expression including the freedom to seek and receive information," said NZCCL chairperson Thomas Beagle.

"How can New Zealanders fully exercise this right when respected human rights campaigners – who pose no risk to this country – cannot meet here?"

The Council urges Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway to both intervene to allow IHEU members and speakers to attend their conference, and to direct Immigration NZ to make all of its decisions promptly, consistently, and without racial prejudice as is required by law.

The New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties is not affiliated with either the New Zealand Humanists or the IHEU, but supports those who work to achieve civil liberties for all.

Thomas Beagle
+64 21 80-50-40