New Human Rights Commissioner appointed

Prof Paul Hunt.
Prof Paul Hunt. Photo credit: Waikato University.

Human rights lawyer Professor Paul Hunt has been appointed Chief Human Rights Commissioner.

Dr Saunoamaali'i Karanina Sumeo, previously of Oranga Tamariki, will be Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner.

Mr Hunt has served on the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and as a Special Rapporteur to the UN Commission on Human Rights.

Mr Hunt replaces former chief commissioner David Rutherford, after a report found the Human Rights Commission did not provide proper care and support for a staff member who was the victim of sexual harassment.

The review found commissioners often had "uncooperative and unprofessional" relationships, and recommended personal differences be resolved.