ACT leader David Seymour doubles down on calls to abolish Human Rights Commission

ACT leader David Seymour is again calling to abolish the Human Rights Commission after revelations it made a donation to the Mongrel Mob.

Seymour has regularly called for the Commission to be abolished and doubled down this weekend after the Chief Human Rights Commissioner, Paul Hunt, appeared on Newshub Nation defending a recent donation of $200 to the Mongrel Mob - which triggered calls for his sacking.

Hunt said on Saturday it was "a little bit unfair and unkind" to demand his sacking, in an interview that Seymour described as "extraordinary", demonstrating "exactly why the Commission should be abolished". 

"He was defensive of gangs and stood by giving the Mongrel Mob $200 of taxpayers' money as koha," Seymour said in a statement on Saturday. "The Commission should be abolished altogether."

Speaking to Magic Talk on Sunday, Seymour said: "I'm in favour of the Human Rights Review Tribunal which is the part which is actually there to advocate for people who've had real human rights violations. 

"On the other hand, we've got these Human Rights Commissioners who are wannabe politicians, that don't actually get elected, constantly shooting their mouths off and doing totally stupid things, saying totally stupid things - often actually contrary to human rights," Seymour told Sunday Cafe host Mel Homer.

The Human Rights Commission operates as a Crown entity independent from Cabinet. Seymour said as the electorate MP for Epsom he has been to the Human Rights Commission and asked for its help with constituents, but said the organisation "runs for the hills".

National Police spokesperson Simeon Brown, who's been outspoken against gangs in recent months, agreed Hunt's Saturday interview was "nonsense".

"Pulling the kindness card just shows how woke and out of touch the Chief Human Rights Commissioner [is]," Brown said on Twitter.

Hunt, defending the Mongrel Mob donation, said the Commission was trying to "reach beyond the Beehive and Lambton Quay to different communities to show how human rights can help deal with difficult issues".

"Human rights isn't just about entitlements. It's also about building good relationships across communities, between communities with whānau and so forth and so on," he told Newshub Nation.

"It's about relationships. It's also about responsibilities. 

"Everyone has not only human rights, but human responsibilities. That's what we're arguing. 

Paul Hunt.
Paul Hunt. Photo credit: HRC

"To be absolutely clear, in case there's any misunderstanding anywhere, I abhor violent criminal drug-peddling gangs, wherever they come from, wherever they come from," Hunt added.

Green MP Golriz Ghahraman has previously argued that the Human Rights Commission "plays an important role" in advocating for the rights of the disabled, rainbow, and other minority communities. 

But Seymour said on Sunday it was time to end and refocus the Commission.

"If they want to be a part of New Zealand politics - then there are elections quite frequently - they should stand for office and see how they go."