25 May 2018

Human Rights Commission undergoes shake-up

4:49 pm on 25 May 2018

Race Relations Commissioner Susan Devoy and the Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner Jackie Blue are calling it quits in a staffing shake-up at the Human Rights Commission.

Holocaust Remembrance Day held at Makara Cemetery in Wellington. Dame Susan Devoy was a guest speaker. Raising growing concerns around the influx of hate speech online.

Dame Susan Devoy Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

Their terms have expired and neither has sought reappointment.

Human Rights Commissioner chief David Rutherford will also leave next month, but he had indicated earlier he would not seek another term.

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero will move into the role of acting head of the commission from today.

Dame Susan Devoy

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is set to depart from her role. Photo: PhotoSport

The organisation is starting to implement recommendations of a critical review following its botched handling of a sexual misconduct complaint.

The government-led review criticised the commission's governance and management, pointing to deep divides and "personality clashes" among the commissioners.

But it concluded sexual misconduct was not prevalent at the commission.

Justice Minister Andrew Little ordered an inquiry into the commission's procedures and culture in February.

More than 80 of the commission's staff participated in the inquiry, which found 17 percent either witnessed or directly experienced inappropriate behaviours in the course of their work in the past five years.

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