“Meng Foon’s tenure as a Race Relations Commissioner who was never able to put his own views aside has [yesterday] ended fittingly with an undisclosed conflict of interest,” says ACT Party Leader David Seymour.
“Meng Foon’s resignation is welcome,” said ACT Leader David Seymour, “but the cause of his departure and manner of its announcement is another sign of a rotten government that has to go.”
“The ‘most transparent government in history’ released this bad news late on a Friday, traditionally the time to release news damaging to a government because fewer people are watching the news.
Mr Foon resigned because of a conflict of interest, something that is becoming all too familiar. Stuart Nash, Kiri Allan, Michael Wood and now Meng Foon seem to think the rules don’t apply to them. This government has a level of arrogance that you don’t normally see until a third term.
“As Commissioner, bias was Foon’s usual position. He refused to call out racism from the left, making only mild statements when complainants dragged him kicking and screaming. He kept silent about poems suggesting descendants of Captain Cook be tracked down and stabbed and Te Pāti Māori stating on its website that “It is a known fact that Māori genetic makeup is stronger than others,” until he was forced to comment.
“In contrast, he was quick to condemn NZ Police as racist due to Police Ten 7, to criticise Amy Adams for getting a colleague’s ethnicity wrong, and to make incorrect claims about a high school’s skit, among endless foot-in-mouth incidents.
“ACT has said right from the start that Meng Foon wasn’t fit for his role because of his inability to remain politically neutral. When it was revealed, he was a Labour donor, ACT called again for him to be sacked, but Justice Minister Kiri Allan did nothing.
“The government wouldn’t act, but thankfully Mr Foon did it for them.
“Meng Foon’s departure now creates a perfect opportunity to abolish the Human Rights Commission, and ACT will make that a priority if it gets into government. The commission is politically biased and serves no useful function – the actual human rights work is carried out by the Human Rights Review Tribunal.