INDEPENDENT NEWS

Auckland City Council breaches Bill of Rights

Published: Tue 10 Dec 2002 05:26 PM
Auckland City Council breaches Bill of Rights, Nandor says
Green MP Nandor Tanczos today wrote to the Attorney General and the Local Govt Minister complaining of an Auckland City Council by-law which he says breaches the Bill of Rights Act 1990.
Nandor has written to Margaret Wilson and Chris Carter on International Human Rights Day asking whether by-law 27.5.1 - which permits advertising signs on residential properties, but bans signs expressing political opinion - is in breach of the Bill of Rights Act.
Auckland resident Ike Finau is facing a court hearing this week for failing to comply with a court order to remove such signs.
"Ike could go to jail simply for having signs in his garden, expressing his political opinion. They include 'God save the Queen' and 'GE-Free'. The by-law is an outrage. It is okay for him to have a sign if he's making money, but not if he is making political comment," Nandor said.
"How can the council justify such a biased limitation on the right to freedom of expression?
"All government agencies, including local bodies, are supposed to be compliant with the Bill of Rights Act 1990, under the Human Rights Amendment Act passed last year. The question is: what is being done to make sure that council by-laws are consistent with basic human rights? By the look of this - nothing.
"Regardless of what you think about Ike Finau's opinions, it is a basic right that he should be able to express them," Nandor said.
Copy of the letter to Attorney General attached [Letter to the Minister for Local Government is in the same terms]
Note: By-law 27.5.1 states: Subject to clauses 27.5.4 and 27.5.5, signage in residential zones shall be limited to a single externally facing sign for each road frontage, advertising a lawful use of the site, located on the site to which the use occurs and advertising only products or services available on the site.

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