No Minister

Discrimination: Unlawful for citizens; lawful for the State

with 5 comments

I have been thinking a lot about the discriminatory nature of the government’s actions, not just as they relate to Covid, but in other areas too. That led me to think about discrimination as a whole, and drilling down to exactly what it is, and how it is applied.

Quite simply, discrimination by an individual or organisation other than the State is just a choice. It is one person’s decision not to hire someone, or sell goods to someone, or to accept someone, purely based on that other person’s characteristics. If I don’t want to rent my property to an Indian person, that’s my personal choice. If, as an employer, I don’t want to hire a female for a specific role, again that’s a choice of mine. Yes, both decisions or choices are discriminatory against Indians and then females, in favour of other ethnicities and males, but that’s my choice. It’s what I want to do, based on my personal preferences.

The law then prohibits such choices. The Human Rights Act has ten prohibited grounds of discrimination, in other words, ten areas where my free will is illegal. These include religious belief, sex, colour, race and also disability, which includes physical illness. All of these acts are unlawful. You can be taken to court for making the choice not to hire a male Muslim who has Covid. And certainly, the social justice warriors would have a field day with it.

The parliament sets these rules. And parliament is the highest court in the land. Almost all governments have control over parliament and so essentially these rules against free choice are State-sanctioned.

But despite the State being bound by the Human Rights Act, and despite governments, particularly left leaning ones, championing the vulgarities of discrimination, governments discriminate all the time. You’re not eligible for the unemployment benefit until you reach a certain age, yet age is a prohibited ground of discrimination. This government is intending to prohibit hate speech, which is not only has freedom of expression connotations, but also it is unlawful to discriminate against someone based on their political opinion. There are plenty of other examples. The one I like to illustrate to my left-leaning friends is the ban on Chinese buying residential land in Aotearoa. If you or I were selling a property and told the agent you were not selling to a 中國人 you would be hauled in front of the authorities quicker than you could say “ni hao”. But it’s perfectly acceptable for the government to pass a law doing just that. Indeed, residents of Singapore and Australia can still buy residential land in Aotearoa, but not China, nor any other nationality for that matter. Yet the Human Rights Act says you must not discriminate on the basis of nationality. But the government does just that.

This brings me to Covid, and vaccination passes.

We should be thoroughly outraged that our prime minister willingly admits that discrimination based on one’s Covid disability is acceptable. But we’re not, well a lot of us don’t appear to be. Indeed, I am reading a lot of social media commentary from people on the Left who are championing it!

Now that wouldn’t be so hypocritical if they also championed my right to discriminate over someone’s sexual orientation (for example), but of course if I did that I would be homophobic.* But because they’re doing it, with a State sanction, it is perfectly acceptable.

I have been trying to rationalise why: I think it is because the Left inherently think that governments of the Left are good, and by actively discriminating through the law, these governments are addressing inequalities and the like.

I genuinely have no issue if a restaurant says I can’t enter because of my vaccination status, or lack of it.** I accept it’s their free choice, and I’ll take my custom elsewhere. But I have a major problem with the State compelling these same businesses to discriminate as such, especially considering the very same government passes other laws that say discrimination is unlawful and abhorrent.

It’s a major conundrum that I cannot get my head around and as I sit here on a Sunday afternoon tapping away, I think it basically boils down to two things that politicians don’t have, and then have, in abundance: principles and hypocrisy.

* I fully support gay marriage and gay adoption.

** I am double-vaxxed.

Written by Nick K

December 5, 2021 at 2:13 pm

Posted in New Zealand

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5 Responses

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  1. NIck … it comes with the territory of being able to rule by decree with parliament effectively and for all intents and purposes edited out of the equation. The legislation required to establish the ‘traffic light’ system was passed thru under urgency. No select committee scrutiny, no regulatory report{s}, no nothing.

    One could argue the similarity between this and Hitler’s ‘Enabling Act’. Whatever, we should be fearful of unbridled power.

    The Veteran

    December 5, 2021 at 2:33 pm

  2. I know what you mean Nick.

    Our GP is a Brummie, from Birmingham, our dentist is a Scot, the barber I go to is a Phillipino, when I was in hospital the ward Dr was Indian, and nurses were Phillipino, Maori, Pakeha, Japanese with Tongan, Samoan and Maori cleaning staff. While the garage I go to most regularly for petrol etc is all Indian as is our nearest Dairy and apart from one of my daughters the person who gives me the most grief on facebook is a Maori guy I worked with over 40 years ago..

    In addition I have had two lots of open heart surgery where the surgeons were Estonian and Irish.

    Good people all of the above.


    December 5, 2021 at 3:13 pm

  3. I discriminate when in English text a writer replaces, for no good reason, the name of New Zealand with Aoteoroa.

    I stopped reading right there and then.


    December 5, 2021 at 3:19 pm

    • as you’re entitled to, what about the Chinese characters a line further down? Do you discriminate with these too?

      Nick K

      December 5, 2021 at 4:00 pm

  4. I never thought NZ could go absolutely bonkers so quickly.


    December 6, 2021 at 7:00 am

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