Human rights head steps aside

Chief human rights commissioner Rosslyn Noonan.
Taranaki Daily News
Chief human rights commissioner Rosslyn Noonan.

Chief human rights commissioner Rosslyn Noonan is to step down next month.

Noonan made the news public today on the commission's website.

It is understood Justice Minister Simon Power will announce her successor later this week.

Noonan has headed the watchdog since 2001.

"It has been a privilege to hold this role during a time when the central importance of human rights to creating a fair and decent society is increasingly acknowledged in New Zealand and worldwide. Human rights are recognised as essential for the building of peaceful, stable and sustainable economies,'' she said.

Noonan is also chairperson of the International Co-ordinating Committee for the Promotion and Protection of National Human Rights Institutions.

Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner Dr Judy McGregor said, "Rosslyn has been hugely committed to strengthening human rights in New Zealand and has been a powerful advocate for the vulnerable. We will miss her greatly."