No, the Human Rights Commission were not censored
Yesterday in Parliament National MP Chris FInlayson asked why the Human Rights Commission did not appear before the select committee hearing the Electoral Finance Bill. David Farrar noticed this and asked on his blog Was the Human Rights Commission censored? with the implication that it was.
The HRC submission notes that they did not request to appear before the committee. So no, they were not censured. However an approach was made to appear before the committee but the people who would have appeared before the committee were out of the country at the time the committee was sitting and could not therefore appear. The HRC told me today that it would like to provide an oral submission but they will wait for
the committee to get hold of them rather than being proactive.
Select committee decisions as to who is to appear are not for public knowledge until the decisions are made. Submitters can ask to appear before the committee at a later date, even if they have not stated they wanted to on their written submission - and the committee can agree to this. Alternatively the select comittee can approach submitters and ask them to appear. It often happens.
It appears the HRC want to appear but the committee is yet to decide whether they wantto hear them. Suffice to say that a government body stating clearly what the government doesn't want them to hear is not exactly going to be proactive. And a committee that doesnt agree with what that government body wants to tell them won't exactly bend over backwards to hear their views.
Chris Finlayson asks a question in Parliament todays as to how many people were asked to give an oral submission on September 17
I gave mine on that day. So did a few other people I know.