Should religion be the criteria for selection to a govt advisory group?

Police Minister Poto Williams has appointed a group of New Zealand citizens to “ensure balanced advice to Government on firearms”. The idea is that the group will provide advice “independent” of Police.

One wonders what this means exactly, but one of the group is Rehanna Ali, also a member of the reference group for the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Christchurch mosque shooting and founding member of the Islamic Women’s Council of New Zealand.

Ms Ali is also a member of FIANZ (The Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand) which has already produced a submission to the govt that recommends draconian measures supposedly to combat “hate crime” and “hate speech” in NZ.

The release says the members were chosen “because their knowledge, experience, and background met several of required subject areas, and collectively as a group they covered all the areas”.

The real issue here would seem to be objectivity rather than the oddly used words “independent” or “balanced”.

At least one other in the group (Phillipa Yasbek) is like Ms Ali, a fervent and emotional advocate for over the top and impractical gun control, and these two will no doubt press for the same old farcical regulations that only impact upon law abiding citizens and do nothing to control guns obtained or used by criminals. They are highly unlikely to provide objective input.

In fact one has to question why someone would be chosen just on the basis of their religion, and a minority religion at that (1.4% of the population). How does this help in the formulation of legislation that will have a massive impact upon a large sector of secular or Christian NZ society?

Its a selection that reeks of Jacinda Ardern’s constant pandering to culturally focused pressure groups that considering their numbers, have had far too much influence over our society in recent times.