Jenny Ombler

Jenny is a research fellow in the NZ Centre for Sustainable Cities who has recently begun a PhD. Her thesis will develop a foundation for the role and praxis of human rights in Aotearoa NZ in relation to housing. The international human rights regime has been a significant global step towards ensuring a baseline and aspiration for how states should interact with their citizens. Proponents argue that international human rights offer a benchmark, as well as accountability on the global stage, and empowerment for citizens to hold their own governments to account. Detractors argue that international human rights' claim to universality neglects to account for localised and culture-specific norms, and that they are largely unenforceable and so are merely an exercise in rhetoric. Jenny will develop a theoretical foundation for the role of human rights in particular contexts, including a Rosean theory of the broken middle, in which universalised projects (such as the international human rights regime) meet the messy reality of human politics and experience. Turning from a generalised approach, she will then leverage this theoretical underpinning to consider the role of the right to housing in Aotearoa NZ, and how this particular right interacts with hegemonic and marginalised cultural norms. She aims to propose a foundation for Tiriti-grounded rights praxis in Aotearoa NZ.


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