Race Relations Day 2017: Stand up for each other

Press Release – Human Rights Commission

This year for Race Relations Day the Human Rights Commission has urged New Zealanders to stand up for one another and to stand up for what we believe in.

A short video highlighting what people can do if they experience or witness a racist attack was launched online.

“We want people to record attacks, to support people who are being attacked and to ensure attacks are reported,” said Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy.

“When we see yet another racist attack on the news we need to ask ourselves: Is this us? Is this the kind of country we want to be? If the answer is No, then we need to do something.”

“What we do today is our insurance policy for the future of our nation.”

“This year we are focused on encouraging New Zealanders to answer these two questions: What do you stand for? What do you want against? The world is at a cross roads when it comes to race relations: the way we treat each other will decide what path New Zealand goes down.”

People from ethnic minorities report an increase in the number of personal racist attacks in recent times, this is in step with events taking place overseas.

“What we do now really matters and that’s why we want people to be prepared to stand up for what they believe in: whether we let our country become a place where abusing someone because of their race is normal or not – that part’s up to us, all of us.”

Every 21st of March the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination marks the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre when 69 black South African citizens – including 10 children – were shot to death by their own Police for protesting against racial apartheid laws.

A series of events in provincial and urban communities to celebrate Race Relations Day are being held throughout the month of March.

“A lot of New Zealanders care deeply about race relations and it shows: this year we have an unprecedented number of -events planned,” said Dame Susan.

“With race relations events planned from Oamaru to Gisborne, Wanganui to Invercargill, what’s great is that we are celebrating race relations in our provinces and smaller towns not just our big cities. While we have our tough times we do care about and respect each other and it shows.”

More than 30 events are being held throughout March with more being added to the list every day.


Tauranga Regional Multicultural Council 4-Mar-17 Historic Village on 17th Ave West, Tauranga Tauranga Multicultural Fesitival, Music, Dance, Food, arts&crafts, family fun
Nelson Multicultural Council 19-Mar-17 Victory Square cultural Performances, food and entertainment
Southland Multicultural Council 18-Mar-17 Southland Stadium, Invercargill Multicultural food festival (Diversity of food and entertainment)
Waitaki Multicultural Council 25-Mar-17 Pembroke School Hall, Raglan Street, Oamaru Cultural Displays, Cultural performances, music and shared meal
Auckland City Multi Ethnic Council 1-Apr-17 357 Waiuku Rd, Pukekohe 2678 Multicultural Festival
Manawatu Multicultural Council 4-Mar-17 The Square, Palmerston North Festival of Cultures. 5th March – MultiClothes for MultiPeople: A Multicultural Fashion Show, The Globe Theatre, 312 Main Street, Palmerston North
Upper Hutt Multicultural Council 21-Mar-17 Upper Hutt Library Friendly debate with the local school teams around the concept of integration vs cultural diversity
Rotorua Multicultural Council. tbc TBC Multicultural event
Hutt Multicultural Council 4-Mar-17 Epuni Community Hall, 37 Mitchell St, Epuni, Lower Hutt Multicultural Festival
Tairawhiti Multicultural Council 19-Mar-17 Marina Carpark, Gisborne Colour Run 2017
Aoraki Multicultural Council 25-Mar Caroline Bay Hall, 2 King George Place, Timaru International Food and entertainment
Multicultural Council of Rangitikei/Whanganui 25-Mar Multicultural House, 137 Anzac Parade, Wanganui East Race Unity Day speech and Potluck dinner
Christchurch Multicultural Council 4-Mar-17 221 Gloucester Street, Opposite Latimer Square, Christchurch Holi Festival, Celebrating Diversity
Multicultural Council of Wellington 23-Apr-17 Shed 6, Queens Wharf, Wellington That’s Us – Race Relations Day. cultural Performances, food and entertainment
Hamilton Multicultural Council 18-Mar-17 Hamilton Gardens Pavilion Indigo Festival
Kapiti Te Newhanga Kapiti Community Centre 25-Mar-17 Te Newhanga Kapiti Community Centre Cultural Fusion
Porirua 23-Mar-17 Porirua City Council That’s Us Race Relations Day
Marlborough Multicultural Council 4-Mar-17 Pollard Park, Parker Street, Blenheim Marlborough Multicultural festival
Auckland Council 2-Apr-17 Mt Roskill War Memorial Park Auckland International Cultural Festival
Wellington 19-Mar-17 Wakefield Park, Island bay Culture Kicks
Fo Guang Shan Auckland 9-Apr 16 Stancombe Road, Botany Multicultural Day celebrations
New Zealand Asia Association 25-Mar-17 Te Tuhi Centre, 13 Reeves Road, Pakuranga, Auckland Viva Eclectika Race Relations Day celebration
Fo Guang Shan Canterbury 22-Apr-17 Multicultural day celebration Multicultural and Interfaith event
Mangere East Cultural Festival 11-Mar-17 Walter Massey park, Mangere Cultural Festival
Ethnic Media forum 21-Mar-17 HRC Auckland Ethnic media launch for Race Realtions day
African Community Auckland 6-12 April Rialto, New Market Auckland Film Festival
Upper Hutt Multicultural Council 25-Mar Orongomae Marae, Upper Hutt Pathway to citizenship conncting recent migrants to local iwi and communities
New Zealand Chinese History and Culture Association 19-Mar-17 Imperial Restaurant, 519 Ellerslie Panmure Highway, Auckland race Relations day Multicultural performance and banquet

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