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Draft Statement on Race Relations for Public Discussion
A draft statement on race relations in New Zealand was released today at the New Zealand Diversity Forum to foster discussion and find common ground on race relations in New Zealand.
Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres said the race relations statement builds on the experience of the religious diversity statement which was first floated at last year’s Diversity Forum, and which has sparked widespread discussion over the past year.
“These statements seek to identify and express some core matters that we can agree on, in a brief statement in simple language. They also provide a checklist of issues against which we can measure the state of race relations.”
These include the Treaty, freedom from discrimination, freedom of expression, safety, social inclusion, access and opportunity, settlement, education, cultural diversity and respect for the rights of others. Each issue has a short statement for further discussion.
Mr de Bres said that the draft statement was only a starting point, not a finished product. “Discussion and comment are invited on how it can be developed to best express and promote a shared understanding of the underpinnings of cultural diversity and harmonious race relations in New Zealand.”
He said that comment would be sought on the first draft until the end of the year, and it would then be revised in time to be available for public discussion for Race Relations Day in March next year.
He hoped that a final version of the statement would be reported back to the next New Zealand Diversity Forum in August 2008.
Over 1600 people have taken part in a wide variety of events and workshops since the forum programme began in Auckland on Saturday. Today’s plenary is being held at the Auckland Museum.
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