Joris de Bres

Race Relations Commissioner

24 May 2010 17 42 16 Joris de Bres Joris de BresJoris de Bres was New Zealand’s Race Relations Commissioner from 2002-2013. He was previously General Manager, External Relations in the Department of Conservation and head of industrial relations for the New Zealand Public Service Association.

His main focus was to encourage central and local government, business and community organisations to develop their own diversity programmes and projects and to come together in the New Zealand Diversity Action Programme. The Commission facilitates the Programme, including networks on religious diversity, media diversity, language policy and refugee issues, and an annual New Zealand Diversity Forum. Other initiatives have been the production of an annual review of race relations, the development of national statements on religious diversity, language policy and race relations, monthly acknowledgments of individuals and organisations for positive contributions to race relations, the promotion of national diversity events such as Race Relations Day, and the annual New Zealand Diversity Awards.

He is also a Trustee of Project Crimson, and member of the Advisory Board for the Victoria University Centre for Applied Cross-Cultural Research.

Coordinating Commissioner

  • Race Relations
  • Te Mana i Waitangi  jointly with Commissioner Johansen

Portfolio responsibilities

  • Race Relations: including cultural diversity; Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD); Australia-New Zealand Race Relations Roundtable
  • Human Rights Environment: religion and belief; right to language and culture; migrants; refugees
  • Right to Work: accommodating religion; migrant workers

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