16.06.2012 Pasifika people take to the streets of Auckland on Saturday morning in a coordinated voice highlighting the challenges confronting their diverse communities. Photo Credit  Michael Bradley.

A fair go for all?

The Human Rights Commission thinks New Zealand should be a place where everyone, regardless of their culture or ethnicity, gets a fair go. However, it is clear from studies and anecdotal evidence that many thousands of New Zealanders miss out on opportunities for good health, education, work and an improved standard of living, based on their race or ethnicity, the colour of their skin, the country they or their family came from, and the language they speak at home.

These pages look at the role structural discrimination (also known as institutional racism) may play in perpetuating inequalities. The Commission has examined health, justice, education, and economic systems – as well as the public service – to see what barriers exist, and what is happening to break them down. It then asks, is the Government doing enough?

Read our webpages or the full discussion paper (PDF), and join the discussion on Facebook

Background

What the United Nations says Over the past five years, at least seven United Nations monitoring bodies have expressed concern about ethnic inequalities in New Zealand. They have called for greater understanding of the causes of inequalities, and action from the...

A fair go in Health

Inequalities persist in health. For non-Pākehā death rates for diseases such as cancer and diabetes are higher, and life expectancies are shorter. GPs often spend less time with non-Pākehā patients and offer fewer specialist referrals. There are several possible...

A fair go in justice?

Research suggests two forms of structural discrimination exist within New Zealand’s justice system. The first is related to the nature of the system itself, which is based on values that are often at odds with those of Māori and Pacific people. The second relates to...

A fair go in education?

Deficit theorising Māori and Pacific peoples continue to experience disadvantage in education. These gaps in educational achievement are still sometimes explained using a ‘blame the student’ mentality. In order for this to change, the education system, rather than...

A fair go in the public sector?

Diversity is important for an effective public service. It can help maintain core public values, increase managerial efficiency, improve policy effectiveness, raise the quality of public service and enhance social mobility.  Greater diversity in the public service can also...

What we are talking about

What is structural discrimination? The State Services Commission describes structural discrimination as occurring “when an entire network of rules and practices disadvantages less empowered groups while serving at the same time to advantage the dominant...

Ways forward: case studies

The Commission has collected a number of case studies that show how some organisations are trying to deal with structural discrimination. Health: Whānau Hauora Village, Te Matatini Education: Te Kotahitanga teacher development Justice:  Rangatahi and Pasifika...

Back to top