Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy says all New Zealanders have the right to an opinion no matter where they were born.
“Kiwis born overseas have a right to a say over the country they call home, where they work, vote, pay taxes and contribute: overseas born Kiwis are not second class citizens who have fewer rights than other New Zealanders,” said Dame Susan.
Earlier this week a row erupted in parliament after an MP disagreed with another MP and told her to go back to her birth country if she didn’t like it here.
New Zealand’s changing demographics means our country is one of the most ethnically diverse nations on earth.
Dame Susan says the comments were unhelpful and offensive but congratulated those people who have come out in support of the Korean Kiwi politician.
“We’re at a crossroads when it comes to race relations, we either get on with each other, and lead the world in race relations: or we take pleasure in prejudice and leave our children with a race relations crisis to deal with, it’s up to us,” said Dame Susan.
“We need our politicians from every party to behave with mana and to show leadership when it comes to race relations, it’s a crucial time for us all to think of the future we are creating.”