Since being launched at the Diversity Forum on the first of September this year, the Human Rights Commission’s That’s Us campaign has engaged with more than one million people through sharing everyday people’s real life stories of racial prejudice.
New Zealanders are telling us their greatest hope for the future is that young people will not have to go through the things they had to.
Maori inventor Ian Taylor says at school he was told his ancestors were cannibals and savages; the reality is that they were some of the greatest ocean navigators the world has ever seen. He hopes future generations of Kiwi kids will learn to embrace that brilliance as part of their own Kiwi identity.
David Fong’s family first arrived in New Zealand five generations ago and yet people still demand to know where he comes from. He hopes the day will come when people will not decide that someone who looks Chinese is a foreigner. He says a good place to start is with our children, he used to get used to kids actually pointing at him on the street and saying: “Oooh look Mum! A Chinese!” David says as parents we need to tell our kids that some behavior is just not acceptable.
And Samoan New Zealander, Christine Robertson shared the time she was turned down for a place in journalism school and told that islanders like her were too polite and humble to make good reporters. Christine hopes her children don't have to face the things she has.
Race Relations Commissioner, Dame Susan Devoy says, “We have had hundreds of people share their personal stories and, on behalf of the Human Rights Commission, we are indebted to their generosity.”
“All the stories will help us as we address race relations issues facing Aotearoa, we won’t get to publish them all but they are all providing us with valuable information.”