Events to celebrate Race Relations Day are already taking place across the country and this Saturday Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae will be hosting a Nationhood to Neighbourhood Garden Party. Young Kiwis from refugee and migrant communities will be taking part, performing and speaking at Government House in Auckland.
“New Zealand’s one of the most ethnically diverse nations on earth and also one of the most peaceful,” said Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy.
“Diversity shouldn’t be seen as a difficulty: diversity is an opportunity. Our differences make New Zealand stronger. Diversity, difference and thinking outside the square are the key drivers of an innovative society.”
“We should be grateful for the nation we live in but we shouldn’t take it for granted: race relations are a work in progress, we’re not perfect and we should always strive to be the best we can be.”
Dame Susan said race relations aren’t all about enforcing laws and international conventions.
“At its heart race relations is about people, about treating other people with mana and respect. Investing in diversity won’t just be found in a balance sheet or bank account but in our communities, our schools, our offices,” said Dame Susan.
“Most importantly whether or not we invest in diversity will be found in the kind of nation our children and grandchildren will inherit from us.”
Dame Susan thanked Their Excellencies Sir Jerry and Lady Janine Mateparae for opening Government House to celebrate Race Relations Day 2015.