Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy confirmed today she had no plans to ban Christmas or any other sacred or religious day.
“New Zealanders decide how to celebrate Christmas, or Easter or any other special day and that’s just the way it should be: I’m the Race Relations Commissioner not the Christmas Relations Commissioner,” said Dame Susan.
“It’s not my job to tell anyone how to observe or talk about Christmas: that’s really up to everyday New Zealanders.”
At the weekend a news story was published that claimed Dame Susan backed plans to remove the word Christmas. The Human Rights Commission rejects this claim.
The Auckland Regional Migrants Services Trust prefers non-religious, secular language when inviting communities to attend some of their events because they don’t want non-Christians to think they aren’t included in the invitation. Their choice of language is about inclusion not exclusion.
“I never said we or anyone else should ‘ban Christmas’ and I never would. What I did say is that it’s up to everyday New Zealanders to decide how to observe Christmas and no one else: New Zealanders hate being told what to do and I wouldn’t welcome anyone telling my family how to observe Christmas,” said Dame Susan.
“I am not the 'Race Relations Commissioner Who Stole Christmas' and urge Kiwis to relax as we have many more important human rights issues to worry about."
"Today marks White Ribbon Day, in our small nation New Zealanders face 200 domestic violence incidents every day. This is the human rights issue New Zealanders need to get angry and upset about and something I would gladly ban, if only I could.”
“Merry Christmas and peace on earth to you and your loved ones.”