Race Relations Day provides an opportunity for all of us to come together

Race Relations Day provides an opportunity for all of us to come together

March 6, 2020

The Race Relations Commissioner, Meng Foon, is inviting all New Zealanders to head along to their local Race Relations Day (Saturday 21 March) events this year. Events will be taking place all across March.

“Race Relations Day provides an opportunity for all peoples from all different walks of life to come together, learn from each other, share, celebrate and enjoy the richness of shared cultural experiences,” says Foon.

This year’s Race Relations Day Theme is ‘Mō Tātou Katoa’. This translates as ‘for all of us’. It has been inspired by the quote from Te Puea Herangi, CBE – “Mehemea ka moemoeā ahau, ko ahau anake. Mehemea ka moemoeā tātou, ka taea e tatou”. If I am to dream, I dream alone. If we all dream together then we shall achieve.” 

“Race Relations Day provides an opportunity to celebrate and experience many of Aotearoa New Zealand’s more than 200 ethnic communities,” says Foon.

March 21 marks the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination which is observed globally to remember the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre. This was when 69 black South Africans - including ten children - were shot to death by their own police for protesting against racial apartheid laws.

The Human Rights Commission works in partnership with Multicultural NZ (Federation of Multicultural Councils Inc.) to celebrate Race Relations Day. Multicultural NZ is a national organisation which presides over 23 constituent regional multicultural councils and 38 Newcomers Network throughout New Zealand and national councils for women, youth, seniors and business. 

“It is important to note that Race Relations Day will fall very close to the anniversary of the brutal and tragic 15 March 2019 attacks against Muslim worshippers in Otautahi Christchurch. It is more important than ever that we are sensitive and culturally aware, so that we can unite in truly understanding one another. This will help us to build the harmonious and multicultural Aotearoa we all desire,” says Foon.

In addition to the events for Race Relations Day, the Human Rights Commission have also worked to collate a list of events that are occurring throughout Aotearoa New Zealand which will be commemorating the events of March 15.

Click here to download this year's Race Relations Day posters. 

If you have any questions, please contact Shaymaa Arif ([email protected]) or Lewis Hudson ([email protected])

North Island Events

The Pride and Prejudice Panel
Wellington, 6th March (6pm-8pm)

We are living in challenging times for queer and trans folks in Aotearoa and around the world. Prejudice, discrimination and violence impact us in different ways, so it can feel hard building connection even within our communities. We’re not the only ones facing challenges. This is the time when we need to build relationships across different communities and support each other – and keep everyone safer

Our panel are folks working to build community and speak back to discrimination in Aotearoa, especially around racism. Come listen and make connections for change.

See more here

Let's Deal With It (postponed until further notice)
Auckland, 13th March 2020 (2pm - 4pm)
Organisation: Let's Deal with it NZ

‘Let's Deal With It - Eliminating Discrimination' is Shakti Community Council's 2020 campaign. The campaign is being launched in Parliament and we are marking the start of this journey by hosting table talk events in civic spaces across the country.

Alongside our partner Ara Taiohi, various local Rotary clubs, and our key supporting organization Zonta International, we are pleased to bring you an event centred around conversations with a safe space for everyone to participate. Alongside a brief line-up of speakers, we invite you to sit around a table with tea and cookies and use Ara Taiohi's amazing resource 'Mosaic: Social Cohesion cards' to chat with those on your table.

See more here

this is us 2020
Auckland, 15th - 27th March 2020
Organisation: Lake House Arts Centre and Takapuna North Community Trust

Lake House Arts Centre, in collaboration with Takapuna North Community Trust, invites you to their Community Day on the 21st of March. Learn more about the rich cultures which form our community and meet those who wish to share their culture with you! This day was partly inspired by the 'Give Nothing to Racism' campaign and the numerous other celebrations of culture and inclusivity which are already so important to communities all over Auckland. We also remember with aroha those affected by the Christchurch Tragedy in 2019.

There will be various activity stalls on the lawn from 10am, important speakers, cultural music and dance performances, cultural food trucks and children's art all over the building! Free entry all day.

See more here

ROAR: A Racial Equity School Programme
Auckland, 16th March 2020 (4.30pm-6.30pm)
Organisation: Courageous Conversation Global Foundation and Courageous Conversation South Pacific Institute (CCSPI)

This free event is open to all secondary school staff already involved in or keen to learn about ROAR - Rangatahi Organised Against Racism - a youth leadership programme which empowers youth to talk about race and the impact of race in their lives.

See more here

ROAR: A Racial Equity Workshop for High School Students
Auckland, 17th March 2020 (9am-4pm)
Organisation: Courageous Conversation Global Foundation and Courageous Conversation South Pacific Institute (CCSPI)

This free event is for high school students who are interested in learning more about the Courageous Conversation protocol that underpins ROAR (Rangatahi Organised Against Racism).

See more here

Post Christchurch: Hate Speech, political discourse, and religious diversity. What lies ahead?
Auckland, 18th March 2020 (7pm-9pm)
Organisation: Pearl of the Islands Foundation

An hour-long panel discussion. It’s been a year since the Christchurch terrorist attacks. How have hate speech and political discourse evolved since March 15? Are we now at a time where hateful language directed towards ethnic and faith communities around the world has become normalised? Or has New Zealand made progress since then? How do we understand the landscape of social harms caused by words and their relationship to action? Are there new ways of balancing freedoms and constraints around public discourse in the present-day? And where does responsibility on these issues lie?

Join us for an insightful panel discussion on these issues with an excellent line up of distinguished speakers who are experts in their respective fields. Registration is essential. Refreshments will be provided.

See more here

Panel: Hate speech, political discourse, and religious diversity
Auckland, 18th March 2020 (5pm - 8pm)
Organisation: AUT - Auckland University of Technology

It’s been a year since the Christchurch terrorist attacks. How have hate speech and political discourse evolved since March 15? Are we now at a time where hateful language directed towards ethnic and faith communities around the world has become normalised? Or has New Zealand made progress since then? How do we understand the landscape of social harms caused by words and their relationship to action? Are there new ways of balancing freedoms and constraints around public discourse in the present-day? And where does responsibility on these issues lie?

Join us for an insightful panel discussion on these issues with an excellent line up of distinguished speakers who are experts in their respective fields.

See more here

Race Relations Day Youth Conference
Auckland, 19th March 2020 (8.30am-3.30pm)
Organisation: Rangatahi Organised Against Racism

The aim for this conference is to come together as youth to enable space for racial consciousness and racial healing by engaging, sustaining and deepening our conversations about race and racism in Aotearoa New Zealand.  This is a free event with Kai and performances included. Join our movement ROAR and let your voices be heard.

Mā whiritahi, ka whakatutuku ai ngā pūmanawa ā tangata | Together weaving the realisation of potential.

See more here

Te Tiriti Based Futures + Anti-Racism 2020
Auckland, 21st - 30th March 2020
Organisation: Independent Maori and Pakeha organisers

This will be a 10-day long series of events starting with a one-day hui and including webinars, public talks, discussions, workshops and more. This initiative is a response to a challenge from Māori wanting increased education efforts around decolonisation. The event is based on community Tiriti education principles, pedagogies and on-going reflections.

See more here

21st Tauranga Multicultural Celebration
Tuaranga, 22nd March 2020 (10am-5pm)
Organisation: Tauranga Multicultural Council

The 21st Tauranga Multicultural Celebration will be opened by the Mayor. There will be a karakia and a powhiri followed by Pacific Island dance. This will be followed by stage performers from across the world who will enthrall audiences with the vibrance of costumes and music.

There will be community food stalls as well as commercial food trucks serving cuisine from all corners of the world from America to Zimbabwe. We will also have a Kiwi sausage sizzle! Craft stalls will be selling international arts and crafts.

See more here

Peacenic 2020
Auckland, 22nd March (11am-3pm)
Organisation: Council of Christians and Muslims

The Council of Christians and Muslims (CCM) are proud to bring to you the fifth annual Peacenic - a picnic for peace. As tensions rise around the world - made worse by religious "hijacking" - it has become even more critical to make time to get to know one another. Peacenic’s objective is to foster friendships amongst the various faith communities by breaking bread together in some idyllic location in Tāmaki Makaurau.

This year’s picnic will be held in the Auckland Domain [gather near the band rotunda], and has been scheduled during the month of March in recognition of the significant events that occur during this month, including International Women’s Day, the death of 51 New Zealanders on the 15th of March 2019 and Race Relations Day.

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Anti-racism webinar watch party
Wellington, 22nd March 2020 (4pm-7.30pm)
Organisation: STIR:Stop Institutional Racism

Join us for a webinar on "Institutional Racism in the Health and Education Sector" presented by our Acting co-president Heather Came-Friar. The webinar is part of Tiriti-based Futures, a free, webinar-based conference to help all of us address racism in our communities using the Treaty as our founding document. The conference is the brainchild of PHA's Special Interest Group, Stop Institutional Racism

See more here

Captain Cook and the Doctrine of Discovery
Auckland, 25th March (6pm-8pm)
Organisation: Tāmaki Treaty Workers

Cook's ‘discovery’ of New Zealand was one of many examples of Europeans ‘discovering’ lands long occupied by indigenous peoples. Dr Susan Healy and Dr Tim McCreanor bring this successful event to the North Shore. They will discuss where this concept came from and how it continues to affect us.

See more here

South Island Events

CommUNITY Extravaganza
Timaru, 7th March 2020 (10.30am-3pm)
Organisation: Canterbury Migrant Centre

Celebrate South Canterbury’s rich cultural diversity on Race Relations Day. Activities include lantern making, henna painting, traditional dress up, photo booths and more. There will be performances from local cultural groups, community information stalls and Lego mania for kids to create and build!

See more here

Dunedin Race Relations Week 2020 Opening Powhiri
Dunedin, 14th March 2020 (10.30pm-2.30pm)
Organisation: Dunedin Multi-Ethnic Council and Araiteuru Marae

Dunedin Race Relations Week 2020 starts with an opening powhiri at Araiteuru Marae. This powhiri invites everyone from all ethnicities, cultures and countries to gather under one roof, to celebrate inclusive diversity in Dunedin.

See more here

Dunedin Race Relations Week Forum
Dunedin, 19th March 2020 (6.30pm - 8.30pm)
Organisation: Dunedin Multi-ethnic Council

Come visit this forum to hear insights into race relations in Aotearoa New Zealand from our new Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon, former refugee now community leader Guled Mire and Dunedin Arai Te Uru Marae leader Tania Williams.

See more here

Hakatere Home and Heritage 2020
Ashburton, 21st March 2020
Organisation: Ashburton District Council

The Welcoming Communities programme is celebrating cultural heritage in the Ashburton District by creating a photobook of residents wearing clothing that represents their heritage. If you or your family have some heritage clothing and would like to be photographed for the Hakatere Home & Heritage photobook, please visit their website and fill out the short form.

See more here

Kotahitaka Day and Dunedin Race Relations Week Closing Celebration
Dunedin, 22nd March 2020 (1pm-4pm)
Organisation: Dunedin Multiethnic Council

Kotahitaka Day marks the anniversary of the Christchurch terror attacks and Otago Anniversary weekend. Both anniversaries speak to the heritage and diversity of New Zealand. Spurred on by horror and tragedy, but responded to by collaboration, love and trust, we hope Kotahitaka Day will be an annual celebration nationwide.

Traditional kiwi and multicultural foods will be available or bring your own picnic. Enjoy performances representing a circumnavigation of the world, culminating in the Pacific Islands and NZ for the finale. Family, friends, and neighbours are all welcome and please don’t leave without making a new friend.

See more here

Race Unity Day 2020
Nelson, 22nd March 2020 (11am-4pm)
Organisation: Multicultural Nelson Tasman

Free event. Celebrating unity in diversity. Be inspired by the kaleidoscope of delicious food and brilliant entertainment by our rich multicultural community. Choose from over 50 tantalizing food stalls that will delight your senses. Check out the arts and crafts and community/educational stalls. Enjoy the music, songs, and dance from around the world.

Bring your family and friends along for Nelson's best day out!

See more here

Nowruz (Persian new year) Celebration
Christchurch, 21st March 2020 (10.30am-3pm)
Organisation: Christchurch Iranian Society

This year the Christchurch Iranian Society for the first time is celebrating Nowruz at Bridge of Remembrance by displaying "Sofreh Haft Sin" or "Haft Seen" on Saturday 21st March 2020 (10:30 am -3:00 pm) and we proudly invite you to join us for this ancient celebration. "Haft Sin" is a historical symbolic spread that is consisted of seven items, one of which representing a concept. This spread is arranged either on the floor or on a tabletop right before Nowruz, the Persian New Year. Today, Nowruz is the traditional Iranian festival of spring, which starts at the exact moment of the vernal equinox and marks the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. It usually occurs on March 21 or the previous/following day, depending on where it is observed. It has been celebrated for over 3,000 years in Iran (Persia), Central Asia, the Caucasus, Western Asia, the Black Sea Basin, and the Balkans.

Given Race Relations Day proximity to the 15th March, we have also started to collate a list of events in which communities will be coming together to commemerate the anniversary of the Christchurch tragedy

March 15 Events

North Island Events

Ko Tatou, Tatou - We Are One
Aukland, 15th March 2020 (2pm, - 3.30pm)
Organisation: The Auckland Interfaith Council

Event organised in solidarity with the martyr’s families and survivors of 15 March 2019. AIFC will be hosting an event where several diverse faith traditions will come together for this purpose in prayer and gathering.

See more here

Memorial Prayer Service for the Martyrs of 15th March 2019
Auckland, 15th March 2020, (12.30pm-3.30pm)
Organisation: Somali Education and Development Trust

A memorial prayer service for the victims of Christchurch terror attack in March the 15th 2019.The memorial prayer service in 15th March, 2020, will be the first anniversary event that commemorates the 51 lives that were lost. This event will show that the victims are living in our hearts and are not forgotten and shows support for the victim's families.

See more here

South Island Events

Run around Hagley Park- Supporting the Christchurch Victims
Christchurch, 13th, 20th, 27th March 2020 (12.10pm-1.10pm)
Organisation: Muslims In New Zealand

On Friday 15 March, 50 kiwis had their lives taken. So, we will run to remember and honour each person and to demonstrate unity.

Every Friday at 12:15pm the run will be around Hagley Park. Meeting at the corner of Park Terrace and Harper Ave by the bridge. We will run towards the Masjid Al Noor Mosque - towards those in need. You can do one run or all 50. Fitness need not stop you from joining in, you can walk or run and go as far as you wish.

See more here

Colour Your Day - Christchurch Youth Gathering
Christchurch, 13th March 2020 (4.30pm)
Organisation: Colour Your Day

I'd like to invite all young people (as well as our community) in Christchurch to join myself and other young people at Hagley Park at 4:30pm on Friday 13th March to commemorate 1 year since the March tragedy.

This is an opportunity for young people to share a space where they can pay their respects and share their love with other young people. No matter what school you go to, what nationality you are, or where you come from, I invite you all to join with me in commemorating 1 year. Let’s show the world the power of young people and the power of us all uniting as one. Let’s change culture and continue to build a bright and amazing future.

See more here

Togetherness Tour Kotahitanga
Christchurch, 13th-15th March 2020
Organisation: Voice of Islam

We are very blessed to have international speakers, Yusuf Chambers (UK), John Fontain (UK) and Fahad Tasleem (USA) who will be speakers throughout the evening. They will do a short talk, followed by Q+A session and will meet with visitors. We strongly encourage all you to take part in this short but important event!

See this event and others being held throughout the country by following the link below.

See more here

Christchurch Remembrance Exhibition - UMAH Day
Christchurch, 15th March 2020 (10am-4pm)
Organisation: FIANZ

An Exhibition to understand the Islamic systems, way of life, principles, values, culture, history and harmony will be held in Wellington this year in the memory of Christchurch terror attack. A centrepiece with flowers representing the fifty-one lost lives will be present in the event giving everyone an opportunity to remember the martyrs in their own way. The visitors and their families will have the opportunity through attending this free one day mini-conference to explore the displayed posters and presentations and have further discussions with the presenters as well as contributing to the centrepiece. In addition to the posters and centrepiece, the event will have a photo exhibition to reflect different values from Muslims' way of life.

See more here

Peace Train Interfaith Bike Ride 2020
Christchurch, 22nd March 2020
Organisation: We All Belong NZ

An ‘Interfaith Bicycle Ride’ that builds secular bridges between various places of worship in and around the Christchurch City Centre and to acknowledge all forms of diversity in the city.

After March 15 last year, Christchurch woke up to a horrid reality and a beautiful coming together of the community topped by the warmth of the Peace Train Bicycle Ride connecting several faiths across the city centre by foot and bikes.

See more here