Past work

Statement on Race Relations

The Statement on Race Relations presents 10 principles that provide a human rights framework for discussion on issues raised by New Zealand’s increasing cultural diversity.

The Statement on Race Relations was published in 2008 and launched at the New Zealand Diversity Forum by the Prime Minister and the Race Relations Commissioner.

The aim of the Statement is to foster discussion on key issues in race relations within a human rights framework, to capture key issues and principles around race relations, and to reflect community agreement on these issues.

The 10 principles of the statement

  • Acknowledging the Treaty as the nation’s founding document
  • Freedom from discrimination
  • Freedom of expression, including respecting the rights of others
  • The right to be free from harm
  • The opportunity to be involved in decision-making
  • The right to decent work, education, health services and housing
  • The right of newcomers to enjoy the same rights and opportunities as all New Zealanders
  • The opportunity to learn about our diverse society
  • The right to practise our own cultures and use our own languages
  • The responsibility to respect the rights and freedoms of others and to contribute to harmonious race relations.

Background to the Statement

The Statement on Race Relations follows on from the Statement on Religious Diversity which was published in May 2007.

The first draft of the Statement on Race Relations was released by the Race Relations Commissioner at the New Zealand Diversity Forum in 2007, as a project of the New Zealand Diversity Action Programme and comprised an introduction and a set of ten headings with corresponding statements on various key issues around race relations in New Zealand.

After the Diversity Forum a number of consultation meetings and roundtables were held across New Zealand to discuss the draft. The feedback from these meetings was used to prepare a second draft that was promoted in association with the 2008 Race Relations Day.

Roundtables of New Zealand Diversity Action Programme participants were held to consider the public feedback and the draft was further revised to reflect the outcome of this process and then presented in its final form at the New Zealand Diversity Forum 2008, one year from its original release.

View the Statement on Race Relations

For a hard copy of the booklet please email your request, along with your postal address, to [email protected].