Social inclusion

The terrorist attacks against Christchurch Masjidain on 15 March 2019, and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the attacks, revealed a high degree of racism and discrimination against Muslim communities in New Zealand.   

Since 15th March, the Human Rights Commission has tried to demonstrate solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters, engaged with the Royal Commission on multiple occasions, and repeatedly called for systemic change and greater social inclusion. In line with our statutory responsibilities, we aim to do all we can to build on the Royal Commission’s report and advance real change in Aotearoa, consistent with the country’s national and international human rights promises and Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

The Government, in the aftermath of the Report, has a critical human rights duty to ensure the rights of the affected whānau, survivors and witnesses to reparation and access to justice are met. The Human Rights Commission is working to promote and uphold an outcome where the affected whānau, survivors and witnesses have access to remedies that appropriately and effectively address the human rights violations they have suffered, and where their other human rights are also fulfilled.

HRC considers that tikanga Māori has an important place in the provision of ongoing support for the community. Tikanga Māori are the first laws of Aotearoa, providing deeply embedded systems and practices to regulate behaviour. A Te Tiriti o Waitangi based, collaborative approach that draws on te Ao Māori laws and practices may give better recognition to the collective needs and involvement of the affected whānau, survivors and witnesses of these attacks.

The RCOI Report also includes a consideration of social cohesion and embracing diversity. One of the Commission’s strategic priorities is ensuring that Aotearoa is a fully inclusive society where the human rights of all people are respected, understood and upheld, and where everyone enjoys a sense of belonging and equal opportunity to participate in society.

Read our reflections on the report of the RCI on terrorist attacks on Christchurch Masjidain. This report is available in Arabic and Farsi.