Race Relations Day 21 March 2021

On Sunday 21 March 2021, it is officially Race Relations Day where many organisations and individuals around the country will be running events for the coming weeks and even months, related to the celebration of a multicultural Aotearoa New Zealand. We look forward to hosting and taking part in Race Relations Week 2021.

March has become even more symbolic, requiring us to pause, reflect and honour the memory of the protestors in South Africa in 1960, and also the Shuhada who were killed on our shores only two years ago in the name of racism and ignorance. We have worked alongside Multicultural New Zealand and have decided that the theme this year will be E haere tahi ana (Walking together). The idea is that no matter what communities we may belong to in Aotearoa, we are all navigating the journey of a more inclusive society grounded on Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and the journey is made easier when we support one another. This reflects the Whakataukī “Kia whakatōmuri te haere whakamua”: “I walk backwards into the future with my eyes fixed on my past”.  If we are to truly respect and create a multicultural Aotearoa, we must look to the past, to inform the future.

This year, Te Kāhui Tika Tangata (The Human Rights Commission) will be hosting an online event on Monday 22 March 2021. Our events will be open for the public and will include a panel. More information on our event (along with other Community-led events) is available below! We look forward to hosting and taking part in Race Relations Week 2021 especially during the crucial month of March.

If you have any questions or comments, or would like to add your event to the list, please feel free to message [email protected] [email protected]  


Upper Hutt Multicultural council Race Relations Day Inter-School Debate
Upper Hutt Library, 844 Fergusson Drive, Upper Hutt, 15 April 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm hosted by Upper Hutt Multicultural council

Moot: New Zealand is a Te Triti based multicultural society. Context: Race Relations Day is celebrated annually on 21st March, which also marks The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Every year the Race Relations Commissioner/Commission assists and leads to facilitate a theme in observance of this day around New Zealand. For 2021, the theme is: 'E haere tahi ana' 'Walking together' The Upper Hutt Multicultural Council acknowledges the significance of this day by hosting the Race Relations Day Inter-School Debate, and is a great way for our rangatiratanga to express their views on topics that is relevant and thought provoking for the future of our nation. Details of the event is below: Date: 15 April 2020 Time: 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm Venue: Upper Hutt Library, 844 Fergusson Drive, Upper Hutt There will be prizes for the winning school and a prize for the best speaker. Every debater will be acknowledged with a certificate of participation. This event is hosted in partnership with the Human Rights Commission with special guests including parliamentarians and elders from the community have been invited to this event. Out of respect for the Human Rights Commission and the spirit of Race Relations Day, we encourage debaters to keep in mind a perspective of all people being equal and welcome in New Zealand while you develop your arguments.


Festival of Cultures
Te Marae o Hine | The Square, Palmerston North, Wed 24 Feb – Sat 27 Feb 2021 hosted by PNCC

Try your hand at one of the IPU workshops or head along to the Teas and Coffees of the World workshop. See this year’s Brazilian inspired lantern parade on Friday 26 February at Te Marae o Hine – The Square. Light up Palmy with your homemade lights and lanterns ready to salsa and Samba. Join us for the World Fair Day on 27 February from 10am and experience crafts, food, performances and family fun from around the world.

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International Cultures Day
Te Marae o Hine | The Square, Palmerston North, Wed 24 Feb – Sat 27 Feb 2021 hosted by Multicultural Associastion, Hawkes Bay Inc

Don’t miss the biggest international cultural celebration in Hawke’s Bay! Enjoy a day of performances from the many cultural groups living in the region, sample the variety of delicious food from all over the world (please bring cash), and learn about the various services available to the members of the community. Contact [email protected] for more information.

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MultiFest 2021
at Epuni Community Hall, 37 Mitchell St, Epuni, Lower Hutt, Wellington Region 11 am – 3:00 pm on Saturday 6 March 2021 hosted by Hutt Multicultural Council

Over 22 performances (inside and outside), 7 Food stalls and Trucks, 11 information and general stalls. From 2:15pm Holi Festival. Dancing, music and a lot of fun, Come and join the MultiFest. Ethnic food from the Philippines, India, Uzbekistan, Samoa, South East Asia and Argentina.

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Multi Ethnic Parade
at Clock Tower, 2 Robe Street, New Plymouth, Taranaki 9:30 am – 10:30 am on Saturday 6 March 2021 hosted by Taranaki Multi Ethnic Council

This is a colourful Multicultural Parade that will begin at the New Plymouth Clock Tower and proceed through the city along Devon Street. Many local Ethnic communities proudly march in the parade in their national costumes to showcase the magnificent representation of our multiculturalism in Taranaki. This event will precede the Taranaki Multi Ethnic Extravaganza at the New Plymouth Raceway.

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Taranaki Multi Ethnic Extravaganza
at New Plymouth Raceway, Rogan Street, New Plymouth, Taranaki 11:00 am- 3:00 pm on Saturday 6 March 2021 hosted by Taranaki Multi Ethnic Council

Come and Celebrate Diversity, Come Celebrate you! The Taranaki Multi-Ethnic Extravaganza is an annual event organised by the Taranaki Multi-Ethnic Council (TMEC). Join us as we showcase and celebrate the cultural traditions that contribute to the cultural tapestry of the Taranaki Region. The Extravaganza traditionally starts with the colourful Multicultural Parade down Devon Street, in the heart of New Plymouth City, starting at 9:30 a.m. from the Clock Tower. Following the parade from 11:00am, the New Plymouth Raceway on Rogan Street opens its doors and outside areas for breath-taking live performances, arts and crafts, community information stalls, delicious food stalls, activities for children and much more. Hear It, See It, Experience It! Entry – gold coin donation. Please contact [email protected] for more information.

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Katikati Festival of Cultures
at Main Road, Katikati (Street Parade at 10 am) Haiku Park (Food Market at 10 am) and Haiku Park (Performances 11 am – 2 pm) on Saturday 6 March 2021 on hosted by Katikati Community

The Katikati Festival of Cultures promotes a feeling of community and inclusion within the wonderful town of Katikati, and celebrates all the unique cultures within it. This beautiful celebration includes a street parade through Katikati town, vibrant cultural performances, and dozens of food and craft stalls. If you are a cultural group who would like to perform on stage or join the culturally diverse parade through the heart of Katikati. Please contact [email protected] for more information.

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Pasifika Festival 2021
at Western Springs Park, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland on Saturday and Sunday 13 and 14 March 2021 hosted by Auckland Unlimited (Auckland Council Org)

Experience the best of the South Pacific at the largest Pacific Island cultural festival of its kind in the world.

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Tauranga Multicultural Festival
at Historic Village, Seventeenth Avenue,Tauranga 10 am – 5 pm on Saturday 20 March 2021 hosted by Tauranga City Council

The Multicultural Festival is a celebration of cultures of people living in our community. This event boasts food stalls, performances, art and craft , interactive cultural experiences and more! Gold coin entry.

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Southland Multicultural Food Festival
at ILT Stadium, Southland 10 am – 6 pm on Saturday 20 March 2021 hosted by Southland Multicultural Council

Gold Coin Entry. The Southland Multicultural Food Festival 2021 is here once again and we invite you to witness and take part in this grand celebration. Food Stalls and performers from diverse culture is the highlight of this event that will capture more of this gastronomic celebration. An event that you don't want to miss for your family, a whole day of fun, food and entertainment showcasing a variety of cuisine and multicultural performers and many more!

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Panel for Race Relations Day 2021
at Virtual 11 am – 12:30 pm on 21 March 2021 hosted by New Zealand Human Rights Commission

More coming soon<

Sunday sounds: Multicultural Music
at Dunedin Botanic Garden, Opoho Rd, Dunedin, Otago 1 pm – 2:30 pm on 21 March 2021 hosted by Dunedin Multi-Ethnic Council

Join the Dunedin Multi-Ethnic Council for a showcase of cultural diversity from local talent. A great opportunity to enjoy cross-cultural performances with beautiful costumes from communities in the Dunedin region. There will be dance and music performances from Sri Lankan, Malayali and Tamil communities, and many more. Event will only go ahead in Covid Alert Level 1.

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Te Rā Whanaungatanga: Commemorating International Race Relations Day
at Wellington National Library on 22 March 2021 hosted by Te Ahumairangi (ground floor), National Library, corner Molesworth and Aitken St, Thorndon, Wellington

Commemorate International Race Relations Day and learn about the bicultural foundations of our constitutional history! Our friendly Learning Facilitators will guide you through the He Tohu exhibition, focussing on our past, our present, and our future as a nation. All levels of knowledge are welcome, and we encourage participants to think about something they can do to help create a better future.

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Hibiscus Multicultural Festival
at Sportscave, HBC, 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm on Friday 26 March 2021 hosted by Future Whangaparoa Trust, Tamariki Coasties Playgroup, Sportscave HBC

A free event to celebrate our multicultural community! Featuring dance, music, kapahaka and free activities. Enjoy dinner from one of the delicious food stalls.

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Multicultural Festival 2021
at Victory Square, Nelson 11 am- 4 pm on Sunday 28 March 2021 hosted by Multicultural Nelson Tasman

Be inspired by the kaleidoscope of delicious food and brilliant entertainment by our rich multicultural community. Choose from a number of 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!

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National Remembrance Service
at Christchurch Arena, Christchurch on 13 March 2021 3 pm – 4:30 pm hosted by Christchurch City Council

To mark the second anniversary of the mosques’ attacks, a National Remembrance Service, Ko Tātou, Tātou We Are One, will be held at Christchurch Arena. The service is free to attend, however due to limited capacity in Christchurch Arena, bookings will be required. More information on how to book will be released closer to the time.

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