Race Relations Day 21 March 2019

Race Relations Day on Thursday 21 March provides an opportunity to celebrate and experience many of New Zealand’s more than 200 ethnic communities. March 21 marks the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination which is observed globally to remember 1960 Sharpeville Massacre when 69 black South African citizens - including ten children - were shot to death by their own police for protesting against racial apartheid laws.

In Aotearoa New Zealand, events in March, April and May, are held around Race Relations Day providing the opportunity for all peoples to come together, learn from each other, share, celebrate and enjoy the richness of shared cultural experiences. This year's theme is "Our people, our cultures, our languages - O tātou iwi, ō tātou ahurea, ō tātou reo."

Being together, talking and walking together, provides each of us with an individual strength. A strength to be comfortable in who we are and who we want to be, in the communities in which we live and achieve a sense of belonging. Cultural connectedness creates stronger and safer communities, for all of us. 

We encourage everyone to take a moment, and learn more about the people in your community, the many cultures that contribute to making Aotearoa New Zealand so diverse and have a go at learning a few new kupu (words), from a new reo (language) and cultural songs. 

New Zealand is now one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world. Race Relations Day enables all New Zealanders to celebrate and share their own culture, while also enjoying the culture of others. To celebrate and support the sharing of language, culture practise, ideas and food, a number of events have been organised around the country. 

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 presides over 23 constituent regional multicultural councils and 38 Newcomers Network throughout New Zealand and national councils for women, youth, seniors and business. 

Download the calendar of events here: PRINT and DIGITAL

Celebrating Race Relations Day at your school

Race Relations Day is a time is a great opportunity to celebrate cultural diversity at your school. The Race Unity Speech Competition 2019 will kick off in March with competitions held in twelve districts across the country, culminating in national finals. 

This year we will be celebrating the incredible young New Zealanders who took part in last year’s Race Unity Speech Competition by promoting their speeches and memorable quotes. Their korero will be promoted across our social media channels and will soon be able to be downloaded from our website.

We've also created a list of resources and suggested activities that will help your students and school celebrate Race Relations Day. View them here.

Celebrating Race Relations Day at your workplace

Race Relations Day is a time to reflect on our journey towards being a culturally diverse and inclusive nation. Here are some ways that you can celebrate Race Relations Day at your workplace.

You can also use Race Relations Day to come together over food! The Commission has launched 'Food Culture', a page that celebrates the cultural foods of all Kiwis this Race Relations Day. It'll include recipes from some well-known foodies – as well as some lesser known but very keen ones.

Race Relations Day Posters 

More information coming soon.

Social Media Campaign

This year we will also be encouraging Kiwis to share their race relations experiences and hopes online via the hashtag #RaceRelationsDay. Follow us on Twitter @NZHumanRights or via the Commission’s Facebook page to get updates from us.