Our Work

Cultural diversity and harmonious race relations are promoted through a variety of activities around Race Relations Day, and every day through promoting and protecting the rights of diverse ethnic and religious groups. The Commission encourages all Kiwis to stand up against racial abuse and discrimination; to not be bystanders. Our work in this area is led by Commissioner for Race Relations Dame Susan Devoy.

We work in partnership with others to help individuals and organisations around New Zealand to understand their rights and meet their legal responsibilities. We do this by working with government, business, community partners, education providers, the media and workplaces.

We do this in a range of ways, from running community development programmes on issues such as disability rights, the rights of children and young people, along with a bilingual kaupapa Māori community development programme, Tūhonohono, and the Te Mana i Waitangi programme to promote the human rights dimensions of the Treaty of Waitangi.

We also work internationally, hosting visiting delegations from places such as Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Samoa, and provide advice on the responsibilities of national human rights institutions.

The full list of Commission projects, programmes and events relating to race relations and diversity are listed below.

Race Relations Day

Race Relations Day has been a key event in the Commission’s work programme for over a decade. The day serves as a reminder of the importance of harmonious race relations in helping to ensure the realisation of a range of human rights. Learn more about Race Relations Day, view events, and access resources here.

Talking About Ourselves: New Zealand's changing face and the role of our media

Talking About Ourselves is a media scan that collates and analyses news reports by about race relations in New Zealand over the 2014 period. Read the report here

Speak Up” – “Kōrerotia

Speak Up” – “Kōrerotia is the radio show of the New Zealand Human Rights Commission engaging in conversations around race and diversity in our country. You can listen to the show here

NZ Diversity Action Programme

The New Zealand Diversity Action Programme is community initiative promoting positive race relations in New Zealand. Read more about the Programme here.

New Zealand Diversity Forum

The New Zealand Diversity Forum, which is facilitated by the Human Rights Commission, brings together individuals and organisations to share ideas and good practice on fostering cultural diversity and positive race relations. Read more here.

NZ Diversity Action Awards

The NZ Diversity Action Awards recognise organisations that have made an outstanding contribution to community development and cultural diversity. Read about the awards here.

Race Unity Speech Awards

The Race Unity Speech Awards is a speech competition for high school students that runs alongside Race Relations Day. The Human Rights Commission sets speech topic each year (usually to coincide with the theme for Race Relations Day). Read about the speech awards here.

Human Rights and Race Relations review

The Commission launched its major report card on the state of human rights in New Zealand in 2010.This Review included a number of chapters relating to the state of race relations and diversity in Aotearoa. Read the report here.

Review of Race Relations

Every year the Commission publishes a report that surveys general developments in race relations over the last year, collates key data, analyses complaints and gives an overview of race relations research. Read the Review of Race Relations here.

Statement of Race Relations

The Statement on Race Relations presents principles that provide a human rights framework for discussion on issues raised by New Zealand’s increasing cultural diversity. 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. Learn more about the statement here.

Guidelines on Measures to Ensure Equality

The Commission has created guidelines on measures to ensure equality in Aotearoa New Zealand. Read the guidelines here.

Discrimination Research

UMR Research was commissioned to conduct a detailed report on race relations and Kiwis perceptions of discrimination in Aotearoa. Read the UMR Research Report here.

Statements and Speeches given by Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy

We have compiled a report of all the speeches and statements given by Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy between the years of 2014 and 2015. You can read Dame Susan Devoy's speeches and statements here (PDF) or in an Accessible Version here