On 22 and 23 August 2010 I was one of the lucky participants in the 6th annual New Zealand Diversity Forum, which this year was held for the first time in Christchurch.
The Forum is a joint venture of the Human Rights Commission and of the members of the Diversity Action Programme. Some 250 organisations, including Christchurch City Libraries, contribute projects to the Programme to foster its vision of “Aotearoa New Zealand: Diverse, Equal, Harmonious”.
More specifically the Programme aims to:
- Recognise and celebrate the cultural diversity of our society
- Promote the equal enjoyment by everyone of their civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, regardless of race, colour, ethnicity or national origin
- Foster harmonious relations between diverse peoples
In light of the various public controversies over race relations that have erupted in the last few months (Andy Haden, the Manurewa Cosmopolitan Club, David Fane, Hone Harawira, and of course, just in this last fortnight, Paul Henry), it is easy to forget the many positive contributions and achievements that have been quietly taking place.
The Plenary presentation by Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres offers a good overview of the main successes and challenges for race relations in 2010. Given that his powerpoint slides are available in their entirety I won’t try to summarise them; however, here are some suggestions on how to keep up-to-date with what’s happening in the diversity arena in Aotearoa:
- join the mailing list of the Human Rights Commission to receive their newsletters. You can choose from 9 different titles – some relate specifically to the Diversity Action Programme and race relations, while the others deal with disability, transgender and Treaty issues
- follow @nzdiversity on Twitter
- follow the Diversity Action Programme on Facebook
- subscribe to the RSS feed of news from the Human Rights Commission