Clark unveils key race relations document
4:00AM Wednesday August 27, 2008
By Lincoln Tan

A national statement on race relations was launched by the Prime Minister Helen Clark yesterday at the Diversity Forum in Auckland, after a flight delay prevented her from doing so on Monday.

The statement, which has been described as a landmark document on race relations, hopes to find common ground among New Zealanders.

Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres said: "It is an important document, to give us a checklist of issues if you like, for us to measure and monitor the state of our relations."

The issues include the Treaty of Waitangi, freedom from discrimination, freedom of expression, safety, participation, equal opportunities, newcomers, education for diversity and cultural identity.

The statement acknowledged that the foundations for racial equality in New Zealand were laid at the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 between representatives of Maori and the Crown.

"The Treaty is a work in progress which recognises the rights of not just Maori and Pakeha, but the rights of all others who subsequently settled in New Zealand," said Mr de Bres.

He said the statement would become a "starting point" for schools and communities to "hold conversations on race relations".

More here.