Talking Points

Racism is prevalent in New Zealand, says report

Racism is prevalent in New Zealand

Is New Zealand racist? The Human Rights Commission (HRC) addressed the question head-on in its latest report, Drivers of migrant New Zealanders’ experiences in racism. And yes, HRC concluded, racism is prevalent in New Zealand.

The survey essentially revealed two things:

  • New Zealanders are less and less positive towards migrants.
  • Migrants experience fear, loss of culture and identity due to racism. Many respondents said that racism led to exclusion, colonised thinking and judgement of their own culture, to the extent of changing how they dressed, spoke and acted to ‘fit in’.

“Migrants must feel safe in expressing their language, culture, and identity. This is their home,” said Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon.

From health and employment through to housing, education, and the justice system, the impacts of racism are far-reaching. The key question is, where to from here? The research findings will help inform a national plan against racism, which – Foon added – should include the honouring of the Treaty of Waitangi.

His final message is one of empowerment: “We must support our migrant communities to identify their own solutions to racism. This will empower their voices, validate their lived experiences, and help them take ownership and action in response to racism.”

Are you experiencing racial discrimination? Here’s what you can do

Did you know that you can submit a free, informal enquiry or complaint to the Human Rights Commission? HRC can help with advice and information, and will mediate your complaint if necessary – click here to learn more.