Do we need a race relations commissioner?


Like Inventory 2 at Keeping Stock, I’m not sorry that Race Relations Comissioner Joris de Bres is coming to the end of his term.

Sometimes his pronouncements, or lack of them suggested he thought some races were more equal than others.

The Justice Ministry is inviting applications for a replacement..

It comes as an amendment to the Human Rights Act has been introduced to Parliament that could see the position abolished. Mr de Bres, 65, had “some concerns” about the possibility, but the amendment had not yet passed its first reading.

I have just read Alison Wong’s book As The Earth Turns Silver.

The plot is fiction but based on facts about discrimination against Chinese immigrants.  The book also depicts discrimination against women. It was less violent but still harmful.

Recent reaction to the sale of farms to Shanghai Pengxin,  shows that race relations haven’t progressed nearly as far as they need to.

But discrimination isn’t confined to race and I’m not convinced singling it out for special treatment is necessary when similar ignorance is directed at people for other reasons including, but not confined to, gender and disability.

All such discrimination is wrong and I think the Human Rights Commission ought to be able to counter it without the need for individual commissioners.

Address causes not symptoms, Joris


Joris de Bres  has leapt on the inequality band wagon:

The Race Relations Commissioner says inequality is still the most pressing race relations issue facing New Zealand.

Joris de Bres says New Zealand must continue efforts to address the “appalling” rate of Maori youth unemployment and recognise the need to keep people in work.

Inequality is a symptom, it’s not the problem.

Unemployment is a problem but it won’t be solved until the causes are addressed, among which are poor education, poor health, and drug and alcohol abuse.

Good call


The walkout from the UN racism conference in Geneva confirms that New Zealand’s decision not to send attend was a good call.

I wonder if the hand wringers who were lamenting the decision yesterday will admit they were wrong?

UPDATE: Keeping Stock  posts that Joris de Bres, our Race relations Comissioner is attending the conference. Wonder if he walked out too?

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