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Record and report racism: Devoy

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 20/03/2017
Dame Susan Devoy has praised a taxi driver who made a complaint about an off-duty police officer. © Sandra Mu/Getty Images Dame Susan Devoy has praised a taxi driver who made a complaint about an off-duty police officer.

To mark Race Relations Day, Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is calling for people to record racist attacks.

Recording attacks are a way to support those being attacked and to ensure they are reported, she says.

"When we see yet another racist attack on the news we need to ask ourselves: Is this us? Is this the kind of country we want to be? If the answer is no, then we need to do something," Dame Susan said on Tuesday.

Ethnic minorities were recently reporting more racist attacks, which was in step with events overseas, she said.

"What we do now really matters and that's why we want people to be prepared to stand up for what they believe in: whether we let our country become a place where abusing someone because of their race is normal or not - that part's up to us, all of us."

March 21 is International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which marks the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre where 69 black South African citizens,including 10 children, were shot dead by police during protests.

Race Relations Day events are being held across New Zealand, and Dame Susan said this showed how deeply many Kiwis felt about the issue.

"We are celebrating race relations in our provinces and smaller towns not just our big cities. While we have our tough times we do care about and respect each other and it shows."

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