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Susan Devoy

RACE RELATIONS IN NEW ZEALAND

Last week the Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy wrote an open letter to all New Zealanders. She wants to hear your views on racism in New Zealand. The letter is part of the Human Rights Commission’s first nationwide anti-racism campaign.

Dame Susan says the That’s Us campaign, which asks Kiwis to share their own stories about “racism, intolerance and hatred” in New Zealand, is about “the kind of people we want to be”, and “the kind of country we want our kids growing up in”.

If you would like to reply to Dame Susan’s letter to you, her email address is SusanD@hrc.co.nz – or feedback can be provided through the special website www.thatsus.co.nz.

The Human Rights Commission has justified the campaign on the basis that New Zealand is an extremely diverse society, and since diverse societies elsewhere have become more racially intolerant, they expect it to occur here too. With around 400 formal complaints about racism received every year, the Commission wants public feedback: “if we’re going to better understand racism then we need to know what it is” – which in itself seems extraordinary!

In particular, they highlight “casual” or “quiet” racial intolerance – the type that they say occurs in everyday life and often goes unreported. As an example they cite the case of a woman registering students at a university, who “smiles at every other student but the brown ones”.

Clearly this campaign is an exercise in redefining racism to become substantially wider than what most rational people would assume it to be. It is a further example of the arrant nonsense emanating from the Race Relations Commissioner and the Human Rights Commission......

....However, in spite of there being a high threshold for prosecution, the activities of the Race Relations Commissioner continue to have a chilling effect on free speech – especially their media monitoring project, aimed at naming and shaming news outlets critical of Maori rights.

Over the years, vested Maori interests have learnt to use human rights laws to seek advantage, by using accusations of racism or intolerance to close down the debate, whenever anyone speaks out against their agenda.

The New Zealand Centre for Political Research has been the subject of such accusation when commenting on important matters such as the government’s plan to establish iwi control of the country’s fresh water. More recently we have been criticised for publishing details of where local body candidates stand on the vexed question of unelected representatives with voting rights being appointed onto Councils......
Continue reading Dr Muriel Newman’s ‘must read’ NZCPR newsletter here > http://www.nzcpr.com/race-relations-in-new-zealand/
2016


A MAGNIFICENT PANDEMONIUM  (By Lindsay Perigo)

This is the speech I delivered almost in its entirety in my capacity as special commentator, along with Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy, at Monday night’s semi-final in the intra-university Next Generation Debates series at Auckland University. I say “almost in its entirety” because a gaggle of Muslims became very vocal near the end of my speech and demanded, successfully, I be stopped at once for having gone over my allocated time. The point at which I was shut down is noted in the text below.

What a member of Young New Zealand First called “magnificent pandemonium” followed, with epithets flying back and forth, Dame Susan waiving her right of rebuttal and storming off from the table we were both sharing.

“That this House would ban religious symbols in public.”

I’m a libertarian. As a rule I don’t believe in banning anything … except banning. I don’t believe in banning religious symbols in public, even though I’m an atheist. [At this point the lights went out, and I declared myself a Believer. Then they came back on.] I often repair to the immortal maxim derived from Voltaire: “I disagree with what you say but I defend to the death your right to say it.”

What a magnificent sentiment!

Article 13 of our Bill of Rights says:
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion, and belief, including the right to adopt and to hold opinions without interference.

Article 14 says:
Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and opinions of any kind in any form.

Article 15 says:
Every person has the right to manifest that person’s religion or belief, in worship, observance, practice, or teaching, either individually or in community with others, and either in public or in private.

I agree with all that.

Unfortunately Article 4 makes it clear that this Bill of Rights can be trumped by legislation contrary to it, meaning the whole thing is a sham!

So that’s the first thing I’d do before worrying about the display of religious symbols: remove Article 4 from the Bill of Rights so that it really is a Bill of Rights.

Second, I’d abolish Dame Susan. Nothing personal! I’d just abolish the office of Race Relations Commissar and with it, the entire Human Rights Commission, to which I routinely refer as the Human Wrongs Commissariat. This cossetted coterie of taxpayer-supported fascists of the left just want to impose their precious, prissy, puritanical Political Correctness upon all of us. They’re our Thought Police, prattling on about diversity when they’re attempting to outlaw the most important diversity of all, ideological diversity and make their Political Correctness compulsory. Everything in their universe would be either illegal or compulsory. In my universe they’d have to find real jobs and the legislation that set them up would be repealed......
Lindsay Perigo’s full article here > http://www.nzcpr.com/a-magnificent-pandemonium/#more-19948
2016


UNDERMINING THE KIWI WAY

But it isn’t just radical environmentalists who threaten free speech.

This year, the Human Rights Commission appeared ready to jump down the throat of anyone daring to say “Merry Christmas”, accusing them of being “multiculturally insensitive”!

Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy, a patron of the Auckland Regional Migrant Services, suggested that New Zealanders should avoid using the word “Christmas” so new non-Christian migrants don’t feel excluded! But as a country with a strong Christmas tradition, this is a ludicrous suggestion.

In New Zealand we commemorate Christmas – its part of who we are as Kiwis. It’s a wonderful time of celebration and family. Christmas trees with lights and decorations, nativity scenes, Christmas carols, Father Christmas, Rudolf the red-nosed reindeer, gifts, mince pies and Christmas cake, and that incredible spirit of good cheer – is all part of a great national tradition. It doesn’t matter if someone is religious or not, everyone joins in. Christmas in New Zealand is as inclusive as it can get.

To justify her stance, Dame Susan reminds us that a million New Zealanders were born overseas and that many people come from non-Christian countries. While that may be true, it doesn’t mean they will feel excluded if others utter the word “Christmas”. And in any case, if they are upset by it or feel excluded then it is they who should change, not us – Christmas is, after all, an important part of our culture.....
Continue reading here > http://www.nzcpr.com/undermining-the-kiwi-way/
2015


DISCRIMINATION OR EQUALITY?

As we know, in the lead up to an election, the debate on controversial issues can become illogical. That was certainly the case when the Race Relations Commissioner, Dame Susan Devoy, attempted to close down the debate about Maori in New Zealand enjoying privilege in law. She said that politicians should “do the right thing and stick to those major issues that will help make New Zealand a better place for all our children to grow up in”.

When Dame Susan was first appointed to her position in 2013, in our article Race Relations we considered her biggest challenge was to avoid being ‘captured’ by the strong vested interests that seek to protect and preserve Maori privilege: “The real issue here is … whether Susan Devoy will allow herself to become suppressed by those radical factions who will do all they can to ‘break’ her and turn her into their mouthpiece. This will be her greatest challenge.”

Her outburst demonstrated that she has been captured and has now become an advocate for Maori privilege.

In her release, Dame Susan claimed, “Accusations of Maori privilege are not borne out by Maori socio economic statistics”. She explained that, “ethnicity and disadvantage are connected and found in damning statistics that on average sees Maori New Zealanders life expectancy, education and health outcomes lagging behind non Maori New Zealanders”.

We take exception to her statements.

Firstly, removing racial privilege from law is absolutely a legitimate public policy issue of major concern, not only here in New Zealand, but in a growing number of countries around the world, including Sweden, France, and Fiji. In fact, one might have expected the Race Relations Commissioner to be at the forefront of an international effort to stamp out racial privilege, by recommending that the social construct of “race” be removed from all New Zealand legislation.

Secondly, knowing that to be categorised as “Maori” by Statistics New Zealand, a person needs only a smidgeon of Maori ancestry, Dame Susan’s argument that “ethnicity and disadvantage are connected”, is clearly ridiculous. She is, in effect, arguing that someone with a smidgeon of Maori ancestry is pre-determined, on average, to a shorter life, educational failure, and poorer health, than a person without that smidgeon of Maori ancestry.

With the full resources of the State at her fingertips, Dame Susan should be only too aware that while disadvantage does exist in New Zealand, it is not linked to race, but to a host of social factors, such as long term welfare dependency, family breakdown, alcohol and drug dependency, child abuse and neglect, educational failure, poor health care, violence and crime. These unfortunate factors do not have racial exclusivity. Since they are largely behavioural, to stop the cycle of disadvantage repeating itself through the children, interventions are needed to support such families to move off welfare and take responsibility for their future....
Continue reading here > http://www.nzcpr.com/discrimination-or-equality/
2014


RACE RELATIONS

It’s not often that a government appointment ignites major controversy, but last week’s announcement that Dame Susan Devoy was to step into the role of Race Relations Commissioner did just that. The Race Relations Commissioner is one of six commissioners employed by the Human Rights Commission, an independent Crown entity established in 1977 that currently functions under the Human Rights Act 1993. The Commission’s statutory role is to “advocate and promote respect for, and an understanding and appreciation of, human rights in New Zealand society; and to encourage the maintenance and development of harmonious relations between individuals and among the diverse groups in New Zealand society.”1

According to the 2012 Annual Report, the Commission costs $10 million to run and has 61 full time equivalent staff, 13 of whom earn over $100,000, with three full-time commissioners earning over $200,000: Chief Commissioner David Rutherford on $241,000, the former Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres on $212,000, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commissioner Judy McGregor on $211,000.

The new commissioner, who will commence her 5-year term on 1 April 2013, will be expected to promote harmonious race relations in New Zealand. Given that there is no real entrenched racism in this country – largely due to our rapid rate of intermarriage – the question that should have been asked is whether we really need a Race Relations Commissioner or even a Human Rights Commission for that matter.....
Continue reading here > http://www.nzcpr.com/race-relations/
2013