'I thought we were a much more tolerant country' - Dame Susan Devoy on racism

  • 18/06/2017

Dame Susan Devoy says while her job as Race Relations Commissioner has enriched her life, she is surprised by the behaviour of many New Zealanders.

She spoke to Three's The Hui on Sunday about the launch of the Human Rights Commission's new campaign Give Nothing to Racism.

"I thought we were a much more tolerant country than we are, and I think as Kiwis we pride ourselves on giving everyone a fair go - but this is an opportunity to put that into action."

Give Nothing to Racism brings together some of our most famous and funniest faces, including New Zealander of The Year Taika Waititi, who's satirical campaign video has gone viral.

Dame Susan says she is chuffed with the results, and Waititi is the perfect frontman.

"It's not about hate, it's about hope… He said racism starts small - but it doesn't have to start at all"

Dame Susan has also been a leading voice in the call for an inquiry for survivors of abuse in state care facilities. Although Prime Minister Bill English has still not met with her to discuss the matter, she is continuing her campaign to seek justice for the thousands of New Zealanders who were abused in state care from the 1950s until the 1980s.

"This is a real blight on the history of our country, and on the sixth of July a petition is going to Government to once again say that we need to have a public inquiry and more importantly we need a public apology."

The Hui