Mayor Harvey condemns racial intolerance
24 August 2004
Mayor Harvey condemns racial intolerance and grave desecration in Wellington
Waitakere Mayor Bob Harvey today condemned the desecration of Jewish graves at the Bolton Street and Makara cemeteries. After attending a rally for racial harmony in the grounds of Parliament, Mr Harvey chaired a forum to discuss racial issues.
In opening the forum, Mr Harvey said he was proud to be one of a handful of civic leaders invited from around the country (along with Dunedin Mayor Sukhi Turner and Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast). Mr Harvey said he felt compelled to attend as a representative of Waitakere, New Zealand’s first peace city.
“Waitakere is also possibly the most ethnically diverse city in New Zealand and as well as representing its citizens I was there for the many minorities including the Jewish sector, in our communities who are often the target of racial hatred. The desecration of the graves was unforgivable and must serve as a wake-up call for this country to confront racism before it gets a foothold.”
Waitakere's Waikumete Cemetery has one of the largest Jewish burial areas in the country with around 1700 graves.