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Queenstown taxi driver courageous - Human Rights Commission

Queenstown taxi driver courageous - Human Rights Commission

23 September 2014

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy says “people like Queenstown taxi driver Ganesh Paramanathan who go public and shine the spotlight on racial abuse are courageous and do so on all our behalf. They make our country a better place to live in by standing up to racial abuse and demanding change.”

This afternoon a Queenstown woman was discharged without conviction after having been found guilty of a charge of recklessly using insulting words in court two weeks ago.

Dame Susan says the important thing in this case is that Ganesh’s humiliating experience wasn’t ignored but was investigated by Police and put before the courts.

“Anyone who thinks racism does not exist in New Zealand needs to know that of the thousands of complaints received by the Human Rights Commission each year: more than a third are racial discrimination complaints.

“Human rights is based on dignity, respect and mana: treating others as you would like to be treated yourself. New Zealanders need to give all New Zealanders a fair go. Human rights begin at home,” said Dame Susan.

“New Zealand’s excellent human rights record is cheapened if some of us continue to face racial abuse by the very people we’re trying to get home safely.”

“Racism has no place in our country and that includes late night taxi rides. I hope drivers refuse to transport drunken abusive passengers.”

ENDS

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