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Ethnic Councils Celebrate Race Relations Day

New Zealand Federation of Ethnic Councils Inc.

PRESS RELEASE 10 March 2008 Celebrating Diversity

Ethnic Councils Celebrate Race Relations Day

Race Relations Day preparations are in full swing as Ethnic councils in towns and cities throughout New Zealand gear up for major multiethnic festivals and other events to commemorate the day later this month.

Among the largest festivals will be those in Tauranga, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Hutt City, Wellington and Nelson, traditionally attended by many thousands of people.

In Timaru and Southland, the local ethnic councils are organising potluck dinners and cultural items. Last year several hundred people attended the Timaru event, and this year

Timaru Mayor Janie Annear and Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres will join the evening festivities.

New Zealand Federation of Ethnic Councils President Pancha Narayanan said that all the Federation’s constituent regional councils were organising Multi-ethnic events and activities for Race Relations Day. Because Race Relations Day falls on Good Friday this year, most events will be taking place on the weekends of 15-16 March and 29-30 March.

Apart from festivals, dinners and concerts there will also be multi-ethnic ethnic soccer and volleyball tournaments.

“Multiethnic festivals and events provide an opportunity for the whole community to celebrate New Zealand’s diversity; and the Federation of Ethnic Councils are proud to showcase a wide variety of New Zealand’s cultures as part of Race Relations Day”, he said. Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres said that the Federation had been a pivotal partner with the Human Rights Commission in establishing Race Relations Day in New Zealand over the past five years as an annual celebration of diversity and as a time to discuss issues in race relations.

A number of City Councils will also be running or supporting major multicultural festivals this year, including in Hastings, Porirua, Christchurch and Blenheim. Full details of Race Relations Day Events are available at www.hrc.co.nz .

ends

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