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NZ’s Reputation Regarding Discrimination Is Contradictory

NZ’s International Reputation Regarding Discrimination Is Contradictory And Filled With Anomalies

March 20, 2013

The levels of discrimination in New Zealand will always appear to be better than they actually are, UC researcher Jim Anglem said on the eve of International Day for the Eradication of Racial Discrimination (March 21).

``New Zealand's international reputation regarding discrimination is contradictory and filled with anomalies. Depending upon the comparative studies regarding discrimination, New Zealand is often viewed as being progressive as the data on women's educational qualifications and employability illustrates.

``In the matter of discrimination regarding race there have been many instances where New Zealand has revealed itself as willing to have written into law that everyone should be treated equally. But during the 1970s almost every African country refused to attend the Montreal Olympics because of New Zealand's presence and the turmoil caused by the 1981 South African rugby tour here when that country’s apartheid policies were seen to repugnant by most other countries in the world.

``All of the data shows that Maori presently suffer greater rates of imprisonment, poorer educational outcomes, poorer health, poorer housing, poorer employment rates than white New Zealanders.

``Yet, in the early years of colonisation Maori rates in all of those criteria were better than those of the immigrants. Discrimination is seen as the key factor in the palpable gap between the two groups.’’

Anglem said the Treaty of Waitangi was seen as divisive by many New Zealanders but it was the one factor that offered the greatest hope for a fair and just society because it reminded people of the rights and obligations of citizenship.



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