Maori Party want action on racism
The Hon Tariana Turia
Maori Party Co-Leader | MP for Te Tai Hauauru
21 March 2013
Maori Party want action on racism
The Maori Party is calling for action on racial discrimination in Aotearoa and is developing a private members bill which seeks to eliminate institutional racism in organisations.
“During the Iwi Leaders Forum in Waitangi this year, there was a concerted call that the government must act to address the issue of racism" said Co-leader, Tariana Turia. "We support that call, and as an initial measure we have started to develop a private members bill on institutional racism.”
"Institutionalised racism is defined as '”differential access to the goods, services and opportunities of society by race" (Jones, 2000).
“There is a substantial body of research, particularly in the health and criminal justice sectors, which show us that socio-economic inequalities (as a marker of institutional racism) and experiences of inter-personal racial discrimination account for much of the inequality between Maori and Pakeha".
"Institutional racism can manifest itself in very specific ways. For example, in health sector research it reveals that Maori suffered poorer clinical health care in public hospitals than non-Maori, particularly in the areas of obstetric treatment, cardiac intervention, end stage renal disease and mental illness.
“The UN CERD committee report on racial discrimination in New Zealand highlighted some key areas where we need to act. Structural discrimination in the justice system is an area of major concern; as is the inequitable outcomes of Maori and Pasifika peoples in health, education and employment”.
“Ignorance or naivety are no excuse for behaviours which diminish someone because of the race. But in order to address the issue, we need to be able to identify the causes of the issue, and name it for what it is.”
Mrs Turia said “even here in Parliament it is considered unparliamentarily to use the word ‘racist’ in the House [Speakers Orders 12 May 1998]. “"In fact when I raised the issue a couple of weeks ago in the context of the South Taranaki District Council (Cold Creek Rural Water Supply) Bill, I was told that failure to work effectively with the local iwi was not 'racism' but "institutional ignorance". Well how do we account for our reality, when a group of New Zealanders are marginalised as a result of structural or behavioural attitudes?”
“Our Private Members Bill is just a first step in what requires a wide-reaching and inter-sectoral approach. We are focusing on organisations, processes and procedures which fail to adequately provide for cultural difference.”
“Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and today we are asking our communities to join us in saying enough is enough. Ignorance is no excuse, and more needs to be done to address racial discrimination here in Aotearoa.”
The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on 21 March. On that day, in 1960, police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa, against the apartheid "pass laws". Proclaiming the Day in 1966, the General Assembly called on the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination (resolution 2142 (XXI)).