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Leaders Support Condemning Attack On Cemetery

Human Rights Commission
Media Release - 9 August 2004

Community leaders support parliamentary resolution condemning attack on cemetery

Community, sporting, business and trade union leaders from throughout the country have responded to an invitation from the Race Relations Commissioner to show their support for tomorrow's resolution in Parliament, condemning the attack on the Jewish cemetery in Makara.

The statement, sent to all political parties, is as follows:

We, the undersigned, support all Members of Parliament in expressing, on behalf of New Zealanders of all cultures and backgrounds, their united condemnation of last week's attack on the Jewish cemetery in Makara and reaffirming New Zealand's commitment to the elimination of all forms of racial and religious discrimination.

The two recent attacks on Jewish cemeteries would appear to be the work of a very small group of individuals, but they have an enormous impact not only on Jewish New Zealanders but also on members of all minority groups, whatever their background, and the wider community.

Our communities welcome the intention of Members of Parliament to condemn these acts, to share in the distress of the Jewish community, to express our aroha to them, and to reaffirm our commitment to a nation that has a zero tolerance of racial and religious discrimination.

We call on the Police to make every effort to bring those responsible to justice, and appeal to anyone who has any information whatsoever about these crimes to contact the Police.

Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres said people clearly wanted to do something to express their concern at what had happened, and he urged people to email their MP to indicate their support for the parliamentary resolution, which is due to be tabled by the Acting Prime Minister in Parliament at 2.00 pm on Tuesday, subject to all parties agreeing.

The list of signatories to date is as follows, although more are expected tomorrow:

Joris de Bres, Race Relations Commissioner, Rosslyn Noonan, Chief Human Rights Commissioner, Tumu Te Heu Heu, Paramount Chief, Ngati Tuwharetoa, Mark Solomon, Kaiwhakahaere, Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, Morrie Love, Executive Officer, Wellington Tenths Trust, Colin and Verna Meads, Dame Susan Devoy, Ross Wilson, President, New Zealand Council of Trade Unions, Pancha Narayanan, President, New Zealand Federation of Ethnic Councils, Hon Margaret Shields, Peter Tennent, Mayor of New Plymouth, Sir Paul Reeves, Garry Moore, Mayor of Christchurch, Dame Catherine Tizard, Meng Foon, Mayor of Gisborne, Ted van Arkel, Managing Director, Progressive Enterprises Ltd, Bob Harvey, Mayor of Waitakere, Anita Mansell, Hutt Ethnic Council, Dame Georgina Kirby, Fa'amatuainu Tino Pereira, Deputy Chair, Samoan Advisory Council, Melino Maka, Chair, Tongan Advisory Council, Simativa Perese, Chair, National Pacific Broadcasting Trust, John Wong, Chair, Auckland Regional Migrant Service Charitable Trust and Chinese New Settlers Services Trust, Nuku Rapana, Auckland Cook Island leader and President, Pukapuka Community Trust, Pauline Winter, Chair, Pacific Business Trust, Mark Bell Booth, Mayor of Palmerston North, Andrew Little, National Secretary, Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union, Miriam Findlay, President, Ethnic Council of Manawatu, Su'a William Sio, Manukau City Councillor, Jim Mather, Chief Executive, Pacific Business Trust, Rev Leua Sio, Pacific Community Leader, Jenny Chalmers, Vice President, Auckland Inter-Faith Council, Jenny Brash, Mayor of Porirua, Mahad Warsame, President of Auckland Somali Association, Penny Sefuiva, Auckland City Councillor, Dr Bruce Hucker, Auckland City Councillor.

ENDS

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