Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Religious Diversity Statement Sparks Debate

National Religious Diversity Statement Sparks Debate

Public consultation on a draft national statement on religious diversity has attracted strong views from both religious and non-religious groups, says Victoria University Religious Studies Professor Paul Morris.

Professor Morris, who is the author of the draft statement, will present an analysis of the submissions and an amended statement to a national interfaith forum in Hamilton on Monday. 

The public consultation process has been conducted by the Race Relations Commissioner and the Human Rights Commission, and has involved city councils, interfaith councils and individual faith and community groups across New Zealand.

Professor Morris said the response had been excellent, with a high level of debate about some of the issues raised by the statement. “The process has been a great success, and has been as important as the statement itself.  It has got people talking and brought a wide array of views out into the open.”

There have been submissions from interfaith meetings and groups, from the Exclusive Brethren, the Destiny Church, Catholic Bishops, the evangelical Vision Network, Rationalists, Humanists, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Baha’is, Jews, Sikhs, Quakers and many others, both collectively and individually, he said. 

“The range of views on issues is very broad, and many are held passionately. There are both stridently religious and anti-religious views, but there is also widespread support for the principles of tolerance and recognition and that there are many New Zealanders who profess a faith and many who do not.”

Key issues included the separation of church and state, the particular place of Christianity in New Zealand history and contemporary society, proselytisation, education about religions in schools, accommodation of religious belief and practices in workplaces, and freedom of the media.  Rationalists and humanists have raised the issue of the more than one million New Zealanders who profess no religion. 

Professor Morris said that the statement was important because of the new context for religions in New Zealand, including the increased religious diversity revealed by the 2006 census, cases of religious harassment, the reality of belief and non-belief and the global context of religious and political conflict.

Race Relations Commissioner, Joris de Bres said the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Human Rights Act and the Bill of Rights Act all recognise  freedom of religion and belief as well as the other rights affirmed in the statement, and it was interesting therefore that some of the statements were so strongly contested.

“A human rights framework can help to mediate such differences because it simply asks people to accord to others the same rights as they themselves seek and enjoy”,  Mr de Bres said.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On NZ’s Complicity In Western Sahara

If David Parker really wants to hone his crisis-managing chops on an international trade dispute that New Zealand has been making worse for years, he maybe should be turning his attention to the Western Sahara.

Some background: two NZ companies called Ravensdown and Ballance Agri-Nutrients appear to be the only independent firms in the world still willing to import phosphate from the disputed territory of the Western Sahara... More>>

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On Malaysia Exposing Our Dodgy Policies On China

Last week, we all owed a vote of thanks to Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad for breaking with protocol during his bilateral with Jacinda Ardern. Reportedly, Mahathir used the photo opportunity phase of the meeting to launch into matters of genuine substance. More>>

ALSO:

Withdrawls After Police Uniform Ban: Auckland Pride Remains Committed

The Auckland Pride Board remains committed to creating a space for our rainbow communities to feel safe celebrating their gender and sexual identity, despite some institutions pulling out from the Parade in recent days. More>>

ALSO:

South Korea: State Visit By Korean President Moon Jae-In

The President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in will visit New Zealand from 2 to 4 December... “I am very much looking forward to welcoming President Moon to New Zealand,” said Jacinda Ardern. More>>

Health: Changes To Drinking Water Standards

David Clark said many of the changes he is making, which will take effect on 1 March 2019, are clarifications or corrections, “but there are two changes which will significantly improve the ability to test and respond to the presence of harmful bacteria such as E.coli”. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA: Police Detention "Unlawful But Reasonable"

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that while Police acted unlawfully in October 2017 when they detained a Queenstown man for a mental health assessment, their actions were reasonable in the circumstances. More>>

ALSO:

Joint Statement: Chile President's NZ Visit

At the invitation of the Right Honourable Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, undertook a State Visit to New Zealand on 19 November 2018... More>>

ALSO:

Climate Change: Top Academics Call On Government To Take Action

One hundred and fifty academics and researchers from around Aotearoa, including Dame Anne Salmond, Emeriti Professors and several Fellows of the Royal Society, have signed a strongly-worded open letter to the Government demanding bold and urgent action to tackle climate change. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels