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Commissioner to examine issues raised by report

Human Rights Commission Media Release 23 May 2008

Race Relations Commissioner to examine issues raised by report

Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres is to examine the issues raised by Massey academic Dr Greg Clydesdale’s report alleging that Pacific migrants are becoming an underclass in New Zealand.

Mr de Bres convened a meeting today of Pacific community representatives, academics and government policy analysts to discuss the report, which received widespread media coverage this week.

Mr de Bres said it was clear from the meeting that there is widespread concern about the academic rigour of the report. The report has caused significant hurt to Pacific communities and fuelled the venting of prejudice on the Internet and talkback radio. The consensus from the meeting was that the contribution of Pacific Islanders’ to the New Zealand economy and society was more positive.

The meeting encouraged the Commissioner to invite submissions on the report and to bring together up to date information from government departments and academics to create a broader, well-informed basis on which to discuss the issues.

Mr de Bres said, “I have agreed to undertake this task, although I will need to discuss the terms of reference and the extent of the process. I would envisage that it will include a process of submissions, some bringing together of current data and research and some forums.”

The information would be brought together in a report that will provide the basis for informed discussion on the issue.


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