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HRC welcomes powerful diversity message

Human Rights Commission welcomes powerful diversity message from NZ's sporting codes

The Human Rights Commission has welcomed today’s commitment to diversity and inclusion from the country’s major sporting organisations, led by New Zealand rugby.

“Today’s commitment from New Zealand’s leading sports codes sends a powerful message to all Kiwis that intolerance, racism and homophobia are not welcome on our sports fields and games,” said Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy.

“It’s brilliant to see the sporting sector showing leadership in human rights, putting a stake in the ground and saying: there’s a problem, in fact there are lots of problems but we’re going to work together to solve it.”

Last year the Commission congratulated Canterbury rugby players, Fijian Kiwis Sake Aca and Peni Manumanuiliwa and Southbridge rugby’s Chris McMillan for taking a public stand against racist abuse from sideline supporters.

“There were hundreds of people at those games where Sake Aca and Peni were humiliated, it’s not just up to the referee or the Police or the Rugby Union to shut those racist fans down: the rest of us need to let those kinds of people know they are not welcome at our games,” said Dame Susan.

“When it comes to racism and homophobia, we need to stand up to others and not be bystanders: we need to take ownership of our own sporting codes, we can't let the haters win.”

The codes will be reporting back by the year end and the Commission is looking forward to seeing what progress they’ve made.

ENDS

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