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Director for Office of Ethnic Affairs for Race Unity Day

Media release – UPDATE

Monday, 19 March 2012

Mervin Singham, Director for The Office of Ethnic Affairs to attend Race Unity Day Celebrations in Upper Hutt

Upper Hutt City will celebrate Race Unity Day with local community and prestigious guests on Thursday 22 March.

UPPER HUTT, Wellington NZ, 19 MAR 2012—The Upper Hutt City Council will host Race Unity Day celebrations on Thursday 22 March at 5.00pm in the Foyer at Expressions Arts and Entertainment Centre. Race Unity Day gives all New Zealanders a chance to reflect on our journey and celebrate our culturally diverse nation.

Special guest Mervin Singham, Director for The Office of Ethnic Affairs, will be attending the event along with Diplomatic Dignitaries representing numerous countries. National MP, Melissa Lee, is no longer able to attend due to Parliamentary commitments. The evening will begin with official speeches addressing the community, followed by a variety of ethnic performances. “This is a fantastic opportunity for our community to get together and celebrate our diversity. There will be distinguished guests, speeches, food, music, and dance” says Cecilia Titulaer, Upper Hutt’s Settlement Support Officer.

Each year Race Relations Day (21 March) is observed around the globe as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. According to the New Zealand Human Rights Commission, the date “recalls the tragic loss of life at Sharpeville in South Africa in 1960, and is dedicated by the United Nations to the achievement of the goals of the Convention for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. New Zealand signed the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination on 25 October 1966 and ratified it on 22 November 1972.”

The formal reception will provide an opportunity for the community and special guests to embrace and celebrate the value of ethnic diversity in Upper Hutt, and to form closer ties as New Zealanders.

13 countries, from all continents, will be represented by diplomats posted to Wellington, who have been invited by His Worship the Mayor of Upper Hutt, Wayne Guppy. “Upper Hutt City Council values diversity and what it brings to our city. Our community is made up of members from all continents; its residents are people from a variety of cultural, religious, and ethnic backgrounds. Cultural diversity enriches Upper Hutt and New Zealand as it contributes to a broader view of the world and it helps us move forward with different flavours, attitudes, and opinions.” says Mr Guppy.

If you are interested in attending this event or would like more information please contact Cecilia Titulaer on (04) 527 2132 or email settlement@uhcc.govt.nz —spaces are limited and an RSVP is required.


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