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Race Relations Forum for Whangarei

 
This page contains a news story with details about a Race Relations Forum happening in Whangarei to mark Race Relations Day, 2020.
Updated: 12/03/2020 10:25 a.m.

​A computer software engineer from Iran, a kaumatua with responsibility for kaitiakitanga and a social scientist will be speaking at a free public event to mark Race Relations Day 2020 in Whangārei.

The speakers, Maryam Ghouzivand, Hori Temoanaroa Parata and Dr Tim McCreanor, will tell of their diverse experiences at Forum North’s Cafler Room on Wednesday March 18 from 5pm, a couple of days before the day, the United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination which is held on 21 March, commemorating the massacre in Sharpeville, South Africa, 60 years ago. 

An Iranian woman, Maryam joined her husband here in 2014. One of her biggest challenges has been learning English so that she can work as a computer software engineer. She worked to improve her English by doing courses, and she has recently achieved her goal – she is now working for Kaipara District Council in their IT department. 

Hori Temoanaroa Parata is a Ngatiwai kaumatua with responsibility for kaitiakitanga.  He is a member of the national Māori advisory groups for the Environmental Protection Agency and Ministry of Primary Industry’s Kauri Dieback programme, and pioneered whalebone retrieval by initiating a protocol with DoC. He is concerned about protecting cultural sites of significance within the Ngatiwai rohe.

Picture of three women in various cultural clothing.

Tim McCreanor is a senior researcher at Whāriki Research Group. He is a social scientist who has been studying race-based discourse for several decades analysing the role talk and texts play in maintaining colonial power relations of Aotearoa. He is a webinar presenter in Te Tiriti-based Futures & Anti-racism 2020, an (inter)national, online, decolonisation event March 21-30.

Each will give a presentation and there will be time for questions from the floor.

The event is organised by four frontline agencies that support the settlement of migrants into Whangārei – Multicultural Whangārei, Citizens Advice Bureau, English Language Partners, and Women’s International Newcomers Group Social – with the support of the Council’s Community Development Team, and Northland’s Immigration New Zealand Relationship Manager.

Background information

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on 21 March. On that day, in 1960, police in Sharpeville, South Africa, opened fire and killed 69 people who were peacefully demonstrating against the apartheid pass laws. Proclaiming the Day in 1966, the United Nations General Assembly called on the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination.

In 1979, the General Assembly adopted a programme of activities to be undertaken during the second half of the Decade for Action to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination. It would start with a week of solidarity with the peoples struggling against racism and racial discrimination, to be held in all states during the week beginning 21 March, every year.

Since then, the apartheid system in South Africa has been dismantled. Racist laws and practices have been abolished in many countries, and there is an international framework for fighting racism, guided by the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

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