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Pacific people encouraged to speak up against racism

09 February 2018

Posted in: Pacific Radio News, In The Studio,

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is encouraging Pacific people to file complaints when they encounter racism or discrimination.

She says the Human Rights Commission rarely deals with Pacific complaints as there aren't many.

Dame Susan says if you're experiencing racism in the workplace, or from any business or organisation, report it.

"Generally Pasifika people don't like to complain. It's not in their cultural norms to stand up and speak out but we encourage people to do so because it's a safe process."

"If people don't complain we don't know the extent to which there is a problem."

Dame Susan Devoy. Photo/ HRC.

Dame Susan does say however, that the Pacific voice in general is getting louder in Aotearoa and having more Pacific people in parliament is contributing to that.

"In the time that I've been in my role I've noticed that Māori have a treaty, our Chinese and Indian communities have organisations and I've always been a little concerned that Pasifika don't seem to have the same voice."

"But I sense that there is a huge sea-change with the number of Pacific peoples in government at the moment and particularly strong women who do have a voice so I think there's a real opportunity now to make sure that the Pasifika voice is heard."

Click image below to watch full interview with Brian Sagala on Pacific Breakfast: