All but one of all the political parties of New Zealand have responded to last month’s invitation, by the Institutional Racism Special Interest Group (IRSIG), to state their position on addressing institutional racism in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Responses were as wide-ranging as the political parties. A brief paragraph from the Act party suggested the issue centres on preferential treatment of Māori, while the Green Party issued an in-depth statement acknowledging that health and wellbeing is a basic human right and needs to be upheld for all New Zealanders, regardless of their ethnicity.
The New Zealand Labour Party was the only party to decline to respond
Institutional racism is defined as “an entrenched pattern of differential access to material resources and power determined by race, which advantages one sector of the population while disadvantaging another”. Present-day examples of institutional racism can be seen in Waitangi Tribunal claims and lead to inequities in health, education, employment and criminal justice outcomes for Māori [and other ethnic minorities?].
The IRSIG is a tripartite group, with members from the Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand – Runanga Whakapiki Ake i te Hauora o Aotearoa, the Public Health Association and the Māori Public Health Leaders Alumni.
Read the ISRIG’s report on the parties’ responses.