Give Nothing to Racism: A conversation with Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon

Date: Tuesday, 16 June
Time: 4pm-5pm
Venue: Online zoom seminar (Register here)

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The Human Rights Commission reported concerning levels of racism in New Zealand during the COVID-19 pandemic. Much of the uptick in bullying and harassment was directed at people of Chinese and Asian descent. At the same time we’ve seen a marked increase in contentious stories around China and a hardening of international voices on China in our media. Join us for a conversation with Meng Foon, New Zealand Race Relations Commissioner, about the current situation and how we can ‘flatten the racism curve’. Learn more about the work of the Human Rights Commission in this area through programmes like the Give Nothing to Racism campaign.

Give Nothing to Racism:  A Conversation with Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon (PDF)

About the speaker

Meng Foon has taken up the appointment of Race Relations Commissioner, after 24 years at the Gisborne District Council. Mr Foon was elected as a councillor in 1995 and in 2001 he was elected Mayor, a role he held for 18 years. He is one of a handful of people of Chinese descent to have become a mayor in New Zealand. He is fluent in English, Cantonese and Te Reo Māori. As of 2019, he was the only mayor in New Zealand who is fluent in Te Reo. He is a member of a number of community organisations including the Ngā Taonga a nā Tama Toa Trust, the New Zealand Chinese Association, Aotearoa Social Enterprise Trust and MY Gold Investments Ltd. He has released a musical number, Tu Mai, which includes various native tracks, he has been chair of Gisborne/Tarawhiti Rugby League since 2007, and is a member of the New Zealand Rugby League Board. Mr Foon is responsible for leading the work of the Human Rights Commission in promoting positive race relations.