Diversity is a real strength for New Zealand

World map made up of people standing on a white space.

The media has recently reported on comments by an Imam in Auckland.  These comments have drawn expressions of concern from the Human Rights Commissioner and the Minister for Ethnic Communities.  You can see their statements here:

Minister condemns anti-Semitic comments

Intolerant religious speeches are not welcome here - Dame Susan Devoy

Islamic Women's Council New Zealand - Press Release (PDF 212KB)

The Office of Ethnic Communities is similarly concerned about the divisive impacts of exchanges like these.

The Office for Ethnic Communities is clear in its view that diversity is a real strength for New Zealand, and that if diversity flourishes New Zealand will thrive.

We are not only one of the most diverse countries in the world, we are also one of the most socially cohesive countries in the world.  As New Zealanders we have a responsibility to protect our social cohesion by calling out those behaviours that run counter to being a strong and tolerant society.  More importantly, as New Zealanders we can enhance our social cohesion by respecting and valuing the strength of our diversity, and making sure that all New Zealanders have the opportunity to experience inclusion and develop a sense of belonging.