Porirua has become the first city to endorse the campaign called 'Give Nothing to Racism' launched in June.
Mayor of Porirua Mike Tana says, “Porirua is the most multi-cultural city, I call it that anyway, in New Zealand. We actually have the tools in the way that our cultures blend to actually face racism better than any other city, so why not take the lead.”
Children from Holy Family School in Porirua recently spoke out about how they felt about their names being pronounced incorrectly, which sparked a lot of discussions.
Tana says, “Here in Porirua we had Holy Family School who signed up straight away and part of that kōrero was around children's names not being spoken properly, so it gave me the idea to say look we should be supporting our children and we should be having that conversation.”
Tana says it's the small seemingly harmless acts, comments or jokes that help feed racism and says it isn't welcome in Porirua.
“Giving people the understanding of how other cultures work and we do that by the way we have our community events. Having an understanding of another culture by sharing food, by sharing dance, by having the biggest Waitangi Day celebration, which is actually where it all starts, gives people the opportunity to understand each other.”
Tana hopes more cities will also follow suit to support the initiative.