Shouldn’t the Race Relations Commissioner know something about race relations?

So, Dame Susan Devoy is our new Race Relations Commissioner.

As highlighted by Coley Tangerina (THE INTERNET NEVER FORGETS), she’s … not exactly the kind of person you’d have in mind for the role, if her previous musings on Waitangi Day are anything to go by:

We need a day that doesn’t necessarily replace Waitangi Day but complements it.

That doesn’t mean we lose sight of the significance and meaning of the Treaty but an opportunity to recognise that New Zealand is a multicultural society continuing to evolve as a nation of many people and not just Maori and Pakeha.

… This would leave … the door open for a day that we don’t feel ashamed to be a New Zealander; a day where we don’t only focus on the grievances of the past; a day that is positive and uplifting and, above all else, makes us feel good about ourselves. After all isn’t that the real meaning of holiday?

Our Race Relations Commissioner thinks Waitangi Day isn’t a proper national day because it focuses on [RACE-BASED] grievances of the past and makes her ashamed to be a [WHITE] New Zealander.


It gets better, though, because earlier in the article Dame Susan notes:

We only need to look across the Tasman to witness how Australians celebrate their day … you do have to admire the way they celebrate their national day with a great showing of patriotism.

Mmmm, delicious patriotism.

Here’s my question(s):  does it concern Judith Collins that she’s appointed a Race Relations Commissioner who – at least a year ago – didn’t even seem to know the first thing about race relations in Australia, our nearest neighbour?  Wasn’t even aware that a growing number of Australians celebrate Invasion Day instead?  Thinks that we shouldn’t even have to spend one day out of 365 considering issues which are at the very heart of race relations in our own country?

Shouldn’t a Race Relations Commissioner know something about race relations?  Like, that the concept even exists?


  1. IrishBill

    Of course Collins knows what she’s doing. She’s telling liberal New Zealand to go fuck itself.

    • QoT

      “A Maori” is such wonderfully telling phrasing. And according to Stuff she isn’t sure herself if she’s part-Maaori, and thinks “you’re as Maaori as you feel”, which could be the start of a great argument about identity vs Western scientific notions of ethnicity if it weren’t coming from someone who thinks Waitangi Day is bad because it “makes her ashamed to be a New Zealander”.

      I chuckle, too, because of course if Judith Collins had said “Dame Susan has a great understanding of race relations because she’s Maaori” then the other side of the political spectrum would be screaming and gnashing their teeth about “reverse racism”.