Race Relations Day

Page 1 – Introduction

Race Relations Day

The theme for Race Relations Day 2015 is ' Big change starts small'.

Each year 21 March is observed around the globe as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The date recalls the tragic loss of life at Sharpeville in South Africa in 1960, and is dedicated by the United Nations to the achievement of the goals of the Convention for the Elimination of Racial discrimination. New Zealand signed the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination on 25 October 1966 and ratified it on 22 November 1972.

Schools and Race Relations Day

This day gives New Zealand teachers and students an opportunity to discuss and celebrate the fact that New Zealand is home to many different peoples, from the Maori tangata whenua to the generations of settlers who have come here from many parts of the world since the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840. Such themes are an integral part of many social studies and history programmes in our schools. The day is an opportunity to affirm the value of all our different languages, beliefs and cultures, and our common belonging to a unique and diverse nation.

Schools can use this day to promote such beliefs via assemblies, food festivals, concerts or performances that recognise and affirm cultural diversity in the school community, as well as specific learning opportunities in the classroom.

Race Relations Day and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage (MCH)

The Ministry for Culture and Heritage has a number of websites that can support schools in their acknowledgement of Race Relations Day for 21 March and beyond.

Te Ara: the encyclopedia of New Zealand (www.teara.govt.nz)

In Maori, Te Ara means 'the pathway'. Through interlinking text and image trails, the Encyclopedia takes you on a journey of discovery. One of the first parts of that journey involves introducing New Zealanders to one another and to the world. Explore the origins of New Zealanders - the voyages, the stories of settlement, and their rich and diverse heritage.

NZhistory.net.nz: New Zealand's history online

This site contains material ranging from the exploration and settlement of New Zealand to consideration of some of the consequences of this settlement. A calendar of events from New Zealand history is a feature of this site and many of its entries explore stories associated with the people who have settled this country.

How to cite this page

'Race Relations Day - social studies activities', URL: https://nzhistory.govt.nz/classroom/historic-events-activities/race-relations-day-classroom-activities, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 21-Mar-2015