11 Mar 2011

Race relations report finds unacceptable inequality

10:16 am on 11 March 2011

The Human Rights Commission's annual Race Relations Report says social and economic inequalities between ethnic groups remain unacceptably high.

Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres says some progress has been made. He points to the Government's Whanau Ora programme as a good initiative.

He says, however, that this does not do enough to address problems of inequality in employment, health and education. The report outlines 10 priority measures that need to be taken to fight the problems.

Mr de Bres also says the "three strikes" sentencing regime and the proposal to remove prisoners' right to vote, both introduced last year, concern him and have a disproportionate effect on Maori.

The lobby group Rethinking Crime and Punishment says those are examples of bad legislation.

Urban Maori leader Dame June Jackson says there is a lack of progress, which is like being back in the eighties.