December 16, 2014

Alternatives to anti-Maori themes in news media

Recently the contributors of Treaty Blog received an email regarding a new educational resource. Called “Alternatives to anti-Maori themes in news media”, it is a media booklet created and shared by The Treaty Resource Centre. It is available both online and, by request, in hard copy.

The news media are not neutral or objective. Studies show that the news repeats and reinforces negative themes about Māori that date from the earliest days of colonisation.”

There are thirteen themes presented, flowing from ” Pākehā as the norm” to “Ignorance and Insensivity” and ” Māori success”. It reveals the negative attitudes that prevail in our current climate and offers alternative actions and statements that can be used to counter these themes.  The Treaty Resource Centre says “These negative themes present Māori interests and what Māori do as problems, or as being on the margins. They also help make Pākehā control over institutions, resources, society and culture seem right and natural. “
This is a living document. The Treaty Resource Centre encourages you to submit examples of your own. The Treaty blog authors also encourage your additions – the more information shared, the quicker we can challenge and change the current paradigms in the media and other arenas.

Go to the website to view and contribute and please share this fantastic resource widely.

October 19, 2014

New Institutional Racism policy for Public Health Sector

Institutional racism is defined as an entrenched pattern of differential access to material resources and power determined by race, which advantages one subpopulation while disadvantaging another. In short it is a form of structural violence that is a key enabler of health inequities.

After a robust consultation process, this month the Public Health Association (a peak public health organisation) endorsed an institutional racism policy that had previously been ratified by the Health Promotion Forum (a peak health promotion organisation).  It would be great if it had been a Ministry of Health policy or one or all of the District Health Boards but it is a critical stepping stone. This policy sponsored by the PHA Special Interest Group on Institutional Racism will now be a lever to encourage public health/health promotion practitioners and organisations to consider what their contribution will be to ending racism in our sector. The endorsement of this policy puts anti-racism praxis back on the agenda, puts Te Tiriti o Waitangi back on the agenda.

Watch this space – may the public health sector have the courage to apply our values of social justice, equity, aroha and take collective action to transform public health policy making and funding practices.

View new institutional racism policy.

Heather Came

September 18, 2014

Rebuilding from the Ashes: Institutional Racism and the Christchurch Rebuild

Editors note: I recently attended the Human Rights Commission’s annual Diversity Forum and was shocked to learn of the conditions of Filipino workers involved in the Christchurch rebuild. In the session I attended it was compared to modern slavery. Although not the usual focus of this blog, we felt it was important to share this story of what is happening in our neighbourhood.

New Zealand is a society that prides itself on its openness to ethnic diversity and its commitment to liberal democratic principles of freedom and equality. Many national and international surveys, including ones conducted by the Asia New Zealand Foundation, have noted a consistent theme: we are an open and inclusive nation in principle, but often fall short of our ideals in specific situations; and where particular immigrant groups are concerned, New Zealanders favour white immigrants over immigrants of other ethnic or racial origins. Asians are consistently received with less warmth than whites in New Zealand, and consistently report more experiences of prejudice and discrimination than other groups. The most frequently reported instances are a) in public places, where hostile or aversive racism commonly takes the form of verbal denigration by a stranger, and b) in the workplace, where subtle, or symbolic racism in job seeking and career advancement leads Asian migrants to have on average the lowest wages of any cultural grouping in New Zealand according to the 2006 census.

Read the rest of this entry »

August 16, 2014

Party positions on institutional racism

Given it is election season a group of committed public health practitioners asked all the political parties what their position was on addressing institutional racism. Below are the responses received in alphabetical order, note lengthy responses have been edited. We hope this information will help you make an informed choice about which political party to support this election. Let’s wipe out institutional racism!

Click here to read each party’s position on institutional racism.

May 4, 2014

An opportunity to challenge institutional racism within the public health sector

The Ministry of Health are currently consulting on how public health services are purchased. Provided within this blog post are a selection of informative links and the link to a submission template. Help challenge institutional racism within the administration of the public health sector by contributing your voice to the consultation process.- ed.

There has been great consistency in how public health services have been purchased by the Ministry of Health over the last twenty years based around the  Public Health Service Handbook.[1]

The Ministry of Health buy a range of health protection and health promotion services from environmental health, through to tobacco control services, problem gambling and health promoting schools. These services are traditionally brought from Public Health Units (based at District Health Boards), from Non-Governmental Organisations like Mental Health Foundation and the Heart Foundation, through to Primary Healthcare Organisations like Manaia Health and Māori Health Providers like Ngāti Hine Health Trust.

 shopping list

Read the rest of this entry »

March 26, 2014

Ngā Pae Māramatanga: Target of Institutional Racism?

In recent weeks it has become exposed that Ngā Pae Māramatanga (New Zealand’s only Māori Centre for Research Excellence) has not been short-listed by the Royal Society for ongoing funding. Long-time anti-racism activist Mitzi Nairn had something to say about this and suspects this decision has something to do with institutional racism…

The current funding crisis facing Ngā Pae Māramatanga seems to me a perfect example of how institutional racism is perpetuated. No malevolent intentions are involved, just the sort of group which is usually given the task using their usual criteria. The group, in this instance the Royal Society, seems to have no idea how culturally loaded their criteria are. No idea how culturally loaded their terms of reference are. I believe there is nothing in their terms of reference about the need to address racism, much less to balance out the long-term effects of racism; no responsibility to deliver on devolved obligations under Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

sci Read the rest of this entry »

December 23, 2013

Belated Response to Muriel Newman on Institutional Racism

I recently stumbled upon a disturbing blog posted on 14th July 2013 by Dr Muriel Newman from the right-wing think tank New Zealand Centre for Political Research. It was about a subject I am passionate about – institutional racism. Her post is riddled with misinformation and factual inaccuracies that, in the interests of informed debate, I feel moved to unravel for the discerning reader.

The following points address only a handful of the inaccuracies in her post.

Read the rest of this entry »