Multicultural NZ is delighted to congratulate former Gisborne Mayor, Meng Foon, who has been appointed as New Zealand’s Race Relations Commissioner.
“After a year-long wait for a Race Relations Commissioner, Multicultural New Zealand is very pleased and welcomes the appointment of Meng Foon as the new Race Relations Commissioner announced yesterday by Justice Minister Andrew Little.” says Multicultural NZ Executive Director, Tayo Agunlejika.
“We know Meng well as a founding member of the Tairawhiti Multicultural Council and he has been very supportive of multicultural activities in his region and beyond” said MNZ Executive Director, Tayo Agunlejika.
“Meng brings excellent skills and experience to this critically important leadership role. He exemplifies a positive relationship between Chinese New Zealanders and Māori, and has enjoyed many years as the elected leader of a strongly bicultural and multicultural community. He demonstrated this well when he was the Chair of Ministry of Culture and Heritage’s Commemorating Waitangi Day Fund Panel for 3 years” says Mr Agunlejika.
“Our treaty-based multicultural society will benefit from a strong leader who can bring people together and guide constructive conversations about inclusion and support, and about the impact of discrimination and racism.
“Local government has an important part to play in creating safe spaces for diverse communities to engage with each other, and Meng brings many years of connections in this sector.”
“As Race Relations Commissioner, Meng Foon, has a lot of work ahead of him, and he understands that,” says Mr Agunlejika. “Meng has walked in many worlds. He will be instrumental in bringing communities together.”
“We acknowledge the Government, and Justice Minister, Andrew Little in particular, for making this significant appointment,” says Mr Agunlejika. “However, the process has taken too long and there has been a noticeable gap in leadership during a critical time for our multicultural community.”
“This gap has been sorely felt, particularly after the Christchurch massacre in March. There are many pressing issues in race relations in Aotearoa New Zealand and we look forward to Meng providing leadership in addressing these and working in close cooperation with organisations like ours in doing so.”
Multicultural New Zealand (the Federation of Multicultural Councils Inc.) is a national organisation presides over 24 constituent regional multicultural councils and 38 Newcomers Network throughout New Zealand and national councils for women, youth, seniors and business.
More information can be found at www.multiculturalnz.org.nz