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08.10.2003 Diaspora News

Paul Holmes Asks To Meet Ghanaians In New Zealand

By Ghanaian Association of New Zealand
Paul Holmes Asks To Meet Ghanaians In New Zealand
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Paul Holmes, the New Zealand broadcaster, has requested for a meeting with the Ghanaian community ostensibly to discuss our concerns. This follows the angry reactions to his offensive, racist and insulting comments about Kofi Annan and Ghanaians on radio recently. The Ghanaian Association has therefore called an emergency meeting for this Sunday 12 October to discuss this request and has initiated collation of viewpoints from Ghanaians all around the world. “This issue affects not only Ghanaians in New Zealand but everywhere in the world and it is very important that the strong sentiments arising from this incident are conveyed appropriately,” Mr. Ntreh, President of the Association said. The Holmes comments have brought to the surface the deep-seated concerns about racism being felt by minorities in New Zealand’s society. The Chief Human Rights Commissioner of New Zealand met with a section of the African community on Sunday 5 October and observed at first hand the anger within the community. At this meeting, various instances of discrimination in schools, workplaces and government agencies were relayed to the HR Commissioner. According to the Human Rights Commission’s assessment, though Holmes comments breached community standards, they do not breach the Human Rights Act and are therefore not unlawful. Participants at the African forum sought for amendments to the Human Rights Act 1993 to make such racial abuse and insults illegal. Paul Holmes and the radio station had publicly apologized for the comments but that did little to address the issue. Mr. Holmes after conferring with the Race relations Commissioner therefore decided to write a personal letter of apology to Mr. Kofi Annan and seek a meeting with the Ghanaian Society to discuss the matter. Dr. Charles A-Dwamena PRO, The Ghanaian Association of New Zealand Email: [email protected]

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