Human rights commission says one-third of all complaints now concern racial discrimination
New Zealand has hauled in its biggest stars in an effort to crack down on rising levels of racism in the famously peaceful South Pacific nation.
The countrys human rights commission reports a third of all complaints now concern racist discrimination, though the vast majority of racial abuse still goes unreported.
Race relations commissioner Dame Susan Devoy said New Zealanders were being influenced by increasing levels of xenophobia and racism overseas, and she personally wrote to New Zealands most recognisable faces asking them to help put a stop to it.
Hatred and extremism is becoming normal in some places and we want to avoid that future for Aotearoa, said Devoy.
Racial prejudice and intolerance starts small, in quiet places, in our everyday lives. When it becomes normalised it turns into overt racism and extremism.
Hollywood director and New Zealander of the year Taika Waititi, who is of Maori descent, fronts the campaign, and took a day off from shooting blockbuster Thor to appear in the video, which uses his affable blend of Kiwi irony to get the point across.
Racism needs your help to survive, he says.
You may not be in a position to give much to racism, but whatever you feel comfortable giving will make a huge difference.
You dont have to be a full-on racist, just being a tiny racist is enough. A smile, a cheeky giggle, even a simple nod and agreement, it all adds up, and it gives others the message its OK.
Other famous faces appealing to Kiwis to give nothing to racism include the All Blacks Sonny Bill Williams and Kieran Read, singer Tiki Taane, and actor Sam Neill.
We live in one of the most ethnically diverse nations on the planet, says Devoy.
As well as one of the most peaceful. Whether it stays that way will depend on us.
The campaign comes fewer than 100 days before the national election, where tightening New Zealands borders to immigration is set to be a major issue.
Both major political parties are rolling out policies aimed at controlling record high levels of migration amid growing concern about housing shortages, road congestion and overcrowding in Auckland and other major New Zealand cities.
In 2016 more than 70,000 people migrated to New Zealand, according to Statistics New Zealand, the majority of them choosing to settle in Auckland, now home to nearly 1.5 million people.
This year the government announced it would tighten access to skilled work visas to help get Kiwis into jobs ahead of migrants. This week the Labour party announced if it is voted into power it would cut immigration to New Zealand by 20,000-30,000 people a year.
The backdoor to residency used by low-skilled workers and students would be closed, said the Labour leader, Andrew Little.