VIDEO: Taika Waititi wants you to stop being 'a tiny bit racist'

16/06/2017

Director Taika Waititi has stepped back in front of the camera to launch a campaign urging New Zealanders to 'Give Nothing to Racism'.

The launch on Thursday features the New Zealander of the Year in a short video appealing to his compatriots to stop feeding racism.

"You don't have to be a full-on racist, just being a tiny bit racist is enough," he says.

"A smile, a cheeky little giggle, even a simple nod in agreement - it all adds up and it give others the message that it's okay."

Waititi is one of a number of well-known New Zealanders who have produced short videos to support the campaign.

Race Relations Commission Dame Susan Devoy says "some iconic Kiwis are standing shoulder-to-shoulder" with the Human Rights Commission to give no acceptance to racism.

She says racial intolerance and overt attacks are on the rise overseas and closer to home.

One in three complaints to the Human Rights Commission is about racial discrimination, but the overwhelming majority of people never complained when humiliated or abused.

"Hatred and extremism is becoming normal in some places and we want to avoid that future for Aotearoa," Dame Susan said.

"Racial prejudice and intolerance starts small, in quiet places, in our everyday lives. When it becomes normalised it turns into overt racism and extremism."

The campaign is the second stage of an ongoing, nationwide initiative.

Last September, the commission started a website to allow ordinary New Zealanders to share their personal stories of racism.

It says the That's Us campaign has so far reached more than 3 million people.