Most read: Dame Susan Devoy asks other staff to 'do the right thing' and step aside

Note: This story was first published on Sunday May 27

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy explains a new campaign to stamp out racism in NZ.
Dame Susan Devoy. Source: 1 NEWS

Departing Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is calling for other staff to "stand up, speak out and do the right thing" by resigning from the government agency.

Dame Susan's comments come after a damning review of the commission's internal process and workplace culture came out following a sexual harassment complaint.

The review concluded that misconduct was not prevalent at the commission.

However, the report revealed a dysfunctional leadership within the agency in which the commissioners "barely communicated with each other".

In an opinion piece published in The Spinoff today, Dame Susan wrote that she was "devastated and deeply sorry" that staff hadn't been protected and supported at the Commission.

"The things our people endured should never have happened in any organisation, let alone ours."

On Friday, it was announced that Dame Susan and commissioner Dr Jackie Blue would leave the organisation at the end of their respective terms after not seeking reappointment.

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Teroriero has been appointed acting head of the Human Rights Commission, replacing Chief Commissioner David Rutherford, who will be leaving next month.

Mr Rutherford will be stepping down from his post after he was criticised in the report for his part in an "often uncooperative and unprofessional" dynamic between the commissioners.

Dame Susan paid tribute to the "awesome staff" still working at the Commission, writing: "Many no longer work at the commission but I would like to pay tribute to staff, past and present who I am proud to call my friends. They are walking the talk when it comes to human rights, and speaking truth to power.

"It’s been a privilege and a great honour to serve as New Zealand’s race relations commissioner for the past five years. Thanks to the team behind me, we’ve done incredible things.

"It's time to step back and reflect on what's happened and how we can make sure it never, ever happens again."

Dame Susan will leave her post next month after five years as the Race Relations Commissioner.

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