Sights, sounds, and smells from all over the world came to Auckland yesterday in a celebration of culture and diversity.

Groups representing the city's diverse ethnic mix brought their music, dance and food to the Auckland International Cultural Festival at the Mt Roskill War Memorial Park.

It was just one of many events happening around the country over the weekend to celebrate International Race Relations Day, which is today.

This year's theme is Welcoming Diversity, and the Human Rights Commission is urging New Zealanders to make an effort to get to know people of different ethnicities living their community.

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New Zealand is one of the most ethnically diverse nations in the world, but this rapid change in society has happened in less than a generation.

"Our biggest challenge is how we choose to live our lives and what kind of country we let New Zealand become," the Human Rights Commission said.

"This Race Relations Day we're asking all Kiwis to welcome and get to know the people in your community. What you do makes all the difference."

The commission is asking people to send in their photos and stories of how they're celebrating diversity in their community, school or workplace.