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Inter-Cultural Assembly meets for first time

MEDIA RELEASE Wednesday 19 March 2003

Christchurch Inter-Cultural Assembly meets for first time

Christchurch Mayor Garry Moore is delighted at the support the city's newInter-Cultural Assembly has received from local ethnic groups and aprestigious line-up of race relations advocates.

Next Monday, 24 March, Mr Moore will host the inaugural meeting of theAssembly at the Civic of Canterbury. Along with more than 70 invitedrepresentatives from Christchurch's various cultural groups, the meetingwill include guest speakers such as Mark Solomon, Kaiwhakahare of TeRunanga o Ngai Tahu; Minister of Immigration, Lianne Dalziel; and RaceRelations Commissioner, Joris de Bres."The Inter-Cultural Assembly is a tangible response to the emergingtapestry of cultures in Christchurch," Mr Moore says. " It is not a groupthat will duplicate the roles of organisations working in this field butrather a forum to harness their collective energy and share information."

The establishment of the Assembly addresses several of the 34recommendations made in the 2000 report 'Inter-Cultural Relations inChristchurch' prepared by Ahmed M Ali (Hassan ) and Patrick O'Connor. This report was requested by the Mayor's Working Party on Ethnic Relationsand its implementation comes under the Council's Arts, Culture andHeritage Committee.

"There are now 180 ethnicities in Christchurch and a need for groupsworking in this area to adopt a more cohesive approach," Mr Moore says. It is hoped that the Assembly will provide the opportunity forrepresentatives to share what is happening in their communities and assistin actively fostering positive ethnic relations in Christchurch.

Only invited guests will be admitted to the inaugural meeting of theInter-Cultural Assembly, which will also include entertainment and achance for those attending to get to know one another. It is planned thatmembers of the Inter-Cultural Assembly will meet every few months.

Media InvitationThe media is cordially invited to attend the inaugural meeting ofChristchurch's Inter-Cultural Assembly at the Civic of Canterbury onMonday 24 March, starting at 6pm.A seating area will be set aside for media to hear the guest speakers.


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