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Turangawaewae: Where We Belong

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Turangawaewae: Where We Belong

Whether we're third generation Kiwi or just arrived in New Zealand, we all feel strongly about our sense of belonging. 'Turangawaewae: Where we Belong' is the theme of a symposium organised by the Nelson Multi-Ethnic Council, in association with the Human Rights Commission, to be held in Nelson on Saturday 1st July.

Multi-Ethnic Council coordinator Claire Nichols says the symposium has been held throughout New Zealand over the last few years.

"It would surprise some people to know that Nelson has the fourth highest concentration of people who were born outside New Zealand - so we were keen to hold this symposium in Nelson," she said. "Twenty years ago it was exotic to see foreign students in our schools and communities, but today it is commonplace. It's important that migrants are educated on Treaty of Waitangi issues and human rights."

Ms Nichols says the demographics in our community are changing rapidly and the question of belonging lies at the heart of many of today's issues: immigration, Treaty settlements, even resource consents.

"Many people are questioning where they belong and the symposium will provide an excellent forum for discussion and participation."

Rosslyn Noonan, Chief Human Rights Commissioner, is the main speaker at the symposium, and Tangata Whenua are represented by Barney Thomas (of Nelson DoC). Other local speakers are local artist Princess Hart of the Cherokee nation, and retired Anglican priest Ren Kempthorne for the Multi-Ethnic Council.

The Commission is providing lunch, and there is a plenary discussion in the afternoon. The meeting will be chaired by former Governor-General Sir Paul Reeves. Participants will be welcomed by Cr Ian Barker and farewelled by Dayanira Bakhshi.

'Where we Belong' is being held in the Council Chamber, Trafalgar Street on Saturday, 1st July, 10.30am ­ 2.00pm. Attendance is free. Pre-registration is required to 539 0030.


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