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New publication celebrating young ethnic NZers

New publication celebrating young ethnic NZers


Ethnic Affairs Minister Chris Carter today launched a new publication to build awareness of the vitality, enthusiasm and community spirit of New Zealand ethnic youth.

Portraits: Youth is a book featuring photos and text giving an insight into the lives of ethnic young people from communities as diverse as Russian, Greek and Somali. One young man in the book is a fourth generation Chinese New Zealander and a descendant of Ngati Kahungunu.

Mr Carter said that news about diversity was often preceded by criticism of or an attack on an ethnic community, as seen with the vandalism of Mosques in Auckland last week and the desecration of Jewish graves and cemeteries in 2004.

“Some people talk about New Zealand’s ethnic diversity as if it is a threat to our way of life. Yet, many of the young people in Portraits are doing great things. Some are New Zealand-born; others came to this country as refugees. They have positive and enthusiastic things to say about New Zealand, and the opportunities it gives them.

“The young people in Portraits are a part of the New Zealand of the future. They are our future lawyers, actors, architects, youth workers, sporting achievers and business leaders. If the past is anything to go by, many will also become the husbands, wives or partners of people from other cultures.

“I welcome the message from this publication that young ethnic people are integrating into wider New Zealand society. I also hope that they can maintain links to their own heritage, culture and mother tongue,” Mr Carter said.

Portraits is being distributed to all schools and public libraries in New Zealand to support the educational and community work of the Office of Ethnic Affairs (OEA). Copies can also be obtained from the OEA. Email: ethnic.affairs@dia.govt.nz

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