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New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO


New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO

United Nations Day For Cultural Heritage Wed 4 December 2002

The proclamation of 2002 as the Year for Cultural Heritage follows a resolution adopted by UNESCO’s General Conference last year in response to the destruction of the ancient Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan.

It reflects a concept that UNESCO has been advocating since its establishment in 1948, which is that of a common heritage of humanity in which we all have a stake, regardless of geographic location. UNESCO (United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) is the United Nations organisation in charge of protecting, safeguarding and enhancing the world’s heritage.

UNESCO Director-General Koichiro Matsuura said the Year For Cultural Heritage aims to make people all over the world aware of the importance of cherishing our varied heritage, both the treasures of our physical cultural heritage and the intangible heritage of traditions and cultural practices.

“In learning to appreciate and value our own heritage, we can learn to appreciate the heritage of other cultures. This is an essential step towards ensuring peaceful dialogue and mutual understanding,” he said.

Activities in New Zealand

The Day for Cultural Heritage will be marked in a variety of ways around the country. The capital city, where the National Commission for UNESCO is based, is the focus for national activities. Local authorities around the country have been fully informed about the events taking place in Wellington and the development of the cultural heritage trail and associated website (see below) is seen as a model/prototype for development elsewhere. Already several authorities including the New Plymouth District Council, the Invercargill City Council and the Auckland City Council have responded enthusiastically to this invitation to mark the Day for Cultural Heritage.

Dawn Ceremony with Keynote Address by Race Relations Conciliator Joris de Bres The day will begin with a dawn ceremony in Wellington’s Civic Square led by tangata whenua from the local iwi. A media release on the speech will be distributed on Tuesday 3 December.

Mayoral Reception, Wellington In the middle of the day, Mayor Kerry Prendergast will host a mayoral reception involving representatives from many different ethnic communities living in Wellington.

Launch of the Wellington City Cultural Heritage Trail Website The Mayor will also launch this website created by the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO as a gift to the city of Wellington to celebrate the cultural diversity of Wellington and to mark the UN Year for Cultural Heritage. The purpose of the project is to identify and acknowledge sites, which are, or have been, of significance to some ethnic communities who have made their home in Wellington. A website containing material on these different cultural groups is being developed and is to be gifted to Wellington from the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO.

Local Cultural Heritage Activities Honoured Awards recognising individuals and organisations who have raised awareness of cultural heritage and who have worked to reflect the community in which they operate. UNESCO will award Certificates of Endorsement at the Mayoral reception to:

• Chloe Groser – Dominion Post reporter Throughout 2002, Chloe has produced a series of articles covering a huge array of the diverse ethnic groups living in Wellington. She has put a human face on the issue of immigration, letting people tell their stories of migration and speak of their culture and cultural heritage. These stories operate to foster attitudes of tolerance towards different cultures which is the ultimate goal of the UN Year for Cultural Heritage.

• Darcy Nicholas and the Pataka Porirua Museum of Arts and Cultures Even the name of this institution reflects its recognition of the multiple cultures in Porirua City. As a community art institution, Pataka has led the way in celebrating the diverse arts and heritage of its community, in a manner that is friendly, accessible and culturally appropriate. Pataka’s current exhibitions perfectly represent its approach - covering, for example, contemporary Maori art, Samoan women’s art, the work of local arts graduates as well as an exhibition about Samoan history.

• Tui Tararo - Community Development Advisor, Wellington City Council Tui and her team have made a huge contribution to the wellbeing of different ethnic communities living in Wellington and this Certificate of Endorsement recognises that contribution. Tui’s formal designation, ‘Community Development Advisor, Pacific People, Refugees and Migrants and Southern Ward’, gives an indication of the breadth of her role. She is involved in a huge array of projects from developing the governance and organisational capacity of community groups, to facilitating Internet training and access for Pacific communities in Wellington, to organising community festivals.

Photo Opportunities, Wednesday, 4 December • Dawn ceremony – speakers, performances from children in a very scenic setting on Wellington’s City to Sea bridge

• Children from Mt Cook School on the Wellington City Cultural Heritage Trail. The children are being taken around some of the sites - including Pipitea Marae, the Greek Orthodox Church in Hania St, Bharat Bhavan, the Wellington Indian Association in Kemp St Kilbirnie and the Ataturk Memorial at Tarakina Bay - between 9am and midday. We will provide details of locations and times of arrival on Tuesday 3 December.

• At the Mayoral Reception: • Launch of the website • Launch of a beautifully designed flier promoting the website and celebrating Wellington’s ethnic diversity with photos of real Wellingtonians. • Performances by children • Presentation of Certificates of Endorsement to Dominion Post reporter Chloe Groser, the WCC and Pataka Museum of Arts and Culture, Porirua – for the efforts to reflect the cultural diversity of the communities in which they operate

If you would like more information, please contact Alison Bartley Communications Advisor New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO TEL: 0274 436 123

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