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Ethnic Perspective On The Treaty Of Waitangi

Ethnic Perspective On The Treaty Of Waitangi

The New Zealand Federation of Ethnic Councils (NZFEC) acknowledged the relevance of the Treaty of Waitangi to new migrants and all ethnic communities of New Zealand at its 14th Annual General Meeting held in Hamilton last weekend. The AGM was attended by nearly 50 representatives from the 12 Regional Ethnic Councils.

The meeting was formally opened by the Minister for Courts & Customs, Honourable Mr. Rick Barker. The AGM was also attended by local MPs Diane Yates and Martin Gallagher, Ashraf Choudhary, MP and Past President of the Federation and Mayor of Hamilton Mr. Braithwaite. The meeting applauded government initiatives such as the language Line and also acknowledged that now the onus was on the ethnic communities to use it and continue to contribute to its development or lose it.

The keynote speaker on the relevance of the Treaty of Waitangi to new migrants and the ethnic communities, Labour MP Nanaia Mahuta, noted the potential for issues of multiculturalism. This was followed by a workshop on “Relevance of The Treaty of Waitangi to Ethnic Communities”.

The meeting, while recognising the rapidly changing profile of New Zealand’s population and the ethnic mix, also observed that traditional ways of the Federation in communicating and addressing these issues may also have to change.

This year’s Merit Awards were presented to Ms. Ute Walker, the Federation’s Past Vice-President for her exemplary contribution to the efforts of the Federation and her work as Convenor of the Education and Language sub-committee and Thakor Prabhu for his leadership and contribution to the “Vibrant Voices and Visions of Ethnic New Zealand” conference. The services of the past executives were also acknowledged, especially the contribution of outgoing President Mr. Weng Kei Chen for his leadership in promoting and raising the profile of the Federation and the needs and aspirations of the ethnic communities.

Pancha Narayanan, President of Ethnic Council of Wellington was elected as the new President of the Federation. The AGM also elected its new Executives. Prem Singh of the Ethnic Council of Wellington as the Vice-President Samresan Mudaliar of Waikato Ethnic Council as the General Secretary Nagan Suppiah of Waikato Ethnic Council as the Treasurer

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