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Human Rights Commission - On the Bright Side

Human Rights Commission - On the Bright Side

Human Rights Commission Te Kähui Tika Tangata On the Bright Side November/Whiringa-ä-rangi 2003

Kia ora. Every day individuals and organisations are making positive contributions to harmonious race relations in New Zealand in a huge variety of ways. The Human Rights Commission seeks to acknowledge these efforts through the issue of certificates of acknowledgment when the Race Relations Commissioner and staff of the Commission personally encounter them. These acknowledgments represent only a small proportion of the daily efforts being made, but over time we hope they will illustrate to a wider public the variety of ways in which positive race relations can be fostered.

Philip Yeung, Hamilton City Council

For helping to organise the New Zealand Ethnic Soccer Festival, 13-14 September, 2003. Galloway Park in Hamilton was filled with players and supporters for a weekend of "soccer, food and fun for the whole community". In the end, it was the Somalis who beat the Sikhs in the shield final and the Cambodians won the plate. The organising committee included Sports Waikato, the Police and various education, social service and community groups. Next year, the event is likely to be combined with Hamilton's bi-annual Indigo Festival of Cultures. For more information contact Philip.yeung@hcc.govt.nz

PSA: Te Pükenga Here Tikanga Mahi

For adopting a Mäori name for the union, November 2003. The name evokes skill, collectivity and a high quality and fair work environment, which sits well with the union's commitment to "partnership for quality". The new name and accompanying stylised waka logo were bestowed on the union by its Mäori member's group, Ngä Toa Awhina, at the PSA conference on 4 November, and co-incides with the celebration of the PSA's 90th anniversary. At the birthday party, Ray Wang, a guest from Beijing, presented the PSA with a poster in Chinese taking up the same theme. The PSA is the latest of a number of unions that have adopted Maori names, and others are in the pipeline. Visit the PSA website at www.psa.org.nz .

Steve and Rose Ruru and Te Aranga O Hertaunga Marae Trustees For the realisation of a dream of a multicultural marae in Hastings, November 2003. Over a thousand people attended the opening of the marae in Flaxmere on 8 November, 2003. It is a wonderful new complex (complete with air conditioning and spa!) built with support from Ngati Kahungunu, the Hastings District Council, the Eastern and Central Community Trusts and the community. Te Aranga o Heretaunga has been built with the story of the many peoples who now call Hastings their home, and is likened to the creation of a fine garment of fabric. The gateway to the marae is called Te Kohao o te Ngira (eye of the needle) and all who enter are the different coloured threads that eventually will be sewn together in the spirit of friendship. Upon entering the marae precinct, the two shelters (visitors/hosts) represent the two hemispheres. The flagpole is named Tika Tangata in reference to

New Plymouth District Council

For organising the 2004 Waitangi Day competition for essays, videos, photography and arts on the theme of the Treaty. With sponsorship from WITT (Western Institute of Technology), Shell Todd Oil Services and Tui Ora, the Council is offering prizes for the best essay, video, photograph or art work on the theme "The Treaty of Waitangi: how is it relevant to my life and how can it help the people of New Zealand live together in harmony?". Category winners and those highly commended will have the opportunity to display their work in a local art gallery in the week following Waitangi Day, and the supreme award winner will be invited to present their entry at the Waitangi Forum on 5 February at the TSB Showplace. For further information contact Linda Russell at russelll@npdc.govt.nz .

Institute of Professional Engineers of NZ, Auckland Branch

For the organisation of training courses for immigrant engineers. The Auckland Branch of IPENZ has to date conducted six training courses, attended by a total of 160 engineers. The branch has also provided one-to-one mentoring for some 100 engineers on employment opportunities, CV preparation and assistance channels. It has a database of CV's for 230 immigrant engineers, and worked with WINZ to place engineers in workplace engineering placements on WINZ assisted programmes. Some 40 placements have been arranged in this way. The work was initially undertaken by IPENZ staff and volunteer members, but following a meeting of those who had attended training courses an Immigrant Engineers Special Interest Group was formed within IPENZ to carry on the assistance programmes. The group's aim is to facilitate the settlement of immigrant engineers into the New Zealand engineering profess

Waikato Muslim Association For inviting the Local Community to the Hamilton Mosque Open Day, 19 October 2003. Under the theme of "time to get to know each other" the Waikato Muslim Association invited members of the local community to join them at the Hamilton Mosque. Over 400 people took up the invitation to the event, which included displays, talks and a question and answer session, a movie and DVD clips, and a sausage sizzle. The Open Day followed a similar event the previous week at the Ranui Mosque in Auckland, where the Minister of Ethnic Affairs, Hon Chris Carter was the guest of honour. There is a full report of both events in Al Mujaddid, the South Pacific Muslim News, contact iwajanz@paradise.net.nz .

Vox Serbicus, Hutt Valley

For sharing the Music of Serbia with other New Zealanders. Vox Serbicus is a multi-national choir established in 2002, and is a member of the New Zealand Choral Federation. They held a concert recently at St James Church, Hutt City, and a fundraising evening at the Petone Settlers Museum (sponsored by Forrest Estate Winery in Marlborough) to raise funds for their trip to Canberra, where they have been invited to open the multicultural festival on 6 February next year in the Auditorium of the Australian National University. For further information contact Zoran Rakovic at zrakovic@beca.co.nz .

The Korean Society of New Zealand

For Korean Night 2003, Auckland, 14 November, at the Alexandra Park Function Centre. The Korean Society organised a magnificent banquet for representatives of Auckland's diverse communities, to celebrate both Korean culture and to strengthen ties between New Zealanders and Koreans. As Prime Minister Helen Clark pointed out at the event, the Korean community is one of the fastest growing migrant communities in New Zealand, and the relationship between Korea and New Zealand is a vital one. For more information contact Society President Mount Kang at nz@nzkorea.org .

Rotorua District Council For hosting a Symposium on Human Rights and the Treaty of Waitangi, 12 November 2003. This was the sixth Human Rights Commission Symposium in a series being organised around the country. It was chaired by Sir Paul Reeves and attended by the Mayor, Councillors, tangata whenua and members of community groups. Topics included local perspectives on the Treaty, and the implementation of a treaty framework in the structure and services of the District Health Board. To cap off a bi-cultural and multi-cultural week, the Council also hosted the quarterly meeting of the New Zealand Federation of Ethnic Councils on the weekend, where delegates from many cultures were formally welcomed by members of Te Arawa Whanui. For more information contact the organiser, Terangikaheke Bidois at Terangikaheke.Bidois@rdc.govt.nz .

Wanganui Ethnic Council

On its formation and acceptance into the New Zealand Federation of Ethnic Councils, November 2003. The new council, which covers the Wanganui-Rangitikei District, was admitted to membership of the Federation at its meeting in Rotorua on 15 November, and becomes the thirteenth accredited Council. One of its early challenges is to organise an event in Wanganui as part of the nationwide Federation multicultural celebrations on the weekend of 2o-21 March next year to mark Race Relations Day. For further information contact Vijeshwar Prasad at vprasad@rangitikei-college.ac.nz .

Wellington Thai Community

For the Loy Krathong Festival in Newtown, Wellington, 9 November 2003. Loy Krathong is celebrated annually on the full moon of the 12th lunar month, with Loy meaning to float and Khratong being a lotus shaped vessel made of banana leaves. The event was held at South Wellington Intermediate School and included traditional dancing, a fashion show and Thai food stalls. People attending had the opportunity to purchase Krathong and float them in a pool, where they are meant to carry away sins and bad luck and provide an opportunity to make wishes for the new year. Similar public festivals were held in Auckland and Christchurch, and it looks like this will be another date that becomes fixed on the New Zealand multi-cultural calendar. Previous editions can be found at http://www.hrc.co.nz/index.php?p=13789#3

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