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Human Rights Commission - On the Bright Side

Human Rights Commission - On the Bright Side

Human Rights Commission Te Kahui Tika Tangata On the Bright Side March Poutu te Rangi 2004

Kia ora. Here are this month's acknowledgments from the Race Relations Commissioner for positive contributions to race relations in New Zealand.

Maori Television

For the launch of New Zealand's first national indigenous television channel. Sunday 28 March 2004. To be held at the station's base in Newmarket, Auckland, the launch comes 30 years after the first bid to beam te reo and tikanga Màori into New Zealand's living rooms through television. The launch will be celebrated by more than 600 invited guests and general public at a dawn ceremony, powhiri and unveiling and broadcast live on Màori Television. Maori Television's website is at http://www.maoritelevision.com

The New Zealand Herald

For balanced reporting of the "Race Debate". The Herald dedicated three weekend supplements to Pakeha and Maori perspectives on the current debate, and on possible solutions, all covering a wide range of views. It was informative and balanced reporting at its best.

St Joseph's Catholic School, Dunedin

For a great Race Relations Day banner. At a Race Relations Day event in the Dunedin Town Hall on 20 March, organised by the Dunedin Ethnic Council, the Dunedin City Council and the Dunedin United Nations Association, school banners for Race Relations Day were displayed. The St Joseph's banner had tan and brown hands, people of many ethnicities, and the simple message "Treat all people with tika, pono and aroha" - respect, honesty and friendship. The Otago Daily Times ran a special background feature on migrant New Zealanders in Dunedin, and the Mayor of Dunedin and the Race Relations Commissioner were among the guests. Media, schools, churches, local councils and ethnic councils marked the event throughout New Zealand.

Room 9, Ilam Primary School, Christchurch

For learning Maori greetings and introductions. The class was nominated for an acknowledgment by the grandmother of one of the pupils. Dylan rang her one day and said, "Granny, would you like to hear my mihi? All our class have learnt a mihi." His grandmother was very keen to hear Dylan's mihi and thought it sounded awesome. Sonya Mullen, Room 9's teacher, said her class have been concentrating on greetings and introductions this term as they hope to visit a marae later in the year. She has been really impressed with how well the children have done and thinks that this is partly because they can see the purpose for what they have been learning. Sonya said it is good when there are Maori children in the class who can speak Te Reo and help the others with learning and pronunciation. Jean Voon, Auckland

For the design of the 2004 Race Relations Day poster, Take a Walk in Someone Else's Shoes. Jean, formerly from Malaysia, came to the former Race Relations Office when she was in her final year at Unitec studying graphic design. She offered free design work, as race relations was a passion of hers and she could include it in her portfolio. She redesigned the Secondary Schools Cross Cultural Exchange Project publicity, "its all about walking in someone else's shoes for a while". The result was a new name - CultureX, exchange, experience, expand..... and a fresh new image with the shoe poster that she has since again adapted for the very popular 2004 Race Relations Day poster. She has finished her degree and is now working as a freelance graphic artist and web designer. She can be contacted at jeanvoon@yahoo.com

Auckland Regional Migrant Resource Centre

For a successful first year of operation. On 21 March 2003, a new "One-stop shop" was established in Auckland to assist new and long term migrants with the support of the New Zealand Immigration Service, Auckland City Council and Manukau City Council. The Centre will hold its first anniversary celebration on the 26th of March to celebrate the huge success achieved. Currently, ARMRC employs 19 staff and several volunteers.

Between them they represent more than 14 ethnicities and speak over 30 languages. The Centre averages a 1000 visitors a month and has registered approximately 2000 clients belonging to 70 ethnicities during this one year. While the majority of the clients came from Central Auckland, there have been clients from as far as Wellington and Christchurch who have contacted the Centre via email or by telephone. Visit their website at http://www.arms-mrc.govt.nz .

Mere Lomaloma Elliott

For the Pasifika Festival 2004. Mere worked with the Auckland City Council and a vast team of voluntary workers to organise this year's festival at Western Springs Park, the biggest and most successful yet. Pasifika exploded into life in 1993 and has now become the foremost Pacific cultural festival in the world. It was initially attended by 30,000 people, and now somewhere over 150,000 people and hundreds of performers from all over the Pacific attend.

The original idea for the event came from the South Pacific Islands Development Association (SPINDA), a core group of Pacific Island Consuls, the Pacific Islands Chambers of Commerce, TVNZ, Telecom, a group of companies and Auckland City Council.

Pasifika attracts people from throughout the Auckland Region and New Zealand, and even internationally (tourists from Europe and USA plan their itinerary around the Pasifika Festival so that they are able to attend). For more information about the festival, visit the Auckland City Council website at: http://www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/whatson/events/pasifika/default.asp

J Oliver Lee and Associates, Auckland

For the annual St Patrick's Day Ireland publication. This magazine insert into the Sunday Star Times is an annual promotion of Ireland, the Irish in New Zealand and events around the country for St Patrick's Day. At least one in five New Zealanders can claim some Irish ancestry, and the Irish have become the masters of celebrating their culture and national origins around the world. New Zealand now has major St Patrick's Day festivals and parades in Auckland and Wellington, and the event is celebrated throughout the rest of New Zealand. Other ethnic groups can learn a lot from the Irish! See their website at http://www.ireland.co.nz/ for the full range of activities.

The Korean Society of New Zealand

For the Korea Day Festival, Glenfield, Auckland, March 6 2004. The Auckland crowds were out in force for the Korea Day Festival held at the North Shore Events Centre on March 6. A day of Korean food, merchandise and cultural performances was the Auckland Korean Association's way of sharing their national day with the local community. At the opening ceremony, the Association presented the New Zealand Red Cross with a $5000 cheque for flood victims in the central North Island. In Christchurch Korean Society members also showed their commitment to their new homeland on their national day (March 1) with a beach clean up between Spencer Park and Bottle Lake Forest. Society President Steve Kim said "It's a chance for us to give something back". Their website is at www.nzkorea.org .

Ghanaian Association of New Zealand

For the Ghana National Day Festival, Auckland, March 7 2004. The New Zealand Ghana Association celebrated Ghana's national day with the local community at the Mt Albert War Memorial Hall in Auckland on March 7. Prominent among the guests were Paul Holmes and Bill Francis of NewstalkZB and the The Radio Network, with whom the Association has developed a positive relationship, and the Prime Minister and local MP, Helen Clark. Music was provided by the Auckland African and Latin percussion band Gahu, with Ghanaian vocalist Yaw Boateng. Gahu's New Zealand drummer Bud Hooper released a new CD on Ghanaian drumming at the festival. For more on Gahu, visit www.gahu.co.nz .

Carla van Zon

For the New Zealand International Festival of the Arts, Wellington, 2004. This has to be one of New Zealand's foremost multicultural events, when a wide range of indigenous talent is showcased alongside performers from all corners of the globe. New Zealand Maori, Pakeha, Pasifika, and Chinese artists performed with the best in the world. Wellington was abuzz throughout March as a truly cosmopolitan cultural centre.

Japan Association of Auckland

For the Japan Day festival at the ASB Stadium, Kohimarama, Auckland, in November 2003. This is yet another annual event that is gathering growing community support in Auckland. Despite showers and coolish weather, the stadium was packed to watch dances, marshal arts displays, cultural displays and to cruise the food and bargain stalls. The day's theme was "Dance Together". The Japan Association of Auckland has been going since 1960 to promote goodwill and understanding between the people of Japan and New Zealand. Associated with them is a popular Auckland Japanese dance group called Haere Mai. There is now a substantial Japanese community throughout New Zealand, reflected in the growth of Japan Societies in 14 centres. For more information see www.nzjapan.org http://www.nzjapan.org/ .

For news about race relations visit the Human Rights Commission website ( http://www.hrc.co.nz/ ). Recent topics include Current Issues in Race Relations, the report of the Waitangi Tribunal on the foreshore and seabed, new research on perceptions of discrimination and Race Relations Day.

Previous editions can be found at http://www.hrc.co.nz/index.php?p=13789#3.

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