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HRC: On the Bright Side - January 2005

Human Rights Commission
Te Kahui Tika Tangata
On the Bright Side

January/Kohitatea 2005

Kia ora. Anei te mihi ö te Kaihautu Whakawhanaunga ä Iwi, mo ngä mahi nui, mahi whakamana i te tangata i roto i ngä kaupapa Whakawhanaunga ä Iwi i Aotearoa. Here are this month's acknowledgments from the Race Relations Commissioner for positive contributions to race relations in New Zealand.

Progressive Enterprises Ltd

For the Celebrate New Zealand Promotion, February 2005. For the past three years, Progressive Enterprises have held an annual promotion of New Zealand products and New Zealand identity in their Woolworths, Foodtown and Countdown supermarkets.

The promotion runs throughout February, and this year will include in-store messages in te reo Maori, free in-store distribution of a specially produced Maori Language Commission booklet on te reo Maori (600,000 copies are ready to go), inclusion of Maori shopping phrases in their household mailers, and promotion of Race Relations Day. So make sure you get along to your local supermarket for your copy of the booklet. It's great to see major corporates like Progressive promoting our cultural diversity. Progressive's website is at www.progressive.co.nz .

Global Education Centre, Wellington

For the Global Issues edition on dealing with diversity, February 2005. Global Issues is a quarterly magazine produced for secondary schools and community education programmes by the Global Education Centre Schools Programme. The GEC is part of the Development Resource Centre, a Wellington-based education and information service on global and development issues. They provide free services to the formal and informal education sectors in Aotearoa New Zealand.

They have a lending library as well as the schools programme and a community youth programme. Next month's Global Issues supports educational activities for Race Relations Day in March and has sections on celebrating positive race relations, what's the story with Aotearoa New Zealand, the Treaty of Waitangi, international ethnic conflicts, and suggestions for taking positive sustained action. It will be available for free download from the Global Education Centre's website www.globaled.org.nz in mid-February.

Maori, Pacific, Ethnic Services, NZ Police

For Working With Ethnic Communities - the Police Ethnic Strategy Towards 2010. After a thorough process of needs analysis, community consultation and internal discussion with police management and staff, the Commissioner of Police will this week launch the first Police ethnic relations strategy.

It is an excellent and very thorough strategy which builds on work already done to improve police performance in relation to ethnic communities, and will sit alongside the existing police strategies for Maori - Haere Whakamua:

Moving Forward and the Police Pacific Peoples Responsiveness Strategy. The strategy foresees improved relationships, increased ethnic recruitment, training for police and focused policing to deter offences of inciting racial disharmony and other race relations offences.

Its desired outcomes are that police have the capability and capacity to engage with ethnic communities and that culturally appropriate strategies are implemented with ethnic communities that increase community safety, prevent and reduce crime, road trauma and victimization. The NZ Police are one of the first government agencies to have a formal strategy for engaging with ethnic groups.

Anand Satyanand

For raising the profile of the Indian community in New Zealand and building positive relationships. Judge Anand Satyanand retires from office in February after ten years of distinguished service as one of New Zealand's Ombudsmen. Of Fiji Indian descent, he was born and raised in Auckland and after graduating from Auckland University was admitted to the Bar in 1970.

After practicing law in Auckland, he was appointed a District Court Judge in 1982, and worked in Palmerston North and Auckland. He was also active in law reform as a member of the Government Criminal Law Reform Committee, prison and parole work, and legal training. His focus as Ombudsman was on complaints relating to Social Welfare, Inland Revenue and the Police, communicating the role of the Ombudsmen's Office to university, conference and community audiences, and international Ombudsmen's programmes.

He is also a towering figure in the Indian community, acting as a leader and a mentor, committed to strengthening relationships between New Zealand's Indian community and the wider New Zealand community, and building relations with the Indian diaspora. He continues as a Board member of the Asia New Zealand Foundation, and sees his retirement as Ombudsman as an "opportunity to make further contributions". He will be officially farewelled from his position on 3 February at Parliament.

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand

For the Celebrating Cultural Diversity programme, 2005. Caritas is well known to New Zealanders as one of the international aid and development agencies that has been fund-raising for victims of the Asian tsunami. But it also has a wider role as the Catholic Church's agency for justice, peace and development, and is mandated by the New Zealand Catholic Bishop's Conference to work on issues of social justice within New Zealand. In support of the New Zealand Diversity Action Programme, Caritas has chosen Celebrating Cultural Diversity as its social justice theme for 2005, and will be seeking financial support for the programme as one of the features of its forthcoming Lenten appeal.

Activities during 2005 will include the production of resources on diversity for Catholic schools and parishes, the encouragement of parish activities to support cultural diversity from March to September, and a focus on cultural diversity in the Church's Social Justice Week in September. This follows a focus on mental health in 2004, children in 2003 and refugees and migrants in 2002. For details of Caritas activities, visit www.caritas.org.nz

Gary Wilson

For a major contribution to Maori journalism. Gary Wilson's retirement from Mana- both the radio news and magazine - is a cause for celebration and regret in equal measure. Gary's mission was to foster Maori in journalism and the reporting of Maori news. We can celebrate with Gary the influx of Maori into the media, the growth and vigour of iwi radio, the credibility of Mana News on National Radio and more than sixty issues of Mana magazine since 1993.

Gary was one of the founders of Mana Maori Media along with Derek Fox and Piripi Whaanga, and was a force and inspiration behind Mana magazine for many years. Both these media institutions changed the face of Maori journalism in New Zealand. Mana News and Mana magazine are respected as authoritative and provide a vital Maori perspective on issues of the day.

Gary's zeal for quality reporting of Maori was fuelled by his blunt, eloquent and often public denunciation of the mainstream media's inability to report the aspirations, successes and milestones of Maoridom. Gary recruited, mentored and befriended dozens of young Maori as newsreaders and journalists when he worked in journalism training. His best advice to aspiring journalists was "always have your bulls**t detector on". His contribution to New Zealanders' understanding of tikanga Maori through the mass media has been immeasurable.

Govett Brewster Gallery, New Plymouth

For Break Shift, the biennial review of New Zealand Art. Every two years the Govett Brewster Gallery mounts a major exhibition reviewing the latest developments in New Zealand art. Currently showing (and now extended to 13 March) is the 2004 review, which presents a new generation of artists and tracks the impact of immigration on recent practice. The selected artists migrated to New Zealand from Bosnia, Canada, Croatia, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, South Africa, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and Western Samoa. Common themes include mobility, travel and exploration, sexuality and identity, and the future possibilities of migration. Further adding to the theme of cultural diversity, the Gallery is also exhibiting Transindonesia: Scoping Culture in Contemporary Indonesian Art (also till 27 February), which is an overview of contemporary Indonesian art and looks at issues not unfamiliar to New Zealand: cultural diversity, colonial legacies, national identity and the relationship between traditional and modern cultural forms. For further information visit www.govettbrewster.com .

New Plymouth District Council

For the Chinese Lantern Parade and associated events, February 4 2005. The Year of the Rooster kicks off early in New Plymouth with a range of events associated with the annual TSB Festival of Lights. Events organized with support from Asia New Zealand, the Chinese Embassy and in association with the Taranaki Chinese Association include a Chinese cultural fun day on 25 January and a Chinese Lantern Parade at Pukekura Park on February 4. The Park will be adorned with 40 spectacular lanterns on loan from the Chinese Embassy, children will parade with their own lanterns around the park's main lake, and there will be singing, dancing, tai chi and a lion dance. New Plymouth this year for the first time joins Auckland (February 25-27), Wellington (5-13 February) and Christchurch (5-6 March) in celebrating the Chinese New Year. Visit www.npdc.govt.nz http://www.npdc.govt.nz / for New Plymouth, and www.asia2000.org.nz http://www.asia2000.org.nz/ for the wide range of activities in the other centres. A Chinese Garden, sponsored by New Plymouth's sister city Kunming, will be opened in February adjacent to Pukekura Park.

Holy Trinity Cathedral, Auckland

For the interfaith commemoration Service for victims of the tsunami, 16 January 2005. As part of the national day to commemorate victims of the Boxing Day tsunami, the Cathedral was host to a moving interfaith service attended by over 800 people, including the Prime Minister. Leaders from the Buddhist, Jewish, Islamic, Hindu, Orthodox, Anglican and Catholic religions were led into the Cathedral to a welcome in te reo Maori from Rev Kitohi Pikaahu.

All the religious leaders spoke, many in their native tongues as well as English, and there was singing in Maori, English and Hebrew. Cathedral Dean Bishop Richard Randerson spoke of the Conference on Interfaith Cooperation he had attended in Indonesia with nine other New Zealanders just before Christmas, and how, irrespective of particular manifestation, all religions shared a belief in a greater entity that manifested itself not in the tsunami, but in the great wave of popular support for those in need.

Outside the Cathedral, members of the Sri Lankan community held up a banner to thank their fellow New Zealanders for their generous support. The spirit of interfaith cooperation will carry over into the national interfaith forum in Auckland on February 11-13, on the theme of "Shaping the role of religion in building a pathway to peace". For more information contact Auckland Inter-Faith Council secretary, Suzanne Mahon, at nsa@kiwilink.co.nz .

Penny Eames, Wellington

For fostering access to the arts for marginalised groups. Penny retired as the founding director of Arts Access Aotearoa in December, after nine years in the job and another nine before that as Arts Access Programme Manager with the QEII Arts Council of New Zealand. At her farewell on 3 December trustees and associates paid tribute to her vision, drive and unbounded energy in developing partnerships with organizations to involve migrants and refugees, prison inmates and people with mental illness in creative activities.

The principles of Arts Access Aotearoa are that all people should have a right to creative expression, that all people should be encouraged to develop their creativity, that people with limited access to the arts should be provided with opportunities to access the arts and that barriers restricting access to the arts should be removed. Penny will be continuing her work in a private capacity as a consultant both in New Zealand and overseas, and the new director is Ann Sharley. For more information on Arts Access Aotearoa visit www.artsaccess.org.nz .

AUT Computer Graphic Design Students, 2004

For an exhibition of postcards for Human Rights Day 2004. Students doing the Certificate in Computer Design at the Auckland Institute of Technology designed postcards on human rights and race relations themes for Human Rights Day on 10 December 2004. Their postcards were exhibited at the Human Rights Commission Office in Auckland and are posted on the HRC website at www.hrc.co.nz http://www.hrc.co.nz/ on the Human Rights Day page. There are some stunning designs and strong messages about human rights and race relations in New Zealand and internationally. Others design students might like to have a go at something similar for Race Relations Day on March 21, and we'll be happy to publish the results on our website.

For information about race relations visit the Human Rights Commission website www.hrc.co.nz http://www.hrc.co.nz/ . Recent additions include information about Waitangi Day events and Race Relations Day on March 21 2005.

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

ENDS

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