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Human Rights Com. - On the Bright Side April '05

Human Rights Commission
Te Kahui Tika Tangata
On the Bright Side

April/Paenga Whawha 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.

Robert and Joanna Consedine

For Healing Our History: The Challenge of the Treaty of Waitangi. Robert and Joanna Consedine, of Waitangi Associates Ltd, first published this book in 2001, and they have now revised it substantially to take into account the many developments since then. It comes with endorsements from a range of New Zealanders, including Sir Paul Reeves, Claudia Orange, Tim Finn and Sister Pauline O'Regan, and is based on over a decade of delivering Treaty workshops to public and private sector organisations and community groups. It weaves together personal experience and observations on the history and effects of colonisation in New Zealand and elsewhere and how to address these in a workshop setting. It is a very useful resource for anyone considering workshops or education programmes on the Treaty. More details on Waitangi Associates Ltd are at www.waitangi.co.nz .

Museums Aotearoa

For the 2005 conference on Cultural Evolution in New Zealand, People, Identity and the Land. Museums and art galleries have been at the forefront of promoting appreciation of New Zealand's cultural diversity, and at the annual conference of Museums Aotearoa at Pataka Museum in Porirua on 18-19 April the focus was on cultural evolution in New Zealand. Keynote speakers were Pataka Director Darcy Nicholas on the Maori situation, yesterday, today and tomorrow, broadcaster and former Race Relations Conciliator Chris Laidlaw on our people and our land, and Lisa Watt, a specialist adviser to American Indian museums on the development of Native American museums and art galleries. Each speaker was followed by a panel of expert commentators. The high turnout of delegates from throughout New Zealand also enjoyed a wide range of technical workshops, and Museums Aotearoa launched their new strategic plan. For more information about Museums Aotearoa visit www.museums-aotearoa.org.nz .

Dr Gerrit Bretzler

For fostering cultural exchange between Germany and New Zealand. Dr Bretzler has been the Director of the Goethe-Institut in Wellington for the past six years, and he was farewelled on 8 April by New Zealand artists, arts administrators and experts in film, media, theatre, dance, music, architecture, visual arts and academia. Tributes were paid by arts patron Denis Adam, Steve Russell of the Film Archive, Dawn Sanders from the Shakespeare Globe Theatre Trust, dance critic Jennifer Shennan, Susan Bartel of the Alexander Turnbull Library, Dr Peter Russell of Victoria University, and Greg Burke of the Govett Brewster Gallery in New Plymouth. Under Dr Bretzler's directorship, the Goethe-Institut has reached into communities all over New Zealand with a wide range of programmes in museums, galleries, libraries, schools, cinemas, theatres and universities. Dr Bretzler's successor is Christopher Mucher, who takes up his position this month. For more information on the Goethe-Institut, visit www.goethe.de/wellington (you might need some help to brush up on your German, but they have courses for that too).

Te Tari Awhina and Chinese Centre, Auckland University of Technology

For the translation of the Treaty of Waitangi into Chinese, April 2005. A booklet containing a translation of the English and Maori versions of the Treaty was launched at AUT on 7 April. The booklet is aimed at the university's 3000 Chinese students and New Zealand's Chinese community. Senior lecturer Fe Day says, "it shows what the controversy is about because readers can see the differences, and because they can see the differences they won't think Maori people are simply going on and on about it". AUT published a booklet on Understanding the Treaty of Waitangi in 1990, and provided a Korean translation in 1993 when there was an influx of Korean students. The cover features Auntie Wai Mason, a former AUT lecturer who assisted with the translation. The booklet is available for $7 and can be ordered from awhina@aut.ac.nz

Auckland Thai Community

For the Songkran Festival, April 10, 2005. The annual celebration of Songkran, the Water Festival that marks the Thai New Year, took place at the Mt Albert War Memorial Hall on 10 April, with special guests including the Prime Minister, the Thai Ambassador and the abbot of Kelston's Yarnprateep Temple. There was plenty of Thai food and crafts, a traditional Sangha ceremony, and dancing into the night. Songkran celebrations were also held in Christchurch's Buddha Samakhi Temple, and Tauranga's Wat Pak Nam Temple. Auckland's celebration attracts not only the Thai community but also many other Aucklanders, and is getting bigger every year.

Pukekohe High School

For International Week, April 4-8, 2005. Pukekohe High School held a week of activities including a formal welcome to visitors from their sister school in Japan (Tatabayashi Girls School), with students making gifts of welcome for the visitors - kete which were filled with original art postcards, personalised kauri and paua nametags, NZ sweets, and handmade jewellery in presentation boxes. There were lunchtime workshops on eating with chopsticks, advanced origami, tying a sari and wearing a sari, short poi and poi making, Scottish country dancing, Middle Eastern dancing, Henna tattoos, foreign films and music across the cultures. There was also a food fiesta, an ethnic dress day and a performance day with the school's Samoan, Tongan and Korean groups and a drum 'dance off'. Funds raised throughout the week will go towards creating a mural which will welcome people to the school in many languages (especially those of the students at present in the school). Pukekohe High School is a partner in the New Zealand Diversity Action Programme, and International Week was its contribution for 2004/05.

West-East Link (NZ) Ltd

For the New Zealand Bilingual Magazine. NZBM is another newcomer to the growing stable of ethnic media in New Zealand. All content is published in English and Chinese and it is distributed in both China and New Zealand. Its target market is prospective Chinese students and tourists, as well as Chinese students and residents in New Zealand and kiwis interested in issues regarding Chinese communities - education agencies, industry associations, and home stay families. It is published bimonthly, and is up to its third issue. It includes articles on tourism, living in New Zealand, education and investment, as well as features on New Zealand in the eyes of Chinese and China in the eyes of New Zealanders. The current issue has some reflections on cultural similarities between Maori and Chinese, by Lin Shuang of Auckland University, who has studied Maori culture and published a book in Chinese on The Maori of New Zealand. There is also a discussion on the appropriate Chinese name for New Zealand. For further information visit www.nzbm.com .

Auckland City Council and Grey Lynn Business Association

For the Grey Lynn artwork competition, April-May 2005. As part of the streetscape upgrade for the Grey Lynn area, the Auckland City Council and the Grey Lynn Business Association are calling for artists to enter concept designs for an artistic focal point to reflect the different cultures of the area and to celebrate the artistic talents of the community. The Grey Lynn Westmere area was bought from Maori by the Crown as a block of 13,000 acres for the sum of 200 pounds, four horses, thirty blankets, ten cloaks, a tent and a sealing box. It was largely settled by British migrants and more recently has been the home of many Pacific peoples, who still make up about 20% of the population. The artwork brief, including the history of the area and financial details, is at www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/whatson/arts/publicart/projects.asp .

Te Runanga o te Rarawa

For the commemoration of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in Kaitaia, 28 April 2005. On the 28th of April 1840 around 400 people gathered at the Church Mission Station atop Te Ahuahu in Kaitaia to sign the Treaty. Among them were 61 signatories including Rangatira Nopera Pana-kareao and his wife Ereonora, who was the only woman to sign that day. This year around 100 or so people gathered on the very same spot, to be a part of a remembrance service and historical tour of the cemetery where many of the original participants and witnesses are buried. It was a day for both Pakeha and Maori to come together as one, to remember the past. The speakers talked of the relevance of the Treaty then and now, and the need to protect it now and into the future. Events were also held to mark the signing of the Treaty in Wellington in the same week, part of an increasing trend to commemorate the Treaty locally on the day it was signed by local rangatira.

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand

For the Pentecost poster celebrating cultural diversity. Caritas has produced a poster for Catholic parishes and schools for Pentecost, the Christian festival which celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit and the Apostles speaking to people from every country in the world in their own languages. The poster quotes Pope John Paul II: "The Gospel of Jesus Christ speaks all languages. It esteems and embraces all cultures". The poster is part of Caritas' social justice theme for 2005, Celebrating Cultural Diversity, which is their contribution to the New Zealand Diversity Action Programme. For more information visit www.caritas.org.nz .

NZ National Commission for UNESCO

For sponsoring a programme of youth forums on diversity, April-May 2005. UNESCO is providing financial support for a series of youth forums on diversity in partnership with the Human Rights Commission and local authorities throughout New Zealand from April to June. Forums have been held in Manukau and Hutt Cities, and are scheduled for Kapiti, New Plymouth, Whangarei, Christchurch, Dunedin and other centres in May/June. The forums are a prelude to a national youth forum to be held on 22 August in association with the national diversity forum on 23 August, and the sponsorship is UNESCO's contribution to the New Zealand Diversity Action Programme. Participants at the Hutt City forum were given an impressive welcome by a kapa haka group of Maori, Pakeha, Pacific and Asian council workers.

Centre for Comparative Literature, University of Auckland

For the production of an educational resource on the creativity of refugees and migrants. The University of Auckland is offering a free DVD and booklet to refugee and migrant community groups, community libraries as well as interested secondary and tertiary educational institutions. The DVD includes contributions from the successful "Poetics in Exile" conference, which was hosted by The University of Auckland in 2003. The conference brought together over 200 writers, artists and academics from a total of 47 countries around the world, many of whom had themselves experienced exile. The 100-minute DVD consists of eight items that explore the creativity shown by a selection of writers, filmmakers and musicians at the conference. These include a drumming performance by a group of refugees from Burundi, now living in Auckland, and an interview with Bulgarian-born writer Kapka Kassabova, now based in New Zealand. The 36 page booklet provides an overview of the DVD, biographical information about the contributors, and printed excerpts from the interviews, writings and poems on the DVD. A 300 page book with conference excerpts can also be purchased on request to Associate Professor Mike Hanne at mhanne@auckland.ac.nz .

Zimbabwean Association of New Zealand

For the Zimbabwe Festival and Cultural Day, Auckland, 30 April. The Zimbabwean Association is a relatively new organisation formed to represent and promote the interests of Zimbabwean migrants and refugees in New Zealand. They organised a festival at Freemans Bay Community Centre in Auckland on 30 April, which was attended by over 200 people from the Zimbabwe community and representatives of other Auckland ethnic groups. The festival included choir singing, performances with traditional African musical instruments and Zimbabwean foods and crafts. The festival also commemorated the achievement of Zimbabwe's independence in April 1980.

For information about race relations visit the Human Rights Commission website www.hrc.co.nz . Recent additions include a report on Race Relations in 2004, the New Zealand Diversity Action Programme, and the New Zealand Action Plan for Human Rights: Mana ki te Tangata.

Previous editions can be found at


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