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On the Bright Side - May 2005

On the Bright Side

May/Haratua 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.

The Unknown Swiss Border Guard

For keeping New Zealand tourists on their toes. This award is prompted by a Kiwi traveller's report of her experience at Zurich airport on 9 May: "When I was at Customs in Switzerland coming back from Prague, the man looking at my passport said "Kia ora". His pronunciation was...Teutonic...so I thought he was speaking German and stared blankly at him. Then he started shouting "Kia ora! Kia ora! What? You're from New Zealand and you don't know how to speak Maori?" I was poised delicately somewhere between embarrassment and terror."

To avoid future border incidents, you will be able to brush up on your reo in this year's Maori Language Week from 25-31 July. Following the runaway success of last year's Give it a Go: Korero Maori booklet, the Maori Language Commission, the Human Rights Commission and Te Puni Kokiri will be releasing a further Give it a Go booklet. If you are interested in ordering bulk copies for your organisation, email korero@tetaurawhiri.govt.nz for details. You can also register your proposed activities and be put on the mailing list for information about resources.

Auckland War Memorial Museum

For the Matariki programme, June 2005. The Auckland Museum (www.aucklandmuseum.com ) has an extensive programme of events throughout June for this year's Matariki, including kite making, craft activities, film, dance, te reo and a (g)astronomical feast of New Zealand foods. The programme is a contribution to the New Zealand Diversity Action Programme, and forms part of an even larger programme of events organised jointly by Auckland, North Shore, Waitakere and Manukau City Councils. Te Papa (www.tepapa.govt.nz ) also has a month-long Matariki programme in association with the Wellington City Council, and events throughout New Zealand are being supported and promoted by the Maori Language Commission (www.matariki.net.nz ). Notable regional programmes include those in Northland and Hawke's Bay, and a Maori Film Festival in Wairoa. The Maori Language Commission is also publishing a new bilingual booklet on Matariki, which will be available free through the website or from Catherine@tetaurawhiri.govt.nz .

Canterbury Arts and Heritage Trust

For Snapshots, A New Citizens' View, May 2005. The Canterbury Arts and Heritage Trust, in a first for New Zealand, organised a community art event involving the distribution of fifty black and white disposable cameras to the Christchurch refugee and migrant community, asking them to document positive aspects of their daily lives over a seven-day period. The cameras were distributed through the PEETO Multicultural Learning Centre and participants who returned the cameras were eligible for prizes. All fifty cameras were returned. Twenty five of the most compelling photos were displayed at the Christchurch Centre of Community Art in May, along with an album of all the photos. The project coordinator for the Inaugural Community Photographic Awards was Ehab El Mohandes.

John Macalister, Wellington

For A Dictionary of Maori Words in New Zealand English. Victoria University linguist John Macalister this month published the first dictionary of Maori words in English (Oxford University Press). It includes a lengthy and excellent introduction on the relationship between New Zealand's two major languages and how this has been influenced by the evolving relationship between its peoples. He concludes that the Maori influence distinguishes New Zealand English from other kinds of English and hopes that the dictionary will make that most distinctive feature of New Zealand English more accessible both to New Zealanders and to visitors to the country coming to terms with the language we use.

NIU Development Inc, Auckland

For services to the Pacific community. The NIU Development Trust was established in 1974 as Matakau Vagahau Niue, a Niuean response to their endangered language plight. Since then it has grown to include many initiatives and projects funded by a range of statutory agencies to assist with its endeavours to maintain and retain the Niuean language. Recently it has extended its delivery into public health provision through the National Pacific Gambling Project, which focuses on reducing and minimising problem gambling harms amongst Pacific Communities, with teams in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. The Trust also assumed a coordinating role for the National Pacific Suicide Prevention project which saw the launch of Pacific suicide prevention resources in the first languages of the Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa and Tongan groups. NIU has worked to bring together many diverse Pacific peoples working in these areas of health. For further information, contact 09 529 1492.

European Forum, Wellington

For Eurofest May 14 2005, Wellington. The first European Fair was held in Wellington 12 years ago, but Eurofest came into being with the celebration last year of the enlargement of the European Union on May 1. This year's events included an exhibition of posters at Wellington Central Library, a European food week at the Duxton Hotel, and a festival at Queens Wharf on 14 May. Eurofest is now supported by most European embassies and consulates, with sponsorship from Wellington Waterfront, Lufthansa and Porsche. Watch out for this festival to grow further in coming years. Said Maurice Maxwell, Charge d'Affaires of the European Commission's Wellington Delegation: "Eurofest helps demonstrate that being a part of a great project like the creation of Europe does not mean that we have to give up our national cultures, languages and traditions". Like New Zealand really.

David Slack, Auckland

For Civil War and Other Optimistic Predictions: Where is New Zealand Going? This is a sequel to last year's highly successful Bulls**t, Backlash and Bleeding Hearts. It is equally readable, and takes as its starting point "some terrible problems and some quite dire predictions from a variety of concerned New Zealanders that lie just around the corner if we don't do something about them". These include civil war and racial separatism as well as economic and environmental doom. It reads like a book-length newspaper article, with lots of quotes from a diverse range of New Zealanders, in his familiar style of adding some facts to the public rhetoric. In the end, he is more optimistic than the doomsayers.

Paul Spoonley, Cluny Macpherson and David Pearson

For Tangata Tangata, The Changing Ethnic Contours of New Zealand. This collection of essays by fifteen leading social scientists is the fourth in a series begun in 1984 on race relations in New Zealand. It provides an excellent overview of developments in the last decade, with sections on tangata whenua, immigration and settlement, institutional issues and policies, and reframing citizenship. It draws on a wealth of research and data, and offers many valuable insights to into future directions.

Framework Trust

For the Muslim Women's Hui, May 2005. As part of the Like Minds Like Mine destigmatisation programme, the Framework Trust organised a Muslim Women's hui in Auckland on 14 May under the motto of He Manu Korerokorero, Noho tahi mahi tahi: Building Bridges in Our Community. Hosts and organizers for the day were Tayyaba Khan of the Auckland Muslim Girls Association and Catherine Ross, the coordinator of the Like Minds Like Mine project. Alongside keynote speakers there was a panel of Muslim women presenters on women, Islam, education, health and cultural adjustment issues. The Framework Trust (www.framework.org.nz ) is a non-government organization which provides a wide and impressive range of community-based recovery-focused services for individuals who have experienced mental illness, and fosters participatory citizenship.

Rangitikei District Council

For the Memorandum of Understanding: Tutohinga signed with iwi of the district. The Rangitikei District Council (www.rangdc.govt.nz ) and eleven local iwi and the Ratana community have negotiated a comprehensive MOU to govern the relationships between them, which includes provision for a Standing Committee of the Council, Te Ahi Kaa, principles and protocols on consultation and advice.

New Zealand Historic Places Trust

For the Made in New Zealand concert, May 2005. This celebration of New Zealand music in the Wellington Town Hall was a joint effort between the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the Historic Places Trust, as the starting point for a year of celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust (www.historic.org.nz ). The Trust has played a major role in the conservation of New Zealand's Maori and European heritage, and its Register of Historic Places also contains places of particular significance to New Zealand's Chinese, Scottish, French, Scandinavian and German communities.

Bharat Jamnadas and Ashok Jeram, Auckland

For the Festival of India, April 16, Auckland. The annual Festival of India, organised by Aucklanders Bharat Jamnadas and Ashok Jeram celebrated its 10th anniversary in April at Auckland's Aotea Square. Large crowds turned out to the festival, which began on a small scale in 1996. The event featured food and craft stalls and non-stop entertainment from 10am to 5.30pm, reflecting the colours, sounds and flavours of India.

For information about race relations visit the Human Rights Commission website www.hrc.co.nz . The website will shortly be upgraded to be more accessible. Recent additions include the Commission's submission on the hate speech inquiry, a report on Race Relations in 2004, full details of partners and projects of the New Zealand Diversity Action Programme, and the New Zealand Action Plan for Human Rights: Mana ki te Tangata.


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