On the Bright Side: Paenga Hihiko
Human Rights Commission
Te Kahui Tika Tangata
On the Bright Side: Paenga Hihiko
August/Here Turi Koka 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.
New Zealand Rugby Football Union
For the new Kapa o Pango haka. The All Blacks took the nation by surprise on 27 August when they performed a new haka at the Tri-Nations test against the Springboks. The team has learned the new haka over the last year in an effort to expand the All Blacks' tradition of haka and make a contribution to the team's heritage. "We have a lot of players from a lot of different cultures and haka is one of the things that bring us together," captain Tana Umaga said. The new haka, Kapa o Pango (the Black Team), was written for the team by Derek Lardelli of Ngati Porou. Its words and actions celebrate the land of New Zealand, the silver fern and its 'warriors in black.' Kapa o Pango is designed to be a second haka for the team, alongside the traditional Ka Mate. All Black senior player Aaron Mauger said the team had talked a lot in the last year about what it means to represent New Zealand and the idea for a new haka was one result. The new haka received a warm public reception, which says something about how we see our national identity as well as our national rugby team. The text and translation of the new haka is on www.allblacks.com.
Heinke Sommer-Matheson and Catriona Matheson
For the presentation of flowers to Dunedin's Muslim women, 10 August 2005. Following reports of two incidents of harassment of Muslim women in Dunedin, Heinke Sommer-Matheson and Catriona Matheson organised a presentation of flowers to Muslim women at the Dunedin Islamic Centre on Wednesday 10 August. Groups involved included the National Council of Women, Amnesty International, Dunedin Inter-faith Group, ESOL Dunedin, representatives from Christian and Jewish communities and the Federation of Graduate Women. Catriona told the Otago Daily Times that "everybody is upset about the London bombings but there is no point in abusing people, especially when they have nothing to do with it". Dunedin Muslim Alisha Wood said "It made all of us feel very grateful to be part of Dunedin life. It is difficult to express how touched we are with this sisterly solidarity shown to us".
Global Education Centre
For the Global Issues Cartoon Book. This bilingual Maori and English cartoon book has excellent discussion starters on 18 global issues with full page cartoons by Trace Hodgson and Frank MacFarlane, along with links to further resources. Issues include: being a New Zealander, children's rights, ethnic diversity, refugees, terrorism, as well as hunger, HIV/AIDS, poverty, water, cars and fuels and many more. It is the Centre's first wholly bi-lingual publication, and will thus also be valuable for Maori medium-teachers. It is a tribute to the Centre's work that they have also already produced a dedicated and detailed resource for almost all of the individual topics covered, as part of their role in providing training and resources to teachers, teacher trainees, students, youth workers and community groups. The Centre is part of the Development Resource Centre, based in Wellington. The cartoon book is the Centre's second project registered with the New Zealand Diversity Action Programme. For more information visit www.globaled.org.nz.
Brian McGurk, Nelson Police Commander
For taking a strong stand against racial attacks. As Police Area Commander for Nelson Bays, Inspector Brian McGurk has challenged the public of Nelson to take positive action to prevent a recurrence of three recent racially motivated attacks in the city. Inspector McGurk called a public meeting on 25 August, at which he was joined by the Mayor of Nelson, the President of the Federation of Ethnic Councils, the Police Commissioner's Ethnic Adviser and the Race Relations Commissioner. He said that "the Police have been advocating a zero tolerance to any type of racially motivated crime. We want to join the community in signalling strongly that such behaviour cannot be tolerated and must be stamped out". He assured ethnic communities that the Police had the powers and the will to deal with such crimes and committed the Police to a closer working relationship. The Race Relations Commissioner encouraged Nelson community organisations to become partners in the Diversity Action Programme and to undertake positive projects to improve race relations in the region, and invited the Nelson Multi-Ethnic Council to help coordinate such efforts. The meeting was attended by over 70 people, who strongly supported the Police initiative.
Youth participants in the NZ Diversity Forum
For a unique contribution to the NZ Diversity Forum, 23 August 2005. >From April to June the Human Rights Commission and UNESCO, in association with local government, organised nine youth fora on cultural diversity throughout New Zealand, as a contribution to the New Zealand Diversity Action Programme. From each of these fora, young people were selected to come to a national youth forum on 22 August to prepare a contribution to the following day's New Zealand Diversity Forum at Te Papa on the challenges of cultural diversity. The youth focus had a powerful effect on the forum as a whole, which was attended by over 400 people. Many participants have commented that this was the highlight of the day for them. The keynote address by Children's Commissioner Cindy Kiro was about cultural diversity and the rights of the child, and the youth participants took an active part in all the concurrent sessions on the media, public policy, interfaith cooperation, national languages policy, community dialogue, the arts, education and migrant and refugee settlement. They presented their own declaration on cultural diversity, and each section of the declaration was preceded by a compelling piece of drama illustrating the theme. Youth delegates also provided the report back from each of the eight concurrent sessions at the end of the forum. This was a forum about the future of cultural diversity in New Zealand, and it was therefore very much about our young people. Keynote addresses and other presentations are available at www.hrc.co.nz/diversity (select the forum page).
Week of Prayer For World Peace Committee
For the annual observance of the Week of Prayer for World Peace in New Zealand, 2005. A small group has for the past fifteen years or so promoted and maintained New Zealand support for this international event by reproducing and distributing leaflets with prayers for peace from each of the world's major religions. There are around 100 organisers of local activities, both within faith communities and as combined interfaith events. This year's week is 16-23 October, and leaflets can be ordered from PaddyP@intergen.co.nz.
Vivian Chow, New Zealand-Asia Association (NZAA) Inc
For Viva Eclectika 2005. This biennial competition organised by Vivian Chow and the New Zealand-Asia Association took place in front of an audience of 800 in Auckland on 20 August. The aim of the event is to "promote unity, goodwill, understanding and positive race relations between the people of New Zealand through inter-cultural dance and music and to enrich New Zealand-Asian cultural experiences through a fusion of Asian dance and music with the tangata whenua, and New Zealand's diverse cultures". Contestants are challenged to present a dance item involving at least two cultures". This year's winners were the Interfusion Hype Dancers, who were of Indian, Tuvaluan, Burmese and New Zealand origin, with a "showcase of the past to the present in a fusion of styles and cultures from the classical to the contemporary". They were the choice of the celebrity judges Anjali Kurian of Asia: NZ Foundation; Melissa Lee of Asia Down Under; and Mika of Mika.co.nz, as well as clear favourites with the audience, but there were many other excellent performances from Auckland secondary schools and other dance groups. There is more information about the concept and concert on the projects page at www.hrc.co.nz/diversity.
The New Zealand Milestones Project Team
For the Milestones photographic exhibition, Auckland International Airport. The New Zealand Milestones Project Team, spearheaded by Auckland Mayoress Diana Hubbard, has brought the international milestones project exhibition to New Zealand. It is currently at Auckland International Airport (till September 30), and is then expected to move to locations in Wellington and Christchurch. The Milestones project is a collection of stunning photos of children that capture universal developmental stages of childhood on every continent and compiles them into a family of images that communicate our shared humanity. There is further information about the exhibition under the partner and project listings at www.hrc.co.nz/diversity and on the international project website at www.milestonesproject.com.
Office of Ethnic Affairs
For Portraits. The Office of Ethnic Affairs has produced a booklet of portraits of young New Zealanders of various ethnicities to illustrate the diversity of New Zealand. There are photos, quotes and brief biographies, as well as some background notes on multi-ethnic Aotearoa-New Zealand and the role of the OEA. Says Director Mervin Singham: "The key message we wanted to convey was that over and above the difference, there is similarity. So when you look at these images we hope you will see not just an Indian, a Greek or an Iraqi, but an individual person. Someone who, like you, is a New Zealander with unique experiences". Some of the featured young people were interviewed in a series on Radio New Zealand's afternoon programme following publication of the booklet. The booklet is available from OEA at www.ethnicaffairs.govt.nz.
For information about race relations visit the Human Rights Commission website www.hrc.co.nz.