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On the Bright Side: Paenga Hihiko

Human Rights Commission
Te Kahui Tika Tangata
On the Bright Side: Paenga Hihiko
Haratua / May 2006

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.

Te Ore Ore Marae Committee and the Masterton District Council
For the powhiri for new citizens, May 2006. The Marae Committee and the District Council jointly invited people who had become New Zealand citizens to a powhiri at Masterton’s Te Ore Ore marae on May 18. Around 40 migrants from Zimbabwe, South Africa, England, Scotland, India, Russia and Mexico took up the invitation to be welcomed by the tangata whenua and councillors and introduced to the history and culture of the district, in the first ever event of its kind in the Wairarapa. The Wairarapa News reported that there were a few watery eyes in the wharenui as the far flung citizens spoke from the heart about what they had left behind and what it meant to become kiwis. Rosie Mutsimba of Zimbabwe said the chance to be part of the occasion meant a lot to her family: “It was emotional. It really made us feel like we really belong in New Zealand.”

Fairfax Newspapers in Education
For Maori Focus month, June 2006. Fairfax Newspapers in Education are producing four separate eight page mini-newspapers across four levels as a school resource in the lead-up to Matariki (June 27) and Maori Language Week (July 24-30). The publications will cover Toku Iwi – My Community, Matariki – The Maori New Year, Toku Whanau – Me and My Family and Toku Whenua – My Country. They are also promoting their existing best seller resource Te Marae at a discount price as part of the package. For cost details and to order email nie@fairfaxnz.co.nz . It’s great to see one of our major private sector media groups leading the way in promoting these two quintessential kiwi events in the next two months. The challenge is now for other media organisations to match or better this for the annual Maori Language Week Awards. These awards are for a wide range of categories including first-time entrants, businesses, schools, media, public sector and community groups. Other resources for Maori Language Week this year will include a new Give it a Go: Korero Maori phrase booklet on sport, and a range of merchandise (enquiries to info@nzreo.org.nz and visit www.nzreo.org.nz for details of the awards and existing products).

Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce
For the survey of cultural diversity in the workplace, 2006. The Chamber of Commerce has combined with Victoria University’s Centre for Applied Cross-Cultural Research to survey a hundred of their members on their responses to cultural diversity in the workplace. The survey, which was conducted by VUW lecturer Dr Astrid Podsiadlowski was in response to both recognised skill shortages and apparent barriers to the employment of highly qualified migrants. Employers of migrants were generally very positive about them, although English language difficulties were a deterrent for some. Encouragingly, many employers expressed an interest in cultural awareness and diversity management training programmes, some had already taken measures to address cultural diversity and some had an integrated diversity strategy. The study will provide baseline information for future action on diversity management. The results were published in the April edition of the Chamber’s magazine which can be accessed at www.wgtn-chamber.co.nz .

Petone Settlers Museum, Lower Hutt
For the Walk With Me exhibition, June 2006. Like other museums large and small throughout New Zealand, the Petone Settlers Museum engages with its community as a place for information, discussion and exchange about cultural diversity and race relations. On World Refugee Day (20 June) they will open a new exhibition which presents aspects of refugee experience in New Zealand. Hutt City has a significant refugee community. Alongside the exhibition there is a competition for intermediate and secondary school students from throughout New Zealand on the theme of Refugees: Telling Their Stories (entries close at the end of term 3 in September). For full exhibition and competition details and registration forms see the Petone Settlers Museum’s website www.petonesettlers.org.nz . The website also has excellent links and resources for World Refugee Day. The exhibition runs till November.

The Fiji Community Association of Auckland
For the Youth Forum, May 2006. The Auckland Fiji Community held a special youth forum on 19 May to mark Youth Week. The topic was “How do we see ourselves as Fijians in New Zealand?” There was a good turnout at the Oranga Community Centre in Onehunga. Guest speaker Manukau Fiji artist Ema Tavola reflected afterwards that “The voices that took the floor at the Auckland Fiji Community Youth Forum were empowered and deeply aware of their space as Fijians in contemporary New Zealand. People talk about confusion with regards to ‘Identity’, for us, the displaced youth of the Fiji Diaspora. I saw a room full of young people confident in themselves to articulate their struggles and questions, their understanding of who they are and what it means to be them.” The Auckland Fiji community has a lively website at www.aucklandfiji.org.nz .

Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Maori: Maori Language Commission
For promoting the celebration of Matariki. Te Taura Whiri has worked with Te Papa and others over a number of years to promote the celebration in June of Matariki, the Maori New Year, as an iconic event for all New Zealanders. This year promises to be bigger than ever. Last year they produced a free bilingual booklet, Te Whakarite Kaupapa mņ Matariki – Making Plans for Matariki, full of information and ideas, which is still available free from korero@tetaurawhiri.govt.nz . They have also developed an excellent web resource at www.matariki.net.nz . The website already includes many events and resources for this year, from Invercargill to the North, including the now traditional major programmes at Te Papa and Auckland Museum and a variety of Matariki calendars, including a free desk calendar showcasing Maori art from Creative New Zealand (email moerangiv@creativenz.govt.nz ).

NZ Journalists Training Organisation
For promoting diversity in the media, 2006. The NZJTO is a participant in the New Zealand Diversity Action Programme and has this year registered six of its own diversity action projects (for details see www.hrc.co.nz/diversity ). Executive Director Jim Tucker has brought a strong commitment to this aspect of the JTO’s work. This month the JTO launched a survey of journalists including questions on diversity, and added a new diversity section to their website at www.journalismtraining.co.nz .
Other projects for this year include the revision and republication of Michael King’s Kawe Korero – A Guide To Reporting Maori News, a revision of unit standards to reflect diversity, and discussion papers on Maori and Pacific and Asian representation in the media. The JTO will also be hosting a forum for media practitioners on diversity and the media as part of the New Zealand Diversity Forum on 21-22 August.

Disrupt Gallery, Auckland
For the Matariki Fashion Show, 2006. One of the many galleries and art spaces around New Zealand that are holding special events for Matariki is the Disrupt Gallery at 145 Karangahape Rd in Auckland. Following on from last years ‘Nga Rangatira o te Ao’, twelve Maori fashion designers are coming together to once again celebrate the rise of the Maori new year. Celebrations will kick off with a live fashion show on June 2 and the designs will continue to be exhibited on mannequins alongside complementary large format photographs till 4 July. The designers this year include Margaret Wilson, Makaarita of Tribal Fibers, Yassime Williamson, Carmel of Aotearoa House, Lorna Dixon, Shona Tawhiao, Taryn of Blackberri, Bethany Edmunds, Tracey Lloyd of Marama designs, Reegan Balzer, Jeanine Clarkin and Male Designer Ali. They will also be launching a Matariki calendar. This is one of many cultural events on K Rd showcased and supported by the Karangahape Road Business Association, which features the Matariki Fashion Event in its May newsletter and on its great website at www.kroad.com .

Dr Kathy Jackson, Auckland
For Fate, Spirits and Curses: Mental Health and Traditional Beliefs in Some Refugee Communities. Kathy Jackson is an experienced teacher and cross-cultural psychologist who works as Research Associate for the Refugees As Survivors Centre at the national Refugee Resettlement Complex in Auckland. Her book was launched at the Hyatt Hotel in Auckland on 5 May by the Minister of Health. It draws on firsthand experience and wide research to explain some of the traditional beliefs which affect health of the body and mind within some refugee communities from the Middle East and Africa. It is a useful tool for health professionals who directly help refugees or may see them in the course of practice. It’s also of interest to the general reader, with its insights into the beliefs, cultural issues and experiences of refugees who settle in New Zealand. The book can be ordered from the Refugees As Survivors Centre for $25.00 at admin@aucklandras.org.nz .

Paddy Payne, Wellington
For the New Zealand Interfaith Website, 2006. Wellington company director and Baha’i community member Paddy Payne is the driving force behind the national interfaith website www.interfaith.org.nz . The website contains news, events, resources and links, as well as a calendar of religious festivals. Recent additions have been all the papers from the third national interfaith forum in Wellington in February, and fact sheets from the Dunedin interfaith group on Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The website will also be carrying the new interfaith newsletter Te Korowai Whakapono, published by the Human Rights Commission. Paddy is an active member of the Wellington Interfaith Group, and also helps to organise the annual interfaith Week of Prayer for World Peace, which this year will be from 22 – 29 October. For more information about the week contact paddyp@intergen.co.nz .

Wellington School of Medicine and Ministry of Health
For Decades of Disparity III, May 2006. Researchers from the Wellington School of Medicine and the Public Intelligence Unit in the Ministry of Health have combined to produce this very challenging report on ethnic and socio-economic inequalities in mortality in New Zealand 1981-1999. The previous two reports have focused on a growing disparity in life expectancy between Maori and non-Maori over that period, and the socio-economic determinants of this. The final report provides hard evidence that ethnicity is a significant determinant alongside socio-economic status, and that the experience of racial discrimination is itself an important factor in mortality. The report is available on the Ministry of Health website at www.moh.govt.nz .

Te Roopu Awhina O Wairoa Trust, Howick
For the promotion of Maori language, history, and culture in the Howick community. The Trust is a voluntary group based at Keall House in Howick. They provide reo, waiata and kapa haka classes at the centre and in local schools as well as special waioho (awakening) courses providing an introduction to local Maori culture for new settlers. Trust member and kaumatua of the Owairoa Marae, Pita Turei, organises the regular hikoi Pakuranga, a local self-drive tour in which he tells the story of significant Maori heritage sites in the area. He started the hikoi to mark the 75th anniversary of the marae, and has carried on since. The Trust is currently running a series of Matariki seminars in conjunction with Te Tuhi, Pakuranga’s community, cultural and arts centre. Check out the details at www.tetuhi-themark.org.nz .

If you would like to nominate a person or an organisation for acknowledgment please email positive.contribution@hrc.co.nz with the details. For information about race relations visit the Human Rights Commission website www.hrc.co.nz .
If you have received this email from a friend or colleague and would like to be added to the distribution list please email positive.contribution@hrc.co.nz with Subscribe in the subject.
On The Bright Side is part of the Human Rights Commission’s contribution to the NZ Diversity Action Programme. For further details visit www.hrc.co./diversity .


ENDS

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