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Human Rights Commission On the Bright Side


Human Rights Commission On the Bright Side:


Te Kahui Tika Tangata
On the Bright Side: Paenga Hihiko
Pipiri / June 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.

Northland Kindergarten, Wellington

For the celebration of the different cultures represented in the kindergarten, June 2006. The kindergarten got a great response from parents this month when they told them they wanted to acknowledge and support the cultures and ethnicities of all of the children.

They spent three weeks celebrating the various cultural backgrounds and parents came in to share dance, special customs, food, and to tell them all about their cultures. There were Chinese, Indian, Welsh, Bolivian, Thai, English and Japanese days, and they made a book on all of their different cultures.

Wairua Consulting Ltd

For the launch of the AEN Journal, 3 July 2006. A year after the launch of the Aotearoa Ethnic Network, the AEN Journal will be launched on July 3. With articles written by key thinkers in New Zealand's ethnic sector and from experts overseas, the AEN Journal offers a refreshing new perspective on ethnic community issues - challenging, informative and thought-provoking.

The first issue includes a viewpoint on the Palestine-Israel problem from Dave Moskovitz, a New Zealand Progressive Jew, and from Anjum Rahman, a New Zealand Muslim. The journal can be accessed online for free at www.journal.aen.org.nz from July 3. The journal has an open access format, and visitors can download either single articles or the complete journal. You can subscribe to the Aotearoa Ethnic Network at www.aen.org.nz

Nga Kaitiaki o Te Whare a Te Kainga, Kilbirnie

For the powhiri for members of Wellington's Muslim communities, June 2006. The event was organised to provide a traditional Maori welcome by members of the Te Kainga Maori Catholic community to people from Kilbirnie mosque, during the regular Sunday mass at Te Kainga.

The idea was to bring people together as neighbours and as members of different faith communities and ethnic and cultural groups, as the mosque and Te Kainga marae are located within two blocks of each other. Members of Te Kainga were fascinated by the diversity of ethnicities within the visitors, which provided a key learning experience about the wide ethnic and cultural diversity in NZ and Wellington's Muslim community. The International Muslim Association of NZ and Federation of Islamic Associations of NZ will host an event at the Kilbirnie mosque for members of Te Kainga in the near future.

State Services Commission Treaty Information Unit

For the Treaty Information Programme 2003-2006. The Treaty Information Unit closes this week after a highly productive three year programme of providing public information on the Treaty of Waitangi.

Among the products of this programme have been the highly informative Maori and English language websites on the Treaty at www.treatyofwaitangi.govt.nz , five information booklets on the Treaty, educational resources for schools including a bilingual children's book (The Tree Hut Treaty or Te Tiriti o te Whare Rakau) and a dvd. The unit also provided funding for the Treaty2U travelling exhibition organised by Te Papa, the National Archives and the National Library, and the Human Rights Commission's community dialogue programme on human rights and the Treaty.

From July 1 responsibility for the website will transfer to the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, the booklets will continue to be available from the State Services Commission and it is hoped the Ministry of Education will take over responsibility for the educational resources. A further tour of the Treaty2U exhibition is to be funded for next summer.

Whanganui Regional Museum

For the exhibition Tapa - Heartbeat of the Pacific, June-November 2006. Inspired by Whanganui's Pacific Islands communities and the Museum's beautiful tapa collection, the Tapa exhibition is a celebration of their vibrant and dynamic art. The Museum, which is a participant in the NZ Diversity Action Programme, also has activities celebrating Te Wiki o Te Reo Maori/Maori Language Week and has extended the very popular new Matariki schools' education programme to July.

Students can explore the stars, the stories and the celebrations that mark the rise of Matariki, the Maori New Year with an education programme that has a special emphasis on how Puanga is celebrated as Whanganui's special star. Details can be found at www.wanganui-museum.org.nz . For other Maori Language Week activities and how to enter the Maori Language Week awards visit www.nzreo.org.nz .

The Southern Institute of Technology and Nga Kete Matauranga Pounamu Trust

For their Matariki celebrations, June 2006. Matariki is now celebrated from the Far North to the Deep South. The Southern Institute of Technology joined with Nga Kete Matauranga Pounamu Trust, an organisation that develops and coordinates a range of health, social and education services for local people, to celebrate Matariki. The celebrations on 21June began with a Dawn Ceremony at the Murihiku marae, followed by breakfast for the 120 guests who attended, then a walk of celebration to the SIT campus.

On campus there was an art exhibition which featured Matariki inspired art work, and a variety of stalls and entertainment, including a kapa haka performance from Newfield School, and dance from members of the Pacific community. More information about Nga Kete Matauranga Pounamu Trust can be found on their website www.kaitahu.maori.nz

Global Education Centre

For educational resources on NZ Identity, April 2006 and Religious Diversity, July 2006.

The Global Education Centre continues to produce resources for schools on a wide range of topics of national and global importance. This year they have produced an issue of Global Bits on the topic of Who Are You? Which looks at different aspects of New Zealand identity, and in July they will be publishing an issue of Global Issues on Keeping the Faith: Te Whakapono, which prompts discussion on New Zealand's growing religious diversity. This edition of Global Issues explores the religions of the world and what they mean to people.

It notes that religion is a force to be reckoned with which influences what people do and how they act towards each other. Despite the diversity of religions there is much in common with beliefs and practices. It draws connections between people separated by inter-religious strife and what their faith means in their path to New Zealand. Copies of these publications can be ordered in had copy or downloaded from their website at www.globaled.org.nz

Fairfield Intermediate School, Hamilton

For promoting understanding of the significance of Matariki, June 2006. Teacher Reg Iwihora has been teaching Fairfield intermediate students about Matariki and how it relates to everyday life using science, art, maths and English. She said that it was important for the students to understand the significance of what they were celebrating

"They celebrate Matariki with their families and go to big events where people come together - like at Te Wananga O Aotearoa - but some of these kids go along and have no idea why - and this year I hope my kids will know." The class ended their learning with the creation of an outfit using recycled rubbish left over from the planting of new seeds to mark Marariki.

The Faculty of Law, Auckland University

For a Symposium on 'Pakeha and the Treaty of Waitangi', June 2006. The symposium was held at Old Government House in Auckland and attended by about 130 people.

Some of the issues addressed were the extent to which the relationship between the Crown and Maori impacts on the general public, how the Treaty and the modern human rights movement relate to each other, and what the Treaty means within the fields of health, education, justice, delivery of social services, local government, and employment. Presentations received positive feedback from those who attended, who found the symposium to be very worthwhile. For more information about the programme of symposia on Human Rights and the Treaty visit www.hrc.co.nz/treaty .

Plains FM, Christchurch

For the Stepping Out programme, June 2006. This programme was created by Joanne Lee and Jane Oh and is about ordinary people who have come to NZ to make a new life. The aim of the programme is to illuminate the migration experience for all New Zealanders, and to give listeners a greater understanding of other people's experiences.

So far the series has featured stories from migrants from Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines, and Germany, and has included accounts of the daily challenges and interesting and funny situations faced, as well as an indication of the heartfelt desire of these migrants to integrate into NZ society. Stepping Out airs in Plains FM's talk zone at 1pm on Saturdays. More information about Plains FM's programmes can be found on their website www.plainsfm.org .

ESOL Home Tutors North Shore

For hosting a World Refugee Day function, June 2006. The North Shore ESOL Home Tutors marked World Refugee Day on June 20 by holding a social function for tutors and learners, which included a food tasting of dishes from all over the world.

The function was attended by about 100 people, including staff, committee members, tutors and learners. It was opened by Rangitoto College's Kapa Haka Group, followed by an opening speech by the Mayor of North Shore City, George Wood.

Attendees enjoyed food and cultural performances from all over the world including Iran, Korea, India, China, Macedonia, as well as New Zealand. Many of the dishes served will appear in a recipe book the ESOL Home Tutors North Shore plan to publish later this year in time for Christmas as part of the NZ Diversity Action Programme. To commemorate World Refugee Day, there was also a display with information from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and about refugees in general.

Whangarei Art Museum & Whangarei District Council

For the Waka and Wave sculpture project, July 2006. Some eight years after its initiation, Whangarei's Waka and Wave sculpture will be unveiled on July 2 in a ceremony to be attended by the Mayor of Whangarei Pamela Peters, councillor John Williamson, Chair of the Whangarei Art Museum, and the Hon Judith Tizard, Associate Minister of Culture and Heritage.

The sculpture is the result of the collaboration of two leading artists, Chris Booth and Te Warihi Hetaraka, who worked together to create a bicultural sculptural statement that acknowledges the importance of the Whangarei topography to the Maori and Pakeha people of the region. The sculpture incorporates a spectacular ground-based cast stone-faced wakatete/fishing waka over 20 metres long, which symbolises the migratory traditions of both treaty partners, and features monolithic stone wave forms in continuous suspension that transverse both the land and sea. The sculpture is sited at Hihiaua Peninsula in the quayside town basin of Whangarei City.

ENDS

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