On the Bright Side: Paenga Hihiko - August 2006
Human Rights Commission
Te Kahui Tika Tangata
On the Bright Side: Paenga Hihiko
Here-turi-koka / August 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.
A Huge Week for Race Relations
The passing this month of the Maori Queen, Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu, evoked a national response across all boundaries of culture, belief and ethnicity. More than 100,000 people attended the tangihanga at Turangawaewae, and over 400,000 people watched the live coverage of the final day on Television New Zealand and Maori Television. Tainui made special provision for people of Pakeha, Pacific and other ethnic groups to pay their respects in their own way. News broadcasts made liberal use of Maori language, and we all became a little better informed about the Kingitanga movement of which Dame Te Ata was the head. In the same week, some 600 New Zealanders attended the third New Zealand Diversity Forum in Wellington to discuss national identity, cultural diversity and harmonious race relations. In a special tribute to Dame Te Ata, the Forum watched tributes from leaders of many ethnic and faith communities, including verses specially composed for the occasion. To all of them Dame Te Ata personified a hope for positive relationships between Maori and Pakeha and all ethnic groups as part of a diverse and inclusive Aotearoa New Zealand. The moving tribute can be downloaded from www.hrc.co.nz . The day after that, New Zealand's first Governor General of Indo-Fijian descent, Hon Anand Satyanand, was sworn in at a very multicultural ceremony at Parliament.
Economic correctness gone mad?
In March last year, we acknowledged Parkside Pre-School and Nursery in Christchurch for their week-long Race Relations Day programme. “You’re never too young to celebrate diversity” we said, and commended them among other things for the shared multicultural lunch (ranging from cheerios to sushi) enjoyed by their under two’s. Little did the tiny kiwis know that the trade mark police would read On The Bright Side and send us a letter seventeen months later telling us cheerios is a registered trade mark of Goodman Fielder New Zealand Ltd and that we were guilty of improper use of the term. We were told by their lawyers, Bell Gully, that we must either delete any reference to cheerios in our acknowledgment, or add the trade mark and the words Cheerios® cocktail sausages. We were even given examples in italics, and upper and lower case. Oh dear, does anybody own sushi? Or jandals?
NZ Journalism Training Organisation
For the 2006 national survey of journalists. The NZJTO has just published the results of its annual survey of journalists. It concludes that “the typical New Zealand journalist is a European women in her 30s who works as a reporter for a newspaper, holds a bachelor's degree, has less than five years experience, is paid about $40,000 a year, has no religious belief – and probably speaks French well enough to conduct an interview with Jacques Chirac”. Europeans made up 83% of the sample, with 8.5% identifying as Maori or Maori/Pakeha. The only other groups to register above 1% were Chinese and Australians (1.2% each). Two thirds of respondents who answered a question about ethnic representation in newsrooms think minorities are under-represented. Of those who commented further (345 people), most say ethnic communities need to be attracted into journalism through school and tertiary education. Many believe more Asian, Maori and Pacific Island journalists are needed. Let’s hope that Fairfax media will be cognisant of these findings when they choose the 20 interns for their new journalism training programme on September 9. They received 200 applicants. For survey details, visit www.journalismtraining.co.nz .
NZ Driver Licensing Ltd
For ethnic training for testing officers, July 2006. Organised by Geoff Burrows, this ethnic training was the first in the industry. It allowed representatives from various cultures to give an overview of their countries’ licensing systems and a background of their cultures to testing officers. This was followed by an open discussion with the speakers fielding questions from the floor. The final session involved input from Rohan Jaduram from the Human Rights Commission on human rights and cultural sensitivity. All present said that they had gained a better understanding from this interaction. For more information contact nzdriveak[at]xtra.co.nz .
Migrant Support Services
For environmental education projects for new migrants. MSS organised two bush walks in the Waitakere Ranges and a workshop at the Manurewa Botanical Gardens. Free transport and lunch were arranged with the support of the Auckland Regional Council. About 30-35 people participated in each visit. They listened to birds, saw ancient kauri trees, learnt about the traditional methods of communication used by Maori through conch shells and gained an understanding of the role of Maori guardians of nature. They then had an opportunity to take part in gardening and many took home potted plants. For more information on Migrant Support Services contact migrantsupport[at]ihug.co.nz .
Auckland Progressive Jewish Community
For the Jewish Film Festival, August 2006. This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Progressive Jewish Community in Auckland and the 35th Anniversary of Kadimah, the only school with a Jewish foundation in Auckland and which welcomes students of all faiths and backgrounds. In celebration of these milestones, the community is running New Zealand’s first ever ‘Celebrations of Jewish Culture 2006’, a year long focus on Jewish theatre, music and film. The Academy Cinema joined them to co-ordinate and present a mini festival of Jewish films from August 17-23 that offered both new and entertaining insights into another culture, its traditions, history and characters.
Cultural Awareness Trust
For the Date Palm Film Festival, September 2006. In Wellington from 6-12 September, then Christchurch from 14-18 September, the Date Palm Film Festival presents seven feature films, two documentaries and two short films from the Middle East and North Africa. The highlight of the festival is Bosta, an uplifting musical-love-road movie following a dance group that travels through Lebanese towns in an old school bus to perform their dance to the public. Details of all the films and schedules can be found at www.meff.org.nz .
Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology
For Polyculture Week, August 2006. CPIT celebrated its cultural diversity by showcasing the many different nationalities of its students. The week was designed to foster greater understanding amongst the students of the polytech, as well as providing an opportunity to enjoy the ethnic traditions, food, music and dance of the various cultures of the students.
For the Ethnic Links North Shore Refugee and Migrant Directory of Services. The 135 page directory provides a comprehensive list of organisations that serve the Auckland region and spans religious communities, education, employment, ethnic communities, government agencies, health services, interpreters, legal support, media and support services. The Directory was produced with funding and support from the Waitemata District Health Board, Settlement Support New Zealand and North Shore City Council. For more information visit the website at www.raeburnhouse.org.nz .
NZ Federation of Ethnic Councils
For the Wellington Region refugee and migrant women’s forums 2006. On 28 August the Minister of Women’s Affairs, Hon Lianne Dalziel, launched a Federation of Ethnic Councils report on a series of refugee and migrant women’s forums held in the Wellington region between April and June 2006, supported by the Ministry of Social Development, Ministry of Women’s Affairs, the Office of Ethnic Affairs and the Wellington, Hutt and Upper Hutt Ethnic Councils. The report addresses key issues faced by refugee and migrant women, including employment, access to services, loneliness and isolation, racism and discrimination, family relationships and communication and language difficulties. It also includes recommendations from the 145 participants on how to address these issues. The Federation’s women’s project is registered with the NZ Diversity Action Programme and the Federation is now looking to establish a national ethnic women’s council as part of its structure. For more information about the report email executive[at]nzfec.org.nz .
Victoria University School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies
For the workplace communication programme for skilled migrants. This programme is designed to promote the employment of skilled migrants in workplaces that match their qualifications, skills and experience. The course addresses issues that contribute to professional migrants being unemployed or underemployed such as lack of NZ experience, different employment seeking strategies and lack of networks, the uncertainty about the communication styles of NZ workplaces and the reticence of NZ employers to embrace ethnic diversity in their organisations. The programme is funded by the Tertiary Education Commission and Wellington Region Work and Income. For more information contact Angela.Joe[at]vuw.ac.nz or esol.specialist[at]xtra.co.nz .
For the launch of Triangle Television Wellington, August 2006. Following the success of their Auckland channel, Triangle Television began broadcasting in Wellington on August 25. The station aims to reflect the diversity of Wellington, and encourages Wellingtonians to tell their stories by screening their own programmes. The opening line up included programmes currently screening on Triangle Television Auckland that have relevance to a broader audience, such as ’PlanetTV’ which focuses on a broad range of issues including politics, social issues and environmental matters, and ‘Darpan – The Mirror’, a series offering stimulating insights into current news issues from an Indian perspective. To find out more about the Triangle Television Wellington schedule, visit the website at www.tritvwellington.co.nz .
Guides New Zealand
For the promotion of Maori language and culture. Guides New Zealand have designed new activities to encourage their members of all ages to Korero Maori. With the assistance of the Maori Language Commission, Guide New Zealand anthem cards, including useful phrases, were printed for all leaders and girls, and a new Maoritanga badge was introduced. To earn the badge, girls learn a waiata, with or without actions. There are also several other optional activities the girls can participate in, such as visiting a marae, taking part in a powhiri, placing Maori signs in the meeting place, learning about whakapapa, learning to count in Maori and learning Maori phrases. The syllabus was designed so that there was something for all age groups within the Guide movement. Guides New Zealand intend to focus on a new aspect of Maori language and culture each year to build knowledge and understanding, increase the use of te Reo and complement what is being done in schools. For more information on Guides New Zealand, visit their website at www.guidesnz.org.nz .
If you would like to nominate a person or an organisation for acknowledgment please email positive.contribution[at]hrc.co.nz with the details. For information about race relations visit the Human Rights Commission website www.hrc.co.nz .
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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.nz/diversity