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Human Rights Commission - On the Bright Side

Human Rights Commission

Te Kahui Tika Tangata

On the Bright Side: Paenga Hihiko

Whiringa-ā-nuku / October 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.

New Zealand Hungarian Community and Hungarian Consulate

For commemorative events marking the 50th anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution, October 2006. There was a wide-ranging programme of events throughout New Zealand to mark the short-lived Hungarian revolution in 1956. The repression that followed prompted a huge outflow of refugees, and over 1000 of them came to New Zealand. Events in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin included concerts, masses, dinners, exhibitions and seminars and of course a soccer match. At a commemorative ceremony in Wellington on Labour Day, new engraved paving stones were unveiled in the Magyar Millennium Park in Molesworth Street. Green MP Keith Locke proposed a motion in Parliament to mark the occasion. For more on Hungarian New Zealanders, check out www.teara.govt.nz .

The Families Commission: Komihana a Whanau

For Korean Migrant Families in Christchurch: Expectations and Experiences. This Blue Skies Fund research report by Suzana Chang, Carolyn Morris and Richard Vokes is based on interviews with Korean migrants living in Christchurch. While there were only 930 Koreans resident in New Zealand in 1991, by 2001 this number had grown to 19,023. Unlike many other groups, 94% of Koreans were born overseas and 87% arrived here in the past ten years. The research reveals some disturbing stories about racial harassment and abuse, employment discrimination, and social exclusion, as well as the positive role played by Korean churches in the settlement process. The authors make a number of recommendations directed at both central and local government. For further information visit www.nzfamilies.org.nz .

Vivian Stichbury, Palmerston North

For the United Nations Day Children’s Parade, October 24, 2006. At the invitation of Palmerston North’s Mayor, Heather Tanguay, several hundred members of the city’s diverse ethnic communities came to the Convention Centre on United Nations Day to celebrate Parlmerston North’s cultural diversity. The event included cultural performances and a delightful parade of young children dressed in a wide range of national costumes. The parade was organised by primary teacher trainee Vivian Stichbury, who arrived in New Zealand from Taiwan only three and a half years ago. She also takes Chinese classes at a number of local schools, publishes a free fortnightly bilingual Chinese and English community news broadsheet called The Trolley, helps out with holiday programmes, translations and ESOL, and recently became Vice President of the Manawatu Ethnic Council.

The Oticon Foundation

For Ō Taonga Whakarongo/Your Hearing Aids, te reo Māori guide, October 2006. To mark Deaf Awareness Week, the Oticon Foundation in NZ launched a new guide in te reo Māori to help Māori children and their families better understand their child’s hearing aid. The booklet provides user friendly, step-by-step advice about having and using a hearing aid. It was designed as a story book for teachers and parents to read to their children to not only educate about hearing aids, but also stimulate language development. The booklet was produced because Māori children are significantly more likely to have a hearing loss than other members of the community. Pacific Island children also experience comparatively high rates of hearing loss, and the Oticon Foundation are working on translations of the booklet into Samoan and Tongan which are expected to be available by the end of the year. The Oticon Foundation can be contacted at info@oticon.org.nz or 0800 684 266.

Sonal Patel, Wellington

For a major contribution to the success of the Wellington Diwali Festival 2002-2006. Sonal is a young Wellington playwright who has for several years been employed by the Wellington City Council to help with the organisation of the WCC-Asia New Zealand Diwali Festival, first as an assistant (2002) and then for the last three years as the event organizer.

The Wellington Diwali Festival of Lights was the first of the major Diwali festivals to be organised for the whole community in New Zealand. Despite the bad weather on Labour Weekend, the festival still attracted 40,000 people, and with other festivals in Auckland, Waitakere and many other parts of the country, national participation in Diwali must have risen to close to 200,000 people, making it one of our biggest national cultural festivals. Sonal’s play, The Chaiwallah’s Tale, was broadcast on National Radio on Labour Day as part of its Festival Shorts series. She is now planning to head off overseas for some OE.

North Shore Community and Social Services Inc

For the Cultural Perspective Lunchtime Series, October 2006. For four years the North Shore Community and Social Services Inc have hosted the Cultural Perspective Lunchtime Series to help raise awareness and understanding of the different cultural backgrounds of migrants and refugees living in Auckland. A migrant or refugee is invited to share their own story, sharing why and how they came to settle in NZ, the challenges they faced adjusting to the kiwi lifestyle, and the things they appreciate about NZ.

The migrants also share aspects of the culture, customs and lifestyle of their homeland, which highlights the differences in lifestyle that many have had to adapt to while adjusting to life in NZ. The meetings are open to the public and have allowed people to get to know the ‘heart’ of an individual migrant and so break down some of the stereotypes that may have been developed. You can get further information on upcoming lunchtime talks by emailing Lesley@nscss.org.nz or by phoning 09 486 4820.

Auckland Inter-Faith Council

For Performances and Prayers for Peace, September 2006. The Auckland Inter-Faith Council organised an evening programme on the United Nations International Day of Peace, 21 September. Over 200 people from a variety of faith communities participated. The Mayor of Auckland Dick Hubbard and Deputy Mayor Dr Bruce Hucker addressed the gathering at the Mt Albert War Memorial Hall. The event was supported by the Auckland City Council and United Nations Association of NZ.

Mary-Jane O’Reilly

For the World Dance Showcase, October 2006. From Bellydance to Bollywood, dance from a variety of cultures was performed to a full house at the Auckland Performing Arts Centre on 7 October as part of the Tempo Dance Festival. The production by Mary-Jane O’Reilly included dance from Maori, Pacific Island, African, Indian, Argentinian, Chinese and Middle Eastern cultures. The show’s written programme provided information about the history and actions of the various dances to aid in understanding as they were performed. The show was so successful that it will be repeated next year. Tempo’s website can be visited at http://www.tempo.co.nz/ .

Wellington Free Kindergarten Association, Hutt City Kindergartens & Wellington Early Childhood Teachers’ Multicultural Network

For the Wellington Children’s Multicultural Resource Centre website, October 2006. This website http://www.multiculturalchildren.co.nz/ has been developed to provide both practitioners and parents with relevant information to help them with the education of young children. The site provides links to research on issues relating to working with multicultural communities to help teachers extend their knowledge and understanding about diversity. Topics of research papers and other articles currently available on the website include bilingualism and religious diversity.

There is also a section in development on Key Vocabularies to assist when teachers, children and families who don’t speak the same language. This section will be regularly updated, and is expected to be fully implemented by the end of this year. Ideas for vocabulary items to be included can be suggested by visiting the forum section of the website, or by contacting Lisa Terreni at lisa.terreni@vuw.ac.nz .

Waikato Institute of Technology

For Go ‘Round the World, September 2006. In September the Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec) hosted an International Week which focused on the arrival of new international students and how they are embraced into the Wintec and Hamilton communities. Throughout the week there were lunchtime activities such as market stalls, library displays, belly dancing, a movie night and a quiz night. There was also a one-off soccer game between international and kiwi students. For more information on Wintec, visit their website at http://www.wintec.ac.nz/ .

Capital and Coast District Health Board

For Shake It, Beat It, Learn It, 2006. Pacific communities in the Capital and Coast DHB district have really taken to a pilot programme that aims to improve the level of physical activity in their daily lives. Launched in July, the number of participants in some areas has almost tripled in just a few months in these exercise groups run by young Pacific students. The scheme came about after Pacific community groups asked the DHB for help running exercise-based activities. The programme aims to inspire people and to show them how they can easily fit exercise into their lives. The ‘Shake It’ initiative is just one of several to be established across the Pacific community in the past year, where the aim has been to improve the health of Pacific people in the district. Further information about the Shake It programme can be obtained by emailing Capital and Coast DHB at info@ccdhb.org.nz .

Hamilton Multicultural Services Trust, Upper Hutt Multi Ethnic Council, and Wellington City Council

Multi-ethnic football tournaments, 2006. Wellington City Council organised the inaugural Culture Kicks Football Festival on 22 October which they described as Wellington’s own mini-World Cup. Teams representing their country of origin or a mix of nationalities competed, culminating in the final where Somalia beat Aotearoa 4-1. Last month the Upper Hutt Multi Ethnic Council organised a similar tournament which was won by the Sudanese team who beat the Zimbabweans in the final.

New Zealand’s longest standing ethnic soccer festival takes place in Hamilton on 9-10 December with 24 teams playing 66 games over two days, and a celebrity team playing a World XI. The Hamilton tournament, which also includes food, and arts and craft stalls, has been an annual event for the past five years.


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