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New Zealand praised as international leaders

Hon Pansy Wong
Minister for Ethnic Affairs

1 November 2009
Media Statement

New Zealand praised as international leaders

New Zealand has been praised as international leaders in social harmony at the fifth Asia-Pacific Regional Interfaith Dialogue in Perth, Australia.

Ethnic Affairs Minister Pansy Wong led the strong New Zealand delegation, which became the centre of media attention at the press conference, with journalists from Asia asking questions about our strong interfaith reputation.

“They were particularly interested in our country’s integration of Muslim communities and the harmony that exists within and beyond New Zealand’s many religious and ethnic communities,” Mrs Wong says.

“The Interfaith Dialogue provided us with a platform to provide an insight into our multicultural, interfaith and inter-generational practices that ensure faith followers of all persuasions can not only stay true to their religion, but also participate in all aspects of Kiwi life.

“We are a country with a successful model for social harmony that is based on the celebration of our mult- racial and faith communities. The Interfaith Dialogue provided an excellent opportunity for us to discuss ideas and facilitation practises, as well as serious issues, including preventing the marginalisation and radicalisation of our interfaith community.

“New Zealand appreciates that social harmony isn’t something that always comes naturally, it is something that we have to work at and countries throughout the Asia Pacific are interested in how this occurs.”


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