Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Growing on the world stage -

02 November 2009
Growing on the world stage

Last Friday in Perth, I proudly introduced Botany to the world stage as an example of a place where multi-ethnic and multi-faith communities exist in harmony.

Indeed New Zealand's model of success for social harmony is based on celebrating multi-ethnic and multi-faith communities.

While leading the New Zealand delegation at the fifth Asia-Pacific Regional Interfaith Dialogue, I was asked to front the only international press conference at the forum to talk about our country's success in achieving social harmony and peace.

Earlier, I had talked about our patch's wonderful diversity and vibrancy, where 49 percent of residents were born overseas.

The theme of this year's Dialogue was Future Faith Leaders and the New Zealand delegation lead the way with a good mix of long standing leaders and also young future leaders, who are eager to carry on the torch.

Men and women representing many of New Zealand's faiths including Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Sikhism presented a united front. Naturally, forum attendees were treated to a waiata at the end of my key not speech.

As a result of the strong delegation and our highly regarded facilitation practices, New Zealand was praised as being interfaith leaders and again added to our strong international reputation as being a country that celebrates our multi-ethnic and multi-faith communities.

At the closing ceremony, I presented Australia's Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith a 2011 World Cup badge and also a New Zealand tie - encouraging him to wear the tie after Saturday night's Bledisloe Cup match.

I didn't receive an Australia tie, but that's okay because I knew I wasn't in danger of having to wear one, with the All Blacks romping home to a 32-19 victory over Australia in Tokyo.

Community spirit is as high as a kite

The Citizen's Advisory Service opening at the Botany town centre on October 16 was a real community turn-out and it was a pleasure to meet such a dedicated group of people serving our patch.

Having a service like Citizen's Advisory will ensure that people in our community have a place to turn to for advice and support.

Community spirit continued to rise at the Kite Festival at Barry Curtis Park on October 26. It was a festival of colour with bright and vibrant designs filling the air as families from all backgrounds came out to join in the fun and fly a kite.

It was a mixture of young and old, with grandparents and grandchildren joining in the fun and keeping the kites up in the air.

It was a real sign that spring is starting to blossom in our patch.

One thing the Citizen's Advisory Service will be able to advise citizens on is the new Social Assistance (Payment of New Zealand Superannuation) Amendment Bill, which provides greater freedom for our Golden citizens by allowing them to receive their entitlements while living and travelling overseas.

Also under the new rules people will be entitled to receive a pension that is equal to the time they have lived and contributed to New Zealand between the ages of 40 and 65.

Someone who has lived here for 22.5 years during this period will receive 50 percent of their pension, while someone who has lived here 30 years will receive 66 percent -contrast to the old rules, where they would only get 50 percent.

Under the "grandparent provision" of the new law, all people who are receiving 50 percent under the current rules will continue to receive 50 percent, or have their payment rate increased if they are entitled to more under the new formula.

Somerville students siege Beehive

Last week, I played host to Rooms 5 and 24 of Somerville Intermediate Schools, who came down to Parliament to visit me in my office in the Beehive.

It was great to see many hands come up when asked who would like to one day sit in my seat. Some even expressed their interest at aiming to one day get into the Prime Minister's seat.

They were, however, serious about presenting me with a booklet of submissions ranging from tougher law and order policies to bolting up manholes to avoid future tragedy after the death of Aisling Symes.

Their interest and knowledge in the Parliamentary process and appreciating their rights to stand up and speak out are a credit to their teachers' long-term planning to stimulate the interest of students in pursuing issues.

Visit my website at www.pansywong.co.nz for snappy shots of our beautiful Botany electorate.

Hon Pansy Wong

MP for Botany

Botany, ours to work and grow together

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On Why Herd Immunity Isn’t A Valid Option, And What’s With Our Reluctance To Wear Masks?

Herd immunity has recently bounced back into the headlines as a tool for managing Covid-19, and as a supposed alternative to lockdowns. In the US, a group of scientists was recently brought together in the town of Great Barrington, Massachusetts by a think tank funded by the Koch brothers. The assembled scientists signed the so called Barrington Declaration, which promotes herd immunity as a rational means of re-opening US public schools and the economy at large... More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On National Being Shafted By Its Own Creation

As it licks its wounds, let’s hope the National Party can still find time to look back with some pride at what it has achieved in Epsom. The Act Party’s nationwide success on Saturday night has been a tribute to National’s foresight, and to its ... More>>

ALSO:

Green Party: 'Fruitful Discussions ... Further Discussions To Have'

The Green Party says there is a negotiation going on with the Labour Party, but there are more discussions to be had. More>>

ALSO:


Border: No Changes To Border Exemptions After Fishing Crew Test Covid-19 Positive

The cases were detected after routine day three testing but the immigration minister and air commodore agree there's no need to change border exemptions. More>>

PSA: Labour-Led Government Has Mandate For Transformation, Equality And Transparency

The Public Service Association welcomes the progressive electoral landslide New Zealand voters delivered on Saturday, and the union says its members look forward to implementing policies that reduce poverty and inequality, support affordable housing ... More>>

ALSO:


Stats NZ: New Report Shows Significant Changes To New Zealand’s Climate

Climate change is already happening in New Zealand and could have a profound impact on future generations of New Zealanders, a new report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ says. Our atmosphere and climate 2020 , released today, includes analysis ... More>>

ALSO:

Judith Collins: Obese People Must Take Responsibility For 'personal Choices'

National Party leader Judith Collins has described obesity as a weakness and says people should not 'blame systems for personal choices'. More>>

Māori Party: Poll Reveals Tamihere On Cusp Of Historic Māori Movement Election Victory

John Tamihere’s election campaign is on the rise and on track to return the Māori Party to parliament, a new Māori TV poll has revealed. The poll released on 11 October during the seventh and final Māori TV Maori Electoral campaign coverage has Tamihere ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Four-Year Terms Of Parliament, And On How The US Courts Are Dismantling Democracy

Last week, the issue of four-year parliamentary terms surfaced again. Infuriatingly, it is being discussed purely in terms of its convenience for political parties. They’d get so much more time to enact their policies, free of scrutiny or sanction by voters ... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels