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HRC: On the Bright Side September 2004

Human Rights Commission: On the Bright Side September 2004

Thu, 30 Sep 2004

Te Kahui Tika Tangata On the Bright Side September/Mahuru 2004

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.

Alistair Kwun, Auckland

For the Eastern Translation exhibition, October 2004.

Alastair works in cross-cultural relations, arts and youth marketing and communications and connectivity. He was the marketing and communications manager for the inaugural Asia Film Festival Aotearoa in February 2004, and was involved in marketing and communications for kiwi short films in the Auckland International Film Festival.

His latest project is Eastern Translation, the first ever collective Asian art exhibition by immigrant youth artists from various Eastern backgrounds to take place in New Zealand. The show explores cultural identity and the fusion of eastern and western cultures. It aims to give a visual insight of Asian culture to all New Zealanders, and show the positive impacts and exciting influences that people of Asian descent are making not only to this country's multicultural society, but also to its dynamic creative industries sector. The exhibition is at the Odeon Lounge, 3 Mt Eden Rd, Mt Eden, Auckland, from 4-17 October.

Organising Committee: Wellington Fiji Day Celebration

For organising the Save the Children Fun Day, 09 October 2004. A group called the "Core Committee" representing the multicultural Fiji community of Wellington, have for the last three years organised an annual event to mark Fiji Independence Day in Wellington. It takes the form of a Fun Day celebrating Fijian culture, and the money raised is contributed to the Save the Children to support programmes for young people in Fiji. This year's event will be held at the Johnsonville Community Centre, Wellington, from 1.00 pm to 4.00 pm on 10 October.

Marcia Stenson, Auckland

For The Treaty: Every New Zealander's Guide to the Treaty of Waitangi. Contributions to the Treaty debate keep on coming, and historian Marcia Stenson's new book is a useful addition to the resources available. It is very clear and accessible book, not too long, and well organised as a ready reference on all the important historic and contemporary questions. In her introduction she says that "to debate the issues, to decide what the Treaty really means today, to disagree and work out positive compromises is a characteristic of a democratic, forward-looking nation. I am proud to participate in the process."

Paul Atkins, Wellington

For promoting cultural, educational and scientific exchange between the UK and New Zealand. Paul has recently completed his term as Director of the British Council in Wellington. The British Council's goal is to connect New Zealanders with creative ideas and learning opportunities from the UK and to build lasting relationships between the UK and New Zealand.

Highlights during Paul's term included a joint conference with AUT, Turning The Tide, on conflict resolution, including Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission Chairperson Professor Brice Dickson and war correspondent John Pilger, and the recent project involving New Zealand students from Tolaga Bay, Nelson and Pakuranga observing the Transit of Venus. The Council has supported countless educational, cultural and scientific projects. Paul got to like New Zealand so much that he has remained to take up a position with the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology. Visit the British Council's website at www.britishcouncil.org.nz .

Andrew Beddow and Claire Hoey, Wellington

For Giving it a Go to Korero Maori. Andrew and Claire are from England, and they both work for the Genetic Services Department at Capital Coast District Health Board, where they came across the Maori Language Week booklet Give it a Go: Korero Maori. And give it a go is precisely what they did. Andrew took to learning phrases from the book and testing his kiwi workmates in the office, and Claire gave hers to her mother, who was visiting from England. Her mother has since been texting Claire with phrases from the booklet. Copies of the booklet can still be ordered through www.nzreo.org.nz

Television New Zealand

For screening the New Faces Old Fears documentary, September 2004. The documentary examined the experiences of multi-generational Chinese New Zealanders and recent Chinese and Korean migrants. The directors posited the view that the new faces of a visibly different people have triggered old fears that came to the fore after the first Chinese migrants arrived in New Zealand in the 1860's.

Director Manying Ip has produced an excellent accompanying study guide for use in schools, which is available at http://images.tvnz.co.nz/tvnz_images/tvone/study_guides/new_faces_old_fear s.pdf . TVNZ this month also won the supreme Maori Language Week award and began screening another series of Pio's "Some of My Best Friends Are..." focusing on different groups that experience discrimination.

Sonja Rathgen, Wellington

For overseeing the establishment of the Office of Ethnic Affairs. Sonja was the Establishment Director of the Office of Ethnic Affairs, and among the achievements of the Office during her tenure were the development of the Chinese apology and poll tax package, the introduction of the Language Line interpreter service and the government guidelines on Ethnic Perspectives in Policy. Sonja's successor as Director will be Mervin Singham, Chief Mediator at the Human Rights Commission and formerly of the Race Relations Office.

Immigration Service, Department of Labour

For Refugee Voices, the report of the Refugee Resettlement Research Project. Labour Department researchers Stephen Dunstan, Roz Dibley and Philippa Shorland worked with 19 research associates from different refugee communities to interview 398 recently arrived and established refugees.

Recently arrived refugees were interviewed six months after arrival and again after two years. Established refugees were selected on the basis of having been in New Zealand for around five years. The report gives a comprehensive picture of refugee experiences through their own voices, and highlights important issues such as language, employment, health and family. The full report and an executive summary are available on the Department's website at www.immigration.govt.nz .

AUT Pacific Islands Families Research Team

For the Pacific Islands Families Longitudinal Study. The PIF Team, established under the leadership of Doctors Janis Paterson and Colin Tukuitonga, and comprising both Palangi and Pacific Island researchers, started the world's first comprehensive longitudinal study of Pacific families in December 2000, with a cohort of 1400 children recruited from Middlemore Hospital. The study has followed them within their family environment, and is producing ground-breaking research.

The aim of the project is to provide information on Pacific peoples' health and the cultural, economic, environmental and psychosocial factors associated with child health and development outcomes and family functioning, to determine how such factors influence positive and negative child parent and family outcomes over time and to provide information that will help set quantifiable targets for Pacific health. For more information visit the AUT website at www.aut.ac.nz .

EEO Trust and the Department of Labour

For the publication of People Power: Successful Diversity at Work. This attractive A4 booklet profiles 12 companies that have benefited from increasing the diversity of their workplaces. The stories come from a fuller collection of People Power business case studies from around sixty New Zealand businesses on the EEO Trust website at www.eeotrust.co.nz . The booklet is available on www.dol.govt.nz and hard copies can be ordered free by emailing info@dol.govt.nz .

Tapa Charitable Trust, Auckland

For promoting youth employment, conservation and cross-cultural communication. The Tapa Trust is a Pasifika organisation which is primarily focused on employment development services. It has successfully placed over 1000 people into sustainable employment over the past three years, half of whom were in the youth category. They also have a partnership with the Department of Conservation to raise awareness amongst Pasifika peoples of the importance of conservation both in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

Projects have included the production of a video, with music by Te Vaka and comments by Pasifika leaders like Winnie Laban, Albert Wendt and Tana Umanga, and the establishment of a Pacific Garden of medicinal plants. The Trust also provides cross-cultural training resources catering for Pasifika peoples, Maori, Pakeha and migrant groups. The video is available free for educational purposes through the Trust's website at www.tapanz.com , which has recently been upgraded and contains further information about their activities.

Cultural Awareness Trust

For the Date Palm Film Festival, September 2004.

Following the successful Middle Eastern Film Festival in Wellington in 2003, the Trust this year expanded the event into the Date Palm Festival which had seasons in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. The festival aims to celebrate the vibrant and distinctive cultures of the Middle East through the medium of film and encourage greater understanding of the Middle East and its cultures, histories and politics. Opening night in Wellington, screening the Israeli film James' Journey to Jerusalem was a runaway success. For more information visit www.meff.org.nz .

For information about race relations visit the Human Rights Commission website www.hrc.co.nz . Recent additions include the landmark report Human Rights in New Zealand Today, and a summary version of the report. Copies of the reports can be read on line and the summary can be requested from nzaphr@hrc.co.nz . Also available is the Human Rights Commission's submission to the Select Committee on the Foreshore and Seabed Bill, and the New Zealand Diversity Action Programme adopted by the Forum at Parliament in August. Previous editions can be found at http://www.hrc.co.nz/index.php?p=13789#3.


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