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HRC: On the Bright Side: Paenga Hihiko

Human Rights Commission

Te Kahui Tika Tangata

On the Bright Side: Paenga Hihiko

October/Whiringa a Nuku 2005

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 Very Kiwi Diwali

“A very Kiwi Diwali” was the front page message in the Aucklander, the NZ Herald’s community publication of 12 October. It featured a full page image of an Indian dancer beside a carved Maori figure, and information about Diwali activities in Auckland, Waitakere and Manukau cities, the Mahatma Gandhi Centre and elsewhere. Diwali is now a major public festival on the calendar in Auckland and Wellington, where it is jointly organised by the Asia New Zealand Foundation and the respective City Councils. It is also celebrated throughout New Zealand by the Indian community as well as in many schools. The Waitakere festival, organised by the Waitakere Ethnic Board and attended by 15,000 people, especially reflected the diverse public participation, with Maori, Pacific and other Asian cultural performances as part of the programme. Attendances in Wellington and Auckland were estimated at 35,000 and 65,000 respectively. The Indian community paper, Indian Newslink, published a 92 page free Diwali special crammed full of information, Diwali greetings and Diwali sales and bargains. This month’s special acknowledgments go to Asia NZ, the Wellington and Auckland City Councils, the Waitakere Ethnic Board, the Aucklander and Indian Newslink.

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Wairua Consulting Ltd

For the Aotearoa Ethnic Network Mailing List. This electronic mailing list has been set up to provide a way for members of ethnic communities around the country to talk to each other, and for those involved in delivering Government or NGO services to get in touch with these communities for consultation and to provide information. The list is open to everyone involved or interested in migrant and refugee issues in Aotearoa - New Zealand. Information and joining instructions are at Wairua Consulting is a partner in the NZ Diversity Action Programme.

Hulaaga Vagahau Niue Fono Motu Conference Committee

For Hulaaga Vagahau Niue 2005. This celebration of the Niuean language was held at Te Wananga o Aotearoa in Porirua City from 3-6 October. It was an opportunity for teachers, community educators, learners, parents and policy makers to get together to talk about future directions for revitalising and preserving the Niuean language in New Zealand. The Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs launched a language resource kit with CD Rom and booklets which has been developed by Auckland’s Niu Development Inc as part of the Government’s pilot Niue language recovery programme. The programme seeks to address the alarming decline in Niuean language use in New Zealand, with less than 20% of Niueans speaking the language fluently. There were calls at the conference for a Niuean Language Commission on the model of the Maori Language Commission. The resource kit will be available on request to the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs,

Wellington ESOL Home Tutor Service

For Close Your Eyes, Lullabies from Around the World. From Aotearoa’s Hine e Hine to China’s The Moon is Bright and everything in between, this is a fabulous compilation that will be music to the ears not just of tired infants and their parents but also of anyone wanting to hear the archetypal formulas for relaxation and sleep from many different cultures. The packaging is also great, with stories and photos of all the Wellington singers who recorded their own traditional lullabies. Check this one out for Christmas, or for your kindy, early childhood centre or school. Children are bound to respond to (and want to learn) these very diverse melodies. It was launched to a receptive audience at the Wellington Town Hall on 11 October and is available from

Gail Thomas and Leanne McKenzie

For My Home Now: Migrants and refugees to New Zealand tell their stories. This very readable book of 47 stories written by or with migrants and refugees from all parts of the globe was launched at Auckland’s Migrant Resource Centre on 29 September. The stories have been edited by Gail Thomas and Leanne McKenzie and published by Cape Catley. Media commentator Russell Brown recently documented the history of migrants being asked how they find New Zealand almost as soon as they step off the boat, and you’ll find the answer here. However, beneath the enthusiasm that all have for their new homeland there are undercurrents of the difficulties encountered in settling, finding work, making friends and finding acceptance. It is an excellent resource which will both move and inform you about the amazing diversity of people that now call New Zealand home, and the circumstances that brought them here.

New Zealand Police

For A Practical Reference to Religious Diversity. The increasing religious diversity of New Zealanders prompted the Police to produce this guide for their operational staff on the variety of major religions they will encounter in their work and the way these beliefs may impact on policing methods and police effectiveness. It also contains the UN Declaration on the Elimination of Intolerance and Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief. The booklet was officially launched at an interfaith event at Christchurch Cathedral on 12 October, with parallel launches in Auckland and Wellington. The booklet can be downloaded at and the summaries of different religions will be useful to a wider audience.

Ethnic Voice New Zealand (Inc)

For the Voice of Ethnic Youth forum, Orakei marae, 15 October 2005. Around 100 young people (Maori, Pakeha, Pacific, Asian, African and more) sacrificed a warm sunny day in Auckland on 15 October to discuss the challenges faced by “ethnic youth”. The forum was organised by Ethnic Voice New Zealand, and hosted by Ngati Whatua, with guest speakers Pita Sharples, Co-Leader of the Maori Party, Joris de Bres, Race Relations Commissioner and Sandra Alofivae, member of the Families Commission. Various groups of young people made presentations that had been developed in preparatory meetings, and participants identified challenges and solutions in relation to family expectations, racism, discrimination, language and identity. The forum will be a platform for further development of networks and activities focused on diversity and youth. For more information on Ethnic Voice visit

VUW Centre for Applied Cross-Cultural Research

For New Zealand Identities: Departures and Destinations. The Victoria University Centre for Applied Cross-Cultural Research is committed to developing a nation-wide inter-disciplinary network of researchers concerned with issues of cultural diversity and inter-cultural communication. They already have over 50 associates in five universities, three polytechnics as well as other research organisations, and this book, edited by James Liu, Tim McReanor, Tracey McIntosh and Teresa Teaiwa, represents the work of some of their associates who were brought together by the Centre in a three day wananga last year. The book looks at the issue of New Zealand identity from a wide range of viewpoints and in a wide range of contexts, and has plenty of food for thought. It is published by Victoria University Press and was launched at Parliament by Shane Jones, Parekura Horomia, Sir Graham Latimer and the authors on 18 October. For more on the Centre visit

Auckland YWCA

For the YWCA Future Leaders Programme. This leadership programme is for young women who have potential in leadership but who are unlikely to succeed without support and resources. The programme provides them with mentoring for a period of up to five years starting at year 10 (age 14) and continuing until they complete their first year of higher education. The mentors are all successful businesswomen. Currently there are 70 students and 70 mentors from 9 schools within the Auckland area. The most recent intake was a group of new immigrant young women who had been in New Zealand for less than three years. The programme hopes to have two intakes of young immigrant women per annum (as funding permits). The programme currently has young women of 15 different ethnicities. For more information visit

Auckland City Council

For Ethnic Communities and the Media Forum: A Belonging Initiative. This forum brought together over 50 local representatives of the “mainstream” media (including the NZ Herald and Radio NZ), ethnic media and members of local ethnic communities. The objectives were to foster understanding between the media and ethnic communities and to find ways in which to cooperate so there is more accurate portrayal in the media. Paul Spoonley and Ward Friesen gave a presentation on the media and ethnic communities, a media panel discussed how communities can be heard by the media, and a community panel discussed how the media can access stories from the community. Contact details were exchanged, and possible follow up action discussed, including journalism training scholarships and media training for community spokespeople.

If you would like to nominate a person or an organisation for acknowledgment please email with the details.

For information about race relations visit the Human Rights Commission website Keynote papers from the recent New Zealand Diversity Forum at Te Papa are available at Also now available in hard copy are limited numbers of the Commission’s review, Race Relations in 2004, as well as the Commission’s 2004-05 Annual Report and the 2005-06 Statement of Intent.

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