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FIANZ Response To Ministers’ Report On Community Hui

As the national umbrella organisation of Muslims, FIANZ commends the Ministers for the Hui Report as the first tangible outcome of the engagement process after the Royal Commission Report and Recommendations. FIANZ monitored the community input in most of the hui around the country and the report is a fair summary of the viewpoints. However, as we have already highlighted to the Minister’s Office, three key issues were absent.

Firstly, the Muslims in Aotearoa New Zealand acknowledged the overwhelming expressions of Manakitanga (love and compassion) shown by New Zealanders after the tragic events of March 15. For Muslims, this aroha was also reflected in the Minister’s initiative to ‘start a conversation’ with the hui all over the country. ‘Shukr’ or gratitude is a cornerstone precept in Islam and in almost all the hui the Ministers were thanked for the engagement.

The second issue which was not reflected in the report was the concern expressed by many, of the need for a timetable for implementation of the 44 Recommendations. Whilst it was appreciated that consultation and planning take time, it was nevertheless an issue mentioned in a number of the hui.

The third issue omitted, was the concern of the functions and processes on the proposed new Ministry dedicated to ethnic and faith -based communities. This was raised in almost all the hui. It was noted that this new Ministry was welcomed, and suggestions were offered as to the focus and priorities.

Of particular importance is that the release of the Report also coincided with the Minister writing to FIANZ and possibly other organisations about the start of the process to assist ethnic and faith-based communities with funding for the engagement process. The open call for nominations for the consultation framework, was also timely and in keeping with the recommendations of the Royal Commission.

Finally, FIANZ notes that the engagement process and all the consultations were for all communities and not just Muslims. This is pivotal since we all share the same canoe and together, we will all reach our destination of a socially cohesive Aotearoa New Zealand. He waka eke noa.

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