All in Multicultural communities

How Chileans celebrate their Independence Day in New Zealand?

Chilean Independence Day is always celebrated in Chile on September 18, and marks the date when the Chilean people declared independence from Spain. The Chilean War of Independence was a war between pro-independence Chilean criollos seeking political and economic independence from Spain and royalist criollos supporting continued allegiance to the Captaincy General of Chile and membership of the Spanish Empire. Traditionally, the beginning of the war is dated as September 18, 1810. Depending on what terms are used to define its end, it lasted until 1821, when royalist forces were defeated by José de San Martín; or until 1826, when the last Spanish troops surrendered and the Chiloé Archipelago was incorporated to the Chilean republic. A declaration of independence was officially issued by Chile on February 12, 1818 and formally recognized by Spain in 1844, when full diplomatic relations were established. (source Wikipedia)

Christchurch Multicultural Strategy completes one year - 'Our Future Together'

The Christchurch Multicultural Strategy, launched on August 28, last year, is a commitment by the Council to provide a framework and a set of goals and actions to ensure every single person in Christchurch feels a sense of belonging. It will also give everyone in Christchurch an equal opportunity to access the Council's services, information, as well as participating in the decision-making process. This Strategy acknowledges Ngāi Tahu are mana whenua — the indigenous people of our area in Christchurch, and that Te Tiriti o Waitangi is the foundation document of New Zealand.

How Mexicans celebrate their Independence Day in New Zealand?

The Mexican War of Independence (Spanish: Guerra de Independencia de México) was an armed conflict, and the culmination of a political and social process which ended the rule of Spain in 1821 in the territory of New Spain. The war had its antecedent in Napoleon's French invasion of Spain in 1808; it extended from the Cry of Dolores by Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla on September 16, 1810, to the entrance of the Army of the Three Guarantees led by Agustín de Iturbide to Mexico City on September 27, 1821. September 16 is celebrated as Mexican Independence Day. (source Wikipedia)

Significance of Eid'ul Adha

The sacrificial story leads back to Abraham and Ishmael. Abraham was instructed in a vision to sacrifice his son Ishmael for the sake of God. In consulting with a willing Ishmael, both proceeded to make the sacrifice to obey the command of their Lord. In this selfless act of devotion they gained the Mercy of God who summoned a lamb in place of Ishmael. 

It is this act of devotion that takes place during Eid’ul Adha. Whilst festivities and celebrations have their place, the main emphasis of the Eid is social obligation. It is to connect the individual with their communities and their societies. Charity is emphasised. Community work is emphasised. Caring for others is emphasised.

Profile: Surinder Tandon, President, Christchurch Multicultural Council

Multicultural Times is a newspaper for the community, by the community, and geared towards the community. That's why we have developed a support matrix around the newspaper, where we are partnering with organisations and individuals, who are the guiding light - the beacon of multiculturalism across New Zealand. These are what we call, Multicultural Times Navigators. And we are glad to announce that Christchurch Multicultural Council (CMC), led by Surinder Tandon, is our first such Navigator. We welcome them, and seek their guidance as we embark on the journey towards an inclusive, diverse, and multicultural Aotearoa. 
Interested in being part of the changing media landscape of New Zealand?
For details on how we can join hands, please email at  

Selwyn launches its Welcoming Communities plan for newcomers and migrants

On August 24, the Selwyn District Council, under the leadership of Mayor Sam Broughton, launched the Immigration NZ initiated Welcoming Communities plan. This is significant as the Selwyn district has been experiencing extraordinary population growth for several years. This was accelerated by the Canterbury earthquakes, with people moving from Christchurch, along with people arriving from overseas to live in Selwyn and contribute to the Christchurch rebuild. The Selwyn population in 2000 was 27,600 and is now predicted to grow to over 79,000 by 2028.

Taking this into account, in November 2015, Selwyn District Council adopted its Newcomers and Migrants Strategy after undertaking research and working with a mix of key local community groups and agencies. The Strategy sets the direction and aims to address the needs of people new to the district so that they can settle well and call Selwyn their home.

Get involved - join the New Zealand Newcomers Network Initiative

Are you looking to connect in your new community? Make friends and find a sense of belonging? Then New Zealand Newcomers Network may be perfect for you!

The journey of the New Zealand Newcomers Network Initiative (NZNN) began in 2006, after a series of government funded reports found, that making friends was one of the most difficult issues new migrants to New Zealand faced, when settling into the new community. To meet this very real problem, the first NZNN regional network was set up in Nelson in 2006, and the weekly social activities to connect newcomers and their host community began. Since then, the Alliance of Networks has grown to over 35, evenly spread across both the North and South Island. In 2016 Multicultural New Zealand decided to take on the governance of the NZNN Initiative which has led to great connection and collaboration opportunities for everyone involved.

Vietnam Veterans Day marked in Christchurch

This years Vietnam Veterans Day was held on Saturday, August 18, in the Papanui RSA club with about fifty members and guests attended. The ceremony started with the parade of Vietnam veterans. The Piper played while representatives of various sections of NZ troops laid the wreaths. This was followed by other participants laying poppies. The bugler played “The Last Post”. I gave a speech, presenting the view of a Vietnamese who had lived through Vietnam war.

Auckland Cultural Festival 2018 showcases Asian culture

Auckland War Memorial Museum in partnership with Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki presented the Cultural Festival 2018, a celebration of the vibrant art and culture of Auckland’s local Asian Communities, during the weekend of 25 – 26 August. 

Over the festival weekend, visitors enjoyed over 70 free drop-in activities, demonstrations, and performances showcasing ancient traditions through to modern cultural innovations at both Auckland Museum and Auckland Art Gallery. These included musical performances, martial arts showcases, arts and crafts, tea ceremonies, traditional games and much more. 

This year's 6th annual event, celebrating Chinese, Japanese and Korean cultures, partnered with community groups and organizations from Auckland's large and diverse Asian communities. 

Kiwi-Pakistanis celebrate Independence Day in big numbers

Kiwi-Pakistanis all across the country came together last week to celebrate the country’s Independence Day, which falls on August 14, every year.

The celebrations kicked off in Auckland on August 19, with the Pakistan Association of New Zealand (PANZ), organising a day-long event at the King’s College in Otahuhu. There were cultural stalls showcasing Pakistani culture, and few cultural performances including the bhangra. 

Ali Ather, President of PANZ, informed, “Almost 2,000 people from across the wider community attended our event, which is our biggest annual celebration. Among the dignitaries present at the event, notables were MPs Deborah Russell, Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, and Michael Wood. Our chief guest was Syed Moazzam Hussain Shah, Acting High Commissioner of Pakistan to New Zealand.”

I support Deputy PM’s stand on multiculturalism where he talks about having a New Zealand culture: Labour’s Michael Wood

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister for Ethnic Communities and MP for Mt Roskill Michael Wood has come out in support of the Deputy Prime Minister's recent remarks on multiculturalism saying, “I have heard Mr Peters recently talking about forging a New Zealand identity. A unique Kiwi identity, if you will.”

“He is not talking about one culture dominating another. He is simply stating that we need to have our own unique cultural identity as New Zealanders. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. People sometimes misinterpret what he says.”

Viva Eclectika 2018

The biennial Viva Eclectika Intercultural Music and Dance performance is presented by New Zealand Asia Association (NZAA) Incorporated. With the Late Right Reverend Sir Paul Reeves as its Patron, the association has been presenting the event for over 10 years now. In recognition of NZAA’s outstanding contribution to diversity in Aotearoa New Zealand, it was presented by the New Zealand Diversity Action Award in 2014, by the then Governor General  Sir Jerry Mateparae. This year the event was held on July 28, in Auckland.

Local talent showcased at ISCC mid-winter event

The 350-odd audience who attended the Midwinter Talent Show organised by the Christchurch-based Indian Social and Cultural Club on August 4, were treated to some amazing performances, including 18 different song and dance sequences. Whether it was a song by a five year young performer, or one of the energetic group dance performances, or a classical dance - the audience were thoroughly entertained, and kept engaged throughout the show. There was never a dull moment throughout the evening. To quote the chief guest Christchurch Councillor Jimmy Chen, who is a long term supporter of the multiculturalism and diversity in our community, “Every performance was of high quality, very enjoyable. It was really an unforgettable evening."

Organisations come together to celebrate India's 72nd Independence Day; Chch celebrates too

India is known for its unity in diversity. A mini-Europe, sort of, with hundreds of languages spoken, every prominent religion practised, and cuisine and culture differing from region to region. That’s why when Indians move abroad, even while forming pan-Indian identity denoting associations, region-specific organisations are also very common. Like in Auckland, while there’s a New Zealand Indian Central Association, but there’s a Tamil Association as well.

Migrants are here to make New Zealand better: Labour MP Anahila Kanongata'a-Suisuiki

In an event where Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister for Ethnic Communities and MP for Mt Roskill, Michael Wood, seems like “the token white guy” - his own words – New Zealand’s diversity would be amply demonstrated. Such was the case on August 10, at the opening of Labour Party’s new office in Maungakiekie, where three of the Party’s MPs - Priyanca Radhakrishnan, Anahila Kanongata'a-Suisuiki, and Raymond Ho, will now be based. “And the great thing is, all three of us are migrants, who immigrated to New Zealand at respective times in our lives. We are here, like all migrants, to make New Zealand better,” said Kanongata'a-Suisuiki, who hails from Hofoa in Tonga,  in her speech.