The Diwali season kicked off with Auckland Indian Retailers Association's multicultural Diwali celebrations in Papatoetoe, Auckland, held on October 6. The city's mayor Phil Goff addressing the gathering here, hailing the city's diversity.
Our workforce is changing rapidly - it is more diverse and representative of a range of cultures, and this is particularly the case amongst caregivers and nurses. This panel discussed how the aged care sector can engage and work productively with migrants and enhance relationships with all employees, while delivering quality care for residents.
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.
The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) initiative to tackle harmful sexual behaviour in the workforce has taken out the top award at the 2018 Diversity Awards NZ. The NZDF has rolled out mandatory Sexual Ethics and Respectful Relating (SERR) training to its 11,000 personnel since June 2017, aiming to create a workforce that is both empowered and prepared to address harmful sexual behaviour.
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 Diverse Thinking Capability Audit of New Zealand Boardrooms 2018, released last week by Mai Chen, Founder and Inaugural Chair of the Superdiversity Institute for Law, Policy and Business, has emphasised how diverse thinking around the board table is essential to improving the performance of companies and organisations.
Auckland University of Technology (AUT) staff came together for the Inaugural Vice-Chancellor Diversity Awards to acknowledge the diversity initiatives of eight awardees at the Auckland Art Gallery last week. The awards celebrated AUT’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, embedding everyday diversity and saluting work by the University’s staff in the diversity space.
Consider this: Of the 60 new constables that graduated from the Royal New Zealand Police College last week [from Wing 317], 38 percent are females, 19 officers were born overseas and between them speak around a dozen foreign languages. The youngest recruit is 19 and the oldest is 45. One has the distinction of playing in the Ranfurly Shield-winning Hawke’s Bay rugby team, another is a fine musician who has performed with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra.
The Minister for Ethnic Communities Jenny Salesa has once again thrown light on the need for diversity in New Zealand’s public sector boards. She was speaking at the launch event of this newspaper held at Auckland University of Technology on August 9.
As diversity consultants, we get the opportunity to work with a range of private and public sector organisations, many of whom are at different stages of evolution when it comes to D&I practice. For the last couple of months, we have been fortunate enough to work alongside the Department of Conservation (DOC) to deliver Unconscious Bias Awareness Training.
Born in Korea, and brought up in Malaysia, Melissa Lee moved to New Zealand as a young adult in 1988. What followed was over two decades of journalism in both print and television, including fifteen years as the presenter and producer on TVNZ’s Asia Dynamic and Asia Down Under with 600 episodes to her credit. In 2008, she entered Parliament as a National list MP, making her New Zealand’s first Korean MP. Alongside, she held positions as a Vice President of the Korean Society, Vice-President of the Korean Womens’ Association, Board member of the Asia-Pacific Producers’ Network, advisor to the National Unification Council of Korea, and an Asian advisor to the Auckland Police.
As New Zealand paid tribute to the 102nd year of Gallipoli landings last week, historians across the Tasman are calling for greater acknowledgement of the important role Indian troops played during the eight-month-long campaign. In a new book titled, Die in Battle, Do not Despair: The Indians on Gallipoli, 1915, Peter Stanley, a military historian at the University of New South Wales in Australia, has challenged past historical records that had put the number of Indians who fought at one of World War I major battlegrounds at around 5,000. Drawing from previously unpublished official and private records from the UK (including forgotten British officers' memoirs), Australia and the National Archives of India, Professor Stanley has now put a powerful argument for revising this figure to 15,000.
The Community Organisation Grants Scheme (COGS) opened for application from April 12, announced Community and Voluntary Sector Minister Alfred Ngaro. “From today communities will be able to apply for $12.5 million of grant funding for the projects and organisations that matter to them most. The COGS funding is unique in that it’s decided on and distributed by local distribution committees. That means we have locals deciding what matters most to them and what will have the most impact on their own communities,” informed Ngaro.
On April 8, the West African community organised an achievers award night attended by over 50 people. Dennis Agelebe, President of Nigerian Canterbury Association of New Zealand, noted the contributions of the African community in Christchurch and New Zealand. Jimmy Chen, Christchurch City Councillor, and Sally Pitama from Ngai Tahu, welcomed the African community to Christchurch. "Our aim is to acknowledge West Africans living in Canterbury that have performed exceptionally well in their field. We believe that by celebrating their hard work, future generation will be inspired to aim high in their endeavours. This will also promote our image in the wider society," noted the organisers.
Two migrant drivers based in Christchurch can now claim they are among the country’s best, after winning the top two awards at Go Bus Transport’s Bus Roadeo at the Airforce Museum in Christchurch on Saturday March 11. Raymund Llamas, who is from the Philippines and has driven buses in his home country and in Dubai, was named Go Bus Driver of the Year, and Arvinder Singh from India, won the runner-up.
"Over the years and through the dedicated leadership of several coordinators and the work of passionate volunteers, the Mid Canterbury Newcomers Network has grown into a dynamic, community-led and community-driven organization and developed a 300+ person strong network of friends, community contacts, cultural ambassadors and grass-roots community leaders and initiatives that contribute at different levels of community building and organising. We support newcomers who have come from all over New Zealand and the rest of the world who have chosen to settle into Mid Canterbury. We are a starting point of sorts for them."
“We want to recruit new migrants onto patrols which we hope will help them fit into the local community and enable them to meet new people. The training for this is three months long, during which the volunteers learn about health and safety, observation and patrolling skills. The main purpose of the patrol is to deter, delay, deny and detect any crime from happening. On average, volunteers contribute about 10 hours every month – two 5 hour shifts - doing community patrols,” informed Helen Todd, who is NZ Police's Community Patrol Coordinator for the Canterbury region.
African women from the tip of Africa to the Bottom (in short Cape to Cairo) with their friends, celebrated International Women’s Day at Hornby Work Man’s Club on March 11, 2017. About 50 Women of different cultures came together for dinner celebrating our oneness as women, and deliberate on how - as women all humanity comes through us - including how we influence behaviour and the character of our children. “Women are the realArchitects of Society” (Cher)
As political parties kick off their election campaigns, Labour MP’s Megan Woods and Ruth Dyson, and labour candidates, Anthony Rimell candidate for Ilam, Jo Luxton candidate for Rangitata, Tony Condon candidate for Selwyn and Duncan Webb candidate for Christchurch Central, recently met with representatives of the Canterbury Refugee Council.
Almost six years after suffering extensive damage in the 2011 Earthquake, ISKCON Christchurch opened its door again at a newly-constructed Hare Krishna Centre at 83 Bealey Avenue on March 3. The grand opening ceremony titled Revival was held over three days, and featured fire yajnas, kirtans, aartis, guru pujas, and an initiation ceremony by Indradyumna Swami. Installation of the deities including that of Sri Sri Nitai Gaurachandra was also part of the ceremony.
The Christchurch Multicultural Strategy 2017-2021 “Our Future Together” was adopted by the Christchurch City Council on February 9. Council Community Support Team Manager Claire Phillips noted, "It's a great opportunity to embrace and acknowledge the diversity factor in Christchurch and it shows that as a city we recognise the economic, social and cultural benefits that being a diverse city brings us."
The Christchurch-based Indian Cultural Group(ICG) and Auckland-based community organisation based in Manukau, Sahaayta, came together last Saturday in Christchurch to launch a once-a-month meeting-over-coffee club. “Our goal is to focus on empowerment of South Asian women by providing a platform for women to come together and exchange life experiences.
The Zimbabwe High Achievers Awards Dinner was held at Papanui Workingmen's Club in Christchurch November 19, 2016. The event was the first of its kind and was well attended with over140 people present. This event was sponsored by the New Zealand AIDS Foundation (NZAF)'s African Programme popularly known by its brand name Love Cover Protect (LCP).
Three place names in North Canterbury containing the word ‘n*****’ will be changed to reflect the offence caused by that word, Land Information Minister Louise Upston has announced. The new names will be listed in the Gazetteer, the official record of New Zealand place names, on December 15, 2016.
An English class for migrants in Waimakariri district has attracted six students from Colombia, Thailand, Japan and France. Recent work by the Waimakariri District Council’s community team in organizing get together for our migrants resulted in the class where ESOL teacher Jude Archer provides tuition. Meeting weekly on a Thursday morning upstairs in the Ruataniwha Kaiapoi Civic Centre the class practise and improve their conversation skills.
Christchurch suffered a major earthquake in 2011. Northern Canterbury, particularly Kaikoura, did so on November 14. Five years back, several - more than 60 - agencies and migrant associations got involved and guaged whether the City's earthquake response was adequate. Some key learnings were presented as a result. We present some excerpts from that Report. Question is, have we learnt something from the past?
Inspector Hirone Waretini describing the experience, "It was certainly an amazing experience and the crowd reaction blew us away. It was difficult getting people together at the same time due to rosters and other work commitments. Once we arrived at the venue to run through the dance moves, we’d all forgotten everything and there were plenty of nerves about that. However, one thing about Cops is that we don’t like to lose, so we knuckled down for the next couple of hours and really tried to nail the routine. The few moments before going up on stage were the worst. Afterwards however it was relief, elation and disbelief that we’d actually – only just, maybe – pulled it off. We thought it was a tremendous chance for us to do something different and show the Indian Community that we really wanted to connect to them.”
The event was organised by the Christchurch Fiji Association or CFCESSA, and was attended by over 300 people. Informing this was Jagat Singh, President of CFCESSA, who added, "We have been organising Diwali for the past 14 years. Earlier we used to get some funding but not any more. Now the community gets together and organises the event. Hopefully, the City Council will start helping us again. If it happens, maybe we will be able to organise the event on a much bigger scale the next year."
This can be the story of these local elections. Two young Korean siblings Linda Chen and Catherine Chu - daughters of Korean immigrants who came to New Zealand almost two decades back - winning their respective community board elections is not an everyday occurrence. Linda who gathered 3391 votes won the Harewood Ward of the Fendalton-Waimairi-Harewood Community Board. While Catherine came out as a victor in the Riccarton Ward of the Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board with 2074 votes.