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.
They are supported by the WISE Project, which is run under a unique partnership between the Auckland Resettled Community Coalition and the Auckland Regional Migrant Services Charitable Trust. The project supports refugee background women to develop the necessary knowledge, skills, confidence and resources to start-up or contribute to activities for generating income for their families.
Living in Bishopdale for the last 10 years, Kazumi comes from Yokohama, Japan and Aaron from Invercargill, they moved to Christchurch in 2006 after living in London and Tokyo. Kazumi works as an International Student coordinator, is on the committee of the Japanese Society of Canterbury. Aaron has been a professional photographer for four years following a career in hospitality and was elected onto the Community Board for Harewood in 2016. They ran a catering business in Kaiapoi for six years, loving the close community connections. In 2010 they made “The World’s Largest Pavlova” in the Christchurch Cathedral, raising money for the charity KidsCan and worked with the Japanese Consulate and Ministry of Foreign Affairs following the Feb 22nd earthquakes CTV building collapse assisting families of the students injured and lost.
My name is Carina, I am a social and cultural anthropologist and I grew up in a very small town in Austria (Ried in der Riedmark, if you want to google it). I have been volunteering in the Canterbury Migrants Centre (CMC) for the last six months. I know that my experience in New Zealand may differ a lot from the stories usually found on this page. I didn’t come to New Zealand to settle down on a long term or even forever – my intention was to “feel” how it is to live in another country, within different social and cultural contexts.
My name is Nathan Miglani. I am a 28-years-old mortgage broker at Loan Market. I own my own home and have invested in multiple properties in Christchurch. In a nutshell, I am the guy you go to if you need to borrow money from banks for buying a house, setting up a business, re-financing or buying investment properties etc. My services are free as I get paid by the banks. And I can safely say that I am well on track to become financially independent by the time I reach 35, which has always been my professional goal. The success I have achieved is credit to the professionalism I embodied from my mentors, which is to always put my clients interest first.
I am passionate to assist fellow migrants and their affairs. In 2015, I conducted free law clinics at the Christchurch Migrants Centre, offering advice to migrants on matters relating to Immigration, their employment rights, as well property and business affairs. I am always available to lend a helping hand to anyone in need, especially migrants who need a lot of support to settle in New Zealand, be it legally and socially.
My request as a common student to New Zealand government and policy makers is that could you kindly help migrant students to get jobs here, which match their qualifications that they have gained from their home country, as many of my friends have degrees in engineering, medicine, teaching and much more, but because their studies here hold no or minimal value, they have to change their fields, re-do the entire course or work for a low income job. I’m sure we all, will be very glad if something happens regarding that.
In my nine years of serving the community - first three years as a community board member, and the last six years as a Councillor- I would like to share this with the ethnic community members: Firstly, every eligible migrant voter must embrace the democratic process of New Zealand and fulfil their democratic duty of voting. Secondly, I encourage the ethnic background citizens to put their hands up as a candidate in elections.
In 2013, I decided to donate a kidney to a kiwi friend of mine, whom I had known fora long time. After a few compatibility tests, it was decided that the transplant could go ahead. My mum came from Rome in 2014 at Easter time, to celebrate her 80th birthday and to reassure herself that the transplant was not a bad idea. The following May the operation was performed and all went according to plan, thanks to the wonderful surgeons and hospital care. All is well two years later!
Ironically, I didn't become any happier in western culture because I still carried my culture with me, subconsciously. I never felt relaxed or free while I was trying so hard to become strong and independent, and to achieve higher status. So I started searching once more for true freedom by taking all sorts of personal development courses such as meditation, yoga, shamanism and reiki. That new inner journey took me to a course in the US where I met my future kiwi husband.
Over the years I’ve had a lot of pressure to leave New Zealand from my extended family in Australia and the USA. I know that I could earn much more money in these countries – but I’m not a person who is particularly motivated by that sort of thing. It’s more important for me to make a contribution to New Zealand, which I hope that I do through my science work. The only trouble – and this is very hard for me to say – is that these days I’m not entirely sure if New Zealand wants me.
Rotorua woman Faustinah Ndlovu on Saturday, July 9, 2016, walked 21 km balancing a 20 litre bucket of water on her head. It took her a total of 3 hours 33 minutes and the walk raised $1100 in total. This was for her Zimbabwe project Tariro (hope), under which she is working with villagers from her home town in Zimbabwe to build a community early childhood development learning centre in the Mawandu village. She had earlier created a four-metre tall knitted doll that weighed over 90 kg to raise money for the same cause.
My dream is to add another dimension, another level to my New Zealand community involvement - by getting elected as a Community Board member or a City Councillor. I do feel that the ethnic and multicultural community should get more involved- not just through the voluntary sector but also through governance and policy making roles.
My life in this city has been a very fulfilling and meaningful one. I met my wife while we were studying at the Canterbury University 47 years ago and we have two children. Both of our children are in Auckland. Our experience in New Zealand is very different from most migrant families that came after us.