We need diversity in our public sector boards: Minister Jenny Salesa
(Picture caption: Jenny Salesa addressing the gathering at Multicultural Times launch event on August 9; picture credit Steven Wong)
- she also encouraged communities to join the education conversation, and apply for Ethnic Communities Development Fund opening on August 15
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.
“Not only do we need diversity in journalism, as this newspaper is aiming for, we also need ethnic communities to come forward and join our public sector boards. The current level of participation is much below the desired levels,” said the minister.
Notably, in May this year, after realising that the Central Government has no data relating to the ethnic make-up of public sector boards, Salesa had ordered a review of ethnic diversity of such boards across the country. The report is due in few months, which the minister hopes will give a stock-take of diversity. The next step would be to make public sector boards more diverse over time, according to her.
Later in her speech, the minister stressed on the need for more engagement from ethnic communities in the ongoing review of New Zealand’s education system.
“My cabinet colleague Education Minister Chris Hipkins has embarked on a huge task of laying the foundation of future of learning in New Zealand. So please go to the website conversation.education.govt.nz, and put forward your views. Have your say. Join the education conversation.”
Concluding, the Minister encouraged communities to apply for 2018 Ethnic Communities Development Fund, opening on August 15. “There’s only one funding round per year, with the total fund being $520,000,” she informed.
Communities interested should note that the fund will close on September 26, and has three funding priorities – leadership development, social cohesion, and cultural events; with projects to be implemented in 2019.
Multicultural Times official launch event held on August 9
"We live in one of the world’s most fabulous playgrounds, one that is diversely different in its flora, fauna and peoples, we dance with atoms, we are wild and beautiful and exhibit dynamism in diversity.
Diversity has always existed and is practiced in different ways in a wide variety of contexts. With the changing demography of Aotearoa, more religious diversity, new corridors of commerce, greater focus on human rights and the prolific use of technology, diversity is taking on new meanings.
My approach to diversity is positive. Therefore, I subscribe to the view that the glass is half-full and prefer to avoid the interesting notion that someone else is always responsible for my predicament. We are in the world together and we all want welcoming spaces in work, society and our communities.
Yet we inhabit a world of financial meltdowns, ecological disasters, forced migration, refugee crisis, #metoo, indigenous awareness and transnational mobilities. We must hearken to and act on the words of the woman on our dollar note, our famous suffragist Kate Sheppard- All that separates whether of race, class, creed or sex is inhuman and must be overcome. Multicultural times is an opportunity for each member of Aotearoa’ s burgeoning diverse members to engage with our common humanity – with transformation of our minds and hearts…after all we are Aotearoa… to fortunate meetings and courageous conversations!" - Professor Edwina Pio, Advisory Board member of Multicultural Times.
Some images from the event (courtesy Steven Wong):