Rooting for a multilingual, multicultural New Zealand: CLANZ & TESOLANZ

Calls for a National Language Policy incorporating a community languages framework

Both CLANZ - Community Languages Association of New Zealand)- and TESOLANZ - Teachers of Speakers of Other Languages - two organisations working towards acquisition and maintenance of heritage and community languages in the country, are calling for further collaboration between community languages schools, government agencies, educatorsto find a way how to support multilingualism in New Zealand. Anya Filippochkina, member of CLANZ and founder of the Russian Cultural Centre Trust in Christchurch, who arrived in New Zealand from Ukraine in 1998 said, "As successive census have shown continuous decline in people speaking their mother tongues, the only way out is for Christchurch to take a lead from Auckland and develop a Christchurch Languages Strategy."

Notably, the Auckland Languages Strategy launched on November 27, 2015, has a vision statement as, "A multilingual Auckland that benefits socially, culturally and economically from an increasing number of Aucklanders speaking more than one language."   

Christchurch City’s School boards of trustees Fail to Reflect Diversity: Chch Multicultural Council

According to the Multicultural NZ while "over 30 percent of Christchurch’s school children are of Maori, Pacific, Asian and other non-European ethnicities, all these groups are under-represented on school boards of trustees in the city". According to the Ministry’s website, Education Counts, there were 5,889 Asian students in Christchurch schools last year, making up 10.19 per cent of the total number of students.  But only 0.2 per centof school trustees identified as Asian.

"That's why, this year, the Christchurch Multicultural Council had called upon Christchurch schools to make a special effort to connect with all their diverse communities before the May school board of trustees elections, and to encourage them to nominate candidates and vote in the elections," said Surinder Tandon, President of CMC.