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Positive Contributions to Race Relations

Monday, 26 April 2004, 4:07 pm
Press Release: Human Rights Commission

Human Rights Commission
Te Kahui Tika Tangata

On the Bright Side
April Paenga Whäwhä 2004

Kia ora. Here are this month's acknowledgments from the Race Relations Commissioner for positive contributions to race relations in New Zealand.

Oceania Media Ltd

For the first issue of Spasifik, a new bimonthly magazine about Pasifika people and issues, March 2004. Editor and former sports journalist Innes Logan, his wife Anne, and Sales Manager Canada Alofa have spent six months with a small team preparing for the launch of this lively new glossy showcasing Pasifika peoples and their stories. It ranges from art and sport to personalities and politics, and is a welcome addition to the stable of magazines that make our various vibrant cultures accessible to a wider New Zealand and international audience. The next issue is due out in early May. Visit their website at .

Tu Mai Media Plus Ltd

For five years of successful publication of Tu Mai magazine, March 2004. Editor Ata Te Kanawa says she can empathise with the "passion, pain and poverty" that the birth of Spasifik involves, having launched Tu Mai five years ago at Te Papa Tongarewa. The popular monthly magazine reached its fiftieth issue in February, and although it is primarily focused on Maori stories, it has a philosophy of promoting good race relations and sharing cultures. Its 50th issue affectionately floats the notion of a future "polyeurasian" culture to encompass the main cultural components and peoples of Aotearoa New Zealand. "The company also has a working relationship with Radio Niu FM. Their website is .

Mana Productions Ltd

For the publication, for over a decade, of a quality bimonthly Maori magazine accessible to all New Zealanders. Mana is a high quality glossy periodical that has been on the newsstands since 1992/93, and is now up to its 57th consecutive issue. It has set the standards in both journalistic content and presentation for others to match. It is produced by the same pioneering grouping (including Mana Maori Media) that has brought us Mana News on National Radio since 1990, and now also produces The Mana Report, Mana Tangata, Mana Korero and The Mana Show. Details of all their products are available at .

Stratford District Council

For their Race Relations Day Programme, March 2004. Many Councils around New Zealand organised Race Relations Day activities for staff and their communities, and it is a sign of the growth in the importance of the day that a district council like Stratford should have such a varied programme. The Mayor presented prizes to nine school and kindergarten children who had entered a Council sponsored art competition on the theme of "Take A Walk in Someone Else's Shoes", and their artwork was on display in the Percy Thomson Gallery throughout the school holidays. The Stratford Library also participated with a display of cultural items and books, and the Information Centre had a map on which people could pin their countries of origin. Said Mayor Brian Jeffares: "We want to recognise and celebrate that we are a community that comes together and is very proud of our diversity".

Hedi Moani Charitable Trust and the New Zealand Baha'i Community

For the Hedi Moani Memorial Secondary School Speech Awards in association with Race Relations Day 2004. Following regional heats in Auckland, Hauraki, Waikato, Gisborne, Manawatu, Nelson/Marlborough, Canterbury and Otago, six finalists from throughout New Zealand gave wonderful speeches on race relations at Milford School in Auckland on 27 March. The competition has grown further each year, and now attracts entrants from throughout New Zealand. The awards are made in memory of Hedi Moani, an Iranian architect who spent the last sixteen years of his life in New Zealand, and was completing a PhD in religious studies when he died. He was actively involved with the Maori community, and had developed a special relationship with the people of Ratana Pa. Winners on the night were Riddhi Gupta (Pakuranga College), Althea Carbon (Burnside High School) and Samuel Christopher (Te Awamutu College). Winning speeches are to be broadcast on Radio New Zealand at a later date. For more information visit .

Logan Park High School, Dunedin

For the Race Relations Day Assembly, March 2004. Schools all over New Zealand took part in Race Relations Day activities. For Logan Park, this year's Race Relations Day assembly was the fourth year that they have participated. If you think only Auckland is diverse, then picture an assembly at Logan Park where students from more than 30 different cultural and ethnic backgrounds celebrated by wearing national costumes and speaking to their classmates about diversity and race unity. Among the ethnic groups represented were New Zealand Pakeha and Maori, Samoan, Niuean, Cook Islands, Fijian, Papua New Guinean, Cambodian, Malaysian, Austrian, German, English, Welsh, Scottish, Japanese, Tibetan, Filipino, South African, American, Canadian, Dutch, French, Brazilian, Australian, Korean and Chinese. Head Girl at Logan Park is Yeshe Dawa, a Tibetan New Zealander, who was also a finalist in the national Hedi Moani Speech Awards. The school's website is .

Circolo Italiano, Wellington

For the Wellington Italian Festival, 28 March, 2004. The annual Italian Festival, held at the Overseas Passenger Terminal, has become a major fixture on the Wellington calendar, and attracts thousands of Wellingtonians each year. This year was no different. The weather was perfect and the day was filled with Italian treats, including sumptuous food and wine, a huge selection of products for sale, excellent holiday and travel advice, and entertainment. For the adults, the spaghetti eating competition went down very well - definitely a crowd pleaser! There was also a children's show, with Italian songs and dances led by the members of the Club Garibaldi children's classes. The event is organised by the Circolo Italiano di Wellington, which was founded in 1946. It is one of two Italian Clubs in Wellington, the other being the Club Garibaldi (for people of Italian descent). The Circolo, which is open to everyone, promotes Italian language and culture, through language classes, film evenings, travel events and other activities. Their website is at .

The Auckland Somali and Afghani Communities and the Umma Trust

For organising a forum on working with Muslim communities, 14-15 April 2004. Over two hundred people attended this forum, which outlined Islamic beliefs, issues facing Muslim New Zealanders and particularly refugees, and models of working in partnership with Muslim communities. There are only about 25,000 Muslims in New Zealand, but apart from their common religion they come from over forty different countries in Africa, Asia and the Pacific as well as the Middle East. Workshops covered the integration of Muslim families into mainstream service provision, education, settlement and resettlement, and social services and employment. Although many Muslims have come here in the past decade or so (and in many cases as refugees), there are also some who have been here for generations, and a highlight of the conference was the story told by 66 year old Mohamed Mussa, reputedly the first Muslim to be born in New Zealand after his parents migrated from Gujarat, who grew up in the predominantly Maori community on Matakana Island. It's tougher being a Muslim in New Zealand today, he said. The forum was held at the Zayed School for Girls in Mangere, a new secondary school. Noticeable was the fact that all the school's signage was tri-lingual - in Arabic, Maori and English. A report of the workshop will be available from on request.

Paekakariki Informed Community Inc

For producing a lively monthly community newspaper, including the use of te reo Maori. Paekakariki Expressed is yet another community paper that is showing up its big media cousins by including te reo in its monthly publication through both a monthly feature and using Maori numbering for its issues. This non-profit paper is a lively forum for community debate and carries news on local sport, culture, conservation history and civic issues. It's up to issue rua tekau ma waru, long may it continue!

Human Rights Network Aotearoa Trust

For the weekly HRN bulletin and website providing current information on human rights and race relations activities and resources. The idea of the Trust was mooted in 1998, at the time of the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human rights, to fill a need for information and discussion of human rights in New Zealand. They work wonders on a small budget, producing a very professional weekly email bulletin and an increasingly comprehensive website. The website is currently being upgraded further. Membership is free, but the Trust welcomes donations. Visit the website at , where you can also subscribe to the bulletin.

For news about race relations visit the Human Rights Commission website

( > ). Recent information includes details of the HRC/UNESCO Living and Learning human rights education conference in Auckland in July, and the Commission's Te Mana I Waitangi treaty dialogue project.)

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