Director's Update - September 2017

Kia ora tātou

Our Jewish community celebrated Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, during September, marking the start of the year 5778 in the Jewish calendar. Shana tova u’metuka (sweet and good year) to all!

As it is start of Muharram, the first month in the Islamic calendar, and the second holiest month for Muslims following Ramadan, we wish you a year of peace and prosperity.

The Office of Ethnic Communities is gearing up to support the next Government and Minister, following the General Election on 23 September. Compared to previous elections there was a larger number of candidates from ethnically diverse backgrounds. They represented a wide spectrum of views and issues, reflecting the increasing diversity in our society. 

Te Wiki o te Reo Māori is always a highlight for me. Like many people I love languages, and I especially love te Reo and the current Say it Tika campaign. I hope you are also enjoying this fun challenge to improve the pronunciation of our iconic place names.

Languages have an important role to play in shaping and enriching our identity as a nation.  I spent Hindi Diwas (Hindi Day) at the Wellington Hindi School where, for the past twenty five years, the dedicated community of parents, teachers and friends has built up Hindi language capability in young Kiwis, not all of whom come from a Hindi language background. There are many ethnic community language activities around New Zealand which deserve our congratulations and support. They showcase the changing face of New Zealand.

Our Office works with communities and across government to realise the benefits of ethnic diversity for New Zealand. Around the world there continues to be conflict and displacement, including from natural disasters, which impact on our loved ones overseas depending on where they are. Our hearts go out to ethnic communities here who have friends and whanau caught up in these crises.

Ngā mihi
Wen Powles