Director's update - August 2018

Kia ora koutou katoa

Welcome to the Office of Ethnic Communities’ August newsletter.

Education has been an ongoing area of focus for the Office this month. We are currently collaborating with the Education on the Education Conversation, to improve New Zealand’s education system for future generations. In September, the Office of Ethnic Communities will be assisting Education with three of its pan-ethnic consultations across Auckland, and identifying key themes and concerns raised by our ethnic communities around the NCEA system.

There is still time to make your voice heard on the future of New Zealand’s education system. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to complete a submission.

Also later next month, the Superdiversity Institute will be hosting a Cultural Capability Training Series, which aims to grow the cultural capability of businesses and organisations across New Zealand. These seminars will be tailored for New Zealand’s market, and will especially seek to increase awareness of unconscious biases in our workplaces. You can register for these events on the Superdiversity Institute’s website.

The Superdiversity Institute’s seminars follow the release of their report, Diverse Thinking Capability Audit of New Zealand Boardrooms 2018. The report defines diverse thinking as, ‘having a different viewpoint from the norm, taking different perspectives to problems and problem solving, and viewing issues through different lenses.’ An important piece of work, the report highlights the gap created by the lack of tools used to measure diverse thinking on boards.

The Office of Ethnic Communities continues to support the Government’s appointment of candidates to more than 400 State sector boards and committees, and to increase the representation of our ethnic communities on these boards. If you are interested in putting yourself forward for consideration for future roles, check out our nominations page.

I’d like to end by noting that, on 9 August, the United Nations marked the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, recognising the contributions of the world’s 370 million indigenous people living across more than 90 countries. This year’s theme was ‘indigenous peoples’ migration and movement,’ in response to the forced displacement of many indigenous people from their homes by industrialisation, conflict, and climate change.

This is an opportunity to acknowledge the many indigenous people from across the world who now call New Zealand home, and the important contributions they continue to make to our country. I’d also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the significant work that tangata whenua [local people] do to welcome all our newcomers to Aotearoa/New Zealand.

Kia kaha


Cathrine Austin