Minister's Update - June 2017

I am looking forward to hosting the Parliamentary Eid ul-Fitr on 5 July and acknowledging the contributions made by Muslim Kiwis in New Zealand. 

Eid ul-Fitr is a celebration of attaining spiritual prosperity after a month of fasting, worship and prayer. During this celebration, Muslims give thanks to Allah (God) for their health, wellbeing and for the strength to complete their spiritual fasting.

Muslims have been part of the New Zealand community since 1850. Muslim Kiwis have contributed to the social and economic development of New Zealand for over 140 years and make up around 1 per cent of our total population. 

In developing New Zealand’s national identity, Muslim Kiwis have added much to our cultural richness, diversity of talent and skills. And by servicing the niche halal market, we have also seen economic benefit, which is worth over a billion dollars.

By sharing events like Eid with all New Zealanders, we are able to celebrate together as a nation and gain greater understanding of the many common values that Kiwis of all religions share.

On the 17th November 2005, Eid ul-Fitr was officially introduced onto the New Zealand government’s calendar of events. It was the first time Eid was celebrated at Parliament with more than 150 Muslim New Zealanders in attendance, and initiated the first public reading of the Qur'an at Parliament Buildings.

Islam is a religion of unity, compassion and mutual support. We all have a role to play to reassure each other that we share more in common than our differences.

EPIC NZ Conference

I hope to catch up with many of you at the Ethnic People in Commerce (EPIC) NZ conference tomorrow in Auckland. The conference provides a platform for networking and engaging between the business sector and government.

The programme for the day encompasses a wide range of ethnically diverse speakers from New Zealand’s business communities. For those who have registered, I look forward to seeing you at EPIC.