Celebrating ethnic diversity in Parliament

As Minister for Ethnic Communities, I’m privileged to be invited to many community events and to host special events in Parliament that celebrate the colourful ethnic diversity of Aotearoa.

I recently hosted my first Chinese New Year parliamentary event, which has been a feature on the Parliamentary calendar since 2002. It was a great opportunity to meet key members from the Chinese community, as well as dignitaries and the general public.

Mr Kai Luey holding up two copies of the publicationA particular highlight was the launch of The Fruits of Our Labours: Chinese Fruit Shops in New Zealand, with Mr Kai Luey, Chair of the Chinese Poll Tax Heritage Trust. The book, published by the Trust, recognises real entrepreneurship often found in Chinese communities - a skill which I believe has helped shape New Zealand’s commercial landscape. I thoroughly recommend popping into your local library to see this beautiful depiction of a part of New Zealand history.

In a couple of weeks’ time, I will be hosting Holi in Parliament. It will be wonderful to bring the vibrancy of the Hindu festival of colour to Parliament’s Banquet Hall.

Festivals like Chinese New Year and Holi are great opportunities to celebrate and reflect on our ethnic and cultural diversity as a country. It’s a time to acknowledge the strong cultural and economic ties that now exist between New Zealand and the countries where our ethnic communities have come from.

These celebrations truly showcase our ethnically diverse country, and it’s something I’m proud to be a part of.

Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern and Hon Jenny Salesa being greeted by Lion DancersPerformers at the Chinese New Year Celebration in Parliament.