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  • Hon Jenny Salesa - Minister's Update

    Image of Hon Jenny Salesa - Minister for Ethnic Communities

    Kia ora, malo e lelei, talofa lava, namaste, ni hao, mabuhay, anyoung haseyo and very warm greetings!

    It is my honour to be able to provide you with my first message since becoming your Minister for Ethnic Communities – a portfolio I am immensely humbled to have been given by our Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern, and one which I am excited about.

  • Director's Update - September 2017

    Image of Wen Powles, Director of the Office of Ethnic Communities

    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.

  • Meeting the Office of Ethnic Communities Leadership Team

    Image of attendees at the Meet and Greet event in Christchurch

    Over the past three months, the Office of Ethnic Communities has held a series of 'Meet and Greet' events in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland. These events collectively have been attended by approximately 100 stakeholders who represented a cross section of government, non-government organisations, ethnic organisations and private sector partners who are significant in the field of ethnic diversity.

  • In Remembrance of Dr Nagalingam Rasalingam

    Image of Dr Rasalingam

    The Office of Ethnic Communities was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Dr Nagalingam Rasalingam, who passed away peacefully at his home in Auckland on Saturday, 26 August 2017 at the age of 81. Dr Rasalingam was born in Jaffna, Sri Lanka. He moved from Sri Lanka to New Zealand with his wife in 1970. He then set up his General Practice clinic in the centre of Glen Innes, which provided free care to groups of former refugees.

  • One plus one is greater than two

    Image of (LtoR) Rachel Hu, Tina Zhang, Shane Zheng, Jack Ma and Wendy Lu

    China.NZ is a group of Chinese professionals dedicated to bridging the two cultures. The group is made up of six Chinese New Zealanders who call New Zealand home after they migrated here at a young age.

    The Office of Ethnic Communities met with them to hear their story.

    What were your drivers in establishing this group?

  • Kiwi Indian woman now leads National Council of Women

    Image of Vanisa Dhiru in front of the image of the first meeting of the National Council of Women held in Christchurch in 1896.

    Vanisa Dhiru is the new President of the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ). Vanisa, a New Zealand-born Gujarati, will be responsible for leading the board of the 121-year-old organisation, which was founded by Kate Sheppard.  Her appointment was announced on Suffrage Day last week (19 September).

  • Welcoming Communities

    Image of people eating outside a Marae

    Welcoming Communities / Te Waharoa ki ngā Hapori is a new two-year programme that brings together local government and community leaders to make the places we love more welcoming for everyone.

    This is an invitation to help shape this new initiative by providing feedback on the draft Welcoming Communities Standard by Friday 22 September 2017. This is the standard against which local councils will be assessed in order to be accredited as a ‘Welcoming Community’.

  • In My Own Words: Rob Dewhirst

    Image of Rob Dewhirst

    Rob Dewhirst is a New Zealand born engineer based in Christchurch. He is a convert to Islam and the Chairperson of the Canterbury Muslim Community Trust.

    Rob kindly took time out for a quick question and answer session with the Office of Ethnic Communities while he was in Christchurch last week. This was despite being busy with international development contracts in East Timor, his work as Chairperson for the Canterbury Muslim Community Trust and preparations to go on the Hajj. The Hajj is the pilgrimage to the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Islam’s most sacred space, and is one of the five essential pillars of Islam – meaning that all Muslims should perform Hajj at least once in their lives.

  • Get ready for the 2017 General Election

    Image of a ballot box

    Voting and democracy are very important in New Zealand because they provide you with the opportunity to voice your opinion and vote for what you believe in. It is important that you have your say by voting in the upcoming General Election. Every vote counts.

    In 1893 New Zealand became the first self-governing country in the world to allow all women the right to vote in parliamentary elections. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, your vote counts just as much as everyone else’s.

  • Losing momentum school leavers Asia engagement

    Image of the Asian New Zealand Foundation logo

    The Asia New Zealand Foundation has released a report, Losing Momentum – School Leavers’ Asia Engagement, which looks at New Zealand school leavers’ readiness for engaging with Asia. The report outlines the results of a survey of more than 1,000 senior school students and their level of Asia awareness. The questions asked were about cultural competencies and knowledge of Asia, and the perceived importance of Asia to New Zealand.

    The key findings compared an earlier baseline survey conducted in 2012 and found that: