All in Community organisations
Democracy in action! MPs from all four major political parties putting their parties stand in front of the New Zealand public on April 27 at the Aurora Centre for Performing Arts. From left - Denis O'Rourke from NZ First, Megan Woods from Labour, Stuart Smith from National, and Kennedy Graham from Greens. Also on stage is350.org organiser Charles Drace. (picture credit: Elizabeth Guthrey)
The Canterbury Japanese Society was invited to share the cuisine of Japan at the Health, food and culture session held in late April. It was a wonderful Sunday Autumn day at the Hagley Community College with 38 attendees looking, listening, learning and asking about the dishes being prepared and questions on other aspects of Japanese food and its history. Those attending arrived at 11am and listened to an introduction from Kevin Park, Community Liaison for the Canterbury Migrants Centre. Then the volunteers demonstrated the items - Salmon rice ball with a toasted nori sheet, Pan grilled Pork with Ginger, Chicken Teriyaki, Dashimaki Tamago (egg roll), Pickled Daikon (large white radish) and Carrot with Vinegar, Spicy & Mild Miso Soup, Brocolli with ground sesame, along with being shown how to make Japanese steamed rice using either a rice cooker or a pot.
Those who attended the recent Living Economies Expo came away energised and inspired to make change. The purpose of the event was to seed systemic change. The realisation that our systems are not working is fairly widespread: see the increasing coverage in our media of topics such as climate change, water quality, housing shortages, a failing health system, the growing divide between rich and poor, decrease in the diversity of species, questionable political leadership worldwide and of course the connector of all these issues – our current highly dysfunctional monetary system.
Formed in 1998 The Canterbury Shetland and Orkney Society is a friendly network and social hub for interested locals and Island descendants. We have about 120 members and we meet every two months for social outings and to celebrate festivals such as ‘Up Helly Aa’ (www.uphellyaa.org/) held on the last Tuesday in January, by singing the three Viking songs and carrying out a ‘Galley-Burning,’and playing such Viking games as Kubb.
The Community Organisation Grants Scheme (COGS) opened for application from April 12, announced Community and Voluntary Sector Minister Alfred Ngaro. “From today communities will be able to apply for $12.5 million of grant funding for the projects and organisations that matter to them most. The COGS funding is unique in that it’s decided on and distributed by local distribution committees. That means we have locals deciding what matters most to them and what will have the most impact on their own communities,” informed Ngaro.
The recently incorporated Canterbury Indian Community Centre Trust (CICCT) has started raising funds to make the dream of an Indian community centre in Christchurch a reality in the next two years. The Trust hit the ball rolling on April 8 in a specially organised ghazal and old Hindi melodious songs night, where the attendees were introduced to the objectives of CICCT by Ponnuram Venu Gopal, one of the its trustees.
The Canterbury Muslim Community Trust had organised a wonderful Islamic Arts exhibition in Christchurch South Library between April 2 and 9. We had also covered the story in our last issue. Below we present some out of the 53 displays in the four categories of architectural, decorative, calligraphy and textile arts.
"Finding employment is a key part of the resettlement process. It gives former refugees financial independence and also offers them the opportunity to use their skills and contribute back to their community." - NZ Red Cross
Recognising this, the country's Red Cross runs a Pathways to Employment programme that helps former refugees plan their employment, education, training and career goals and ultimately find work.
On April 8, the West African community organised an achievers award night attended by over 50 people. Dennis Agelebe, President of Nigerian Canterbury Association of New Zealand, noted the contributions of the African community in Christchurch and New Zealand. Jimmy Chen, Christchurch City Councillor, and Sally Pitama from Ngai Tahu, welcomed the African community to Christchurch. "Our aim is to acknowledge West Africans living in Canterbury that have performed exceptionally well in their field. We believe that by celebrating their hard work, future generation will be inspired to aim high in their endeavours. This will also promote our image in the wider society," noted the organisers.
As Chair of Christchurch City Council's Multicultural Working Party, it has been privilege to lead the development of the Multicultural Strategy for the past year. This strategy is also a commitment by the Council to support and embrace the diversity of the people in Christchurch. But in order to ensure the strategy deliver, we need to develop an action plan. We need to also monitor progress on this plan to ensure its success.
A national summit on family violence will be hosted by Justice Minister Amy Adams and Social Development Minister Anne Tolley in Wellington on June 7. The Summit will support the work already underway as part of the Government’s family violence reforms, which includes the introduction of the Family and Whānau Violence Legislation Bill to overhaul the Domestic Violence Act and strengthen family violence laws. Family violence is a significant and complex issue in New Zealand, with Police responding to an incident every five minutes, and costing the country over $4 billion per year, noted the ministers while annoucing the summit.
Minister for Children Anne Tolley officially launched the new Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki, on March 31. “This is the start of a four to five year major transformation programme to build a more child-centred care and protection system, focusing on harm and trauma prevention and early intervention, rather than crisis management. The Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki will also be a single point of accountability for children and young people where it will be easier for them to raise concerns or complaints. Children and young people will also have access to a new independent advocacy service, VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai," noted Anne Tolley.
Two migrant drivers based in Christchurch can now claim they are among the country’s best, after winning the top two awards at Go Bus Transport’s Bus Roadeo at the Airforce Museum in Christchurch on Saturday March 11. Raymund Llamas, who is from the Philippines and has driven buses in his home country and in Dubai, was named Go Bus Driver of the Year, and Arvinder Singh from India, won the runner-up.
Staff at tertiary education institutions are experiencing higher levels of stress, unsustainable workloads and are feeling more alienated from their jobs compared to a decade ago, according to a report published recently by the Tertiary Education Union. Titled Education Under Pressure, the report adds "increased pressure on staff to change grades, dedicate less time to teaching and change admission rules, all of which lead to lower education outcomes for students".
Eric Chuah, former head of migrant banking with ANZ, has launched Cultural Connections, New Zealand’s first social enterprise to specialise in researching migrants, is calling all migrants to join its research panels and in doing so help the country’s multicultural community groups flourish.
“It was traditional with a contemporary twist”. That’s how Swaroopa Unni – an Indian classical dancer originally from Kerala [South India] who has been running the only Indian classical dance school in Otago called Natyaloka – described the weekend showcase of Kathak as part of Dunedin Fringe Festival. Called Rang – Colours, the Indian classical dance rendition was performed by Unni, in collaboration with her teachers and internationally acclaimed artists Nirupama and Rajendra who run the Abhinava Dance Company in Bengaluru. Rohini Prabhath, one of their students, also participated in the performance held on March 18 and 19.
The multicultural expressions of Islamic arts is a collection of treasures from the Christchurch Muslim community, which are on display at the South Christchurch Library between April 2 and 9. The display mainly shows embroidery, calligraphy and photography. It includes four categories which are; architectural art, textile arts, calligraphy and decorative arts.
The Lyttleton Summer festival went through the course of the February month and the first week and a half of March. In all, there were ten events that celebrated the artistic and diverse culture that Lyttleton had to offer. The festival took over half a year to organise. Interestingly, the event was organised through the Lyttleton Time Bank, which is used by the community to trade their skills, instead of dollars. Also, time credits are used as payments. One of the event organisers Jill larking said, “It was great we could use the time bank because that meant we got community involvement and feedback through their members.”
The Human Rights Commission’s That’s Us anti-racism campaign has reached almost 2 million people (1.9 million) and engaged with more than 600,000 people since its launch on the September 1, 2016. That’s Us is New Zealand’s first nationwide, anti-racism campaign with its first stage focused on sharing the stories of everyday Kiwis.
The Indian Social and Cultural Club (ISCC) – a Christchurch-based social and cultural organisation, in its recently held AGM has elected a new 20-member strong executive committee to oversee the Club’s initiatives in its 20th anniversary year. Formed in 1997, the Club is known for organising the biggest Diwali festival in the South Island every year.