All in Ethnic communities

Muhammad Yunus – the Nobel Peace Prize winner from Bangladesh, coming to Christchurch on April 9

In a build up to the Social Enterprise World Forum (SEWF) 2017, scheduled to be held in Christchurch between September 27-29, Noble laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus will be in the City on April 9. The Bangladeshi social entrepreneur, banker, economist, civil society and global thought leader, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for founding the Grameen Bank and pioneering the concepts of micro-credit and micro-finance, will be addressing and interacting with audiences during the event. It’s an initiative of SingularityU Christchurch Chapter in collaboration with Ākina Foundation, Ministry of Awesome, Ohu, XCHC, Te Pūtahi and Christchurch City Council; and will be held at Charles Luney Auditorium from 4.3pm.

Grateful: Christchurch says thank you to the rebuild workers

Where would Christchurch be today without the assistance of the many thousand of workers who have contributed to the post-earthquake rebuild over the past six-and-a-half years? We sometimes hear complaints about the slow pace of progress repairing the roads and infrastructure, and building new structures - but how much more delay would there have been if people had not come to Christchurch from around the region, elsewhere in New Zealand and throughout the world to help? Yet - how often have we stopped to think about and recognise the contribution of these workers to our city? We owe them a great deal.

Stop education trafficking: The man on a mission - Philippine Ambassador to New Zealand Jesus S. Domingo


Dear Friends, please beware of Education and Immigration Advisers who make "STUDY WORK LIVE" and similar promises for New Zealand. In many cases this is MISLEADING. I met with NZ Government Representatives today [March 29] (Ministry of Education, Education NZ, NZQA and Immigration NZ) and they will not accept this! They are taking action against Advisers who misleadingly promise this. Please be on the lookout for this and report to me by PM, so we can bring this to their attention. - Ambassador Domingo

'We are concerned about the report published in The Press: George Clark, Manager, Canterbury Migrants Centre

He was speaking in reference to a report published in Christchurch's The Press on March 31 - "Crash victims were newcomers to NZ". The story also appeared a day earlier on The story referred to a fatal crash that took place on March 28 near Culverden in which two Indian boys were killed. "The police have told us that the investigation will take about a month to complete. Even the report in The Press mentions 'Police said an investigation into the crash was ongoing'. Inspite of this, the report adds 'It is understood they had driven onto the wrong side of the road'. This, we believe places the blame on the Indian boys even before the crash investigations are complete, which might have implications regarding insurance claims. I have sought clarification from The Press regarding this," Clark said. 

Community radio: Faka’amanaki - Tongan radio programme

Siale Faitotonu has been broadcasting his ever-expanding radio programme for the Tongan people for 23 years on Plains FM96.9. Now going by the name Faka’amanaki, the show provides news and support for Tongans, particularly those settling into a new country. The programme’s title, Faka’amanaki, means “Hope for…” and applies to everything from “Living” to a “Better Future”. The show’s original name had been Taka-i-Fonuamahu (Living in the Promised Land).

Multiculturalism: Christchurch Polyfest 2017 held on March 18, saw 18 secondary schools across the city, celebrating the Pacific Island cultures

Schools that participated included Haeata Community Campus, Middleton Grange School, Avonside Girls' High School, Hornby High School, Ashburton College, Cashmere High School, Papanui High School, St Thomas' of Canterbury College, Shirley Boys' High SChool, Riccarton High School, Marlborough Boys' College, Marlborough Girls' College, Burnside High School, Marian College, St Bedes' College, Linwood College, Villa Maria College and Christchurch Girls' High School, and Catholic Cathedral College.

Celebrations: Fiji-style holi in Chch

The Christchurch Fiji Association (Cfcessa) organised a Fiji-style holi last Sunday with over 100 people attending from the community. While exchanging sweets, applying colours and doing karaoke were all part of the celebrations, the highlight was the Faag mandalis, which sang faag (holi-related folk songs) – a Fiji tradition – late into the evening. Vinesh Prakash, secretary of the Association noted, “Our coordinator for this event was Virendra Prasad, who did a great job. Back home, we have this tradition where we sing holi-related folk songs on the full-moon night holika is set on fire. This is also carried on the next morning during dhuleti when all of us play with colours. During that day, the faag mandalis also visit homes of friends and relatives, exchanging sweets, applying colours and playing music.”

Multiculturalism: Culture Galore 2017 held on March 11, saw representation from over 70 different ethnic communities in food stalls, activities and performances

“The great thing about Culture Galore is that the community takes ownership of the festival. It's another indication that Christchurch is embracing diversity. In addition to some good initiatives already in place such as the adoption of Christchurch Multicultural Strategy by the City council, we need more cross-cultural exchanges, especially on medium such as the Plains FM radio. With regards to Culture Galore itself, we would like to have more involvement of the Pacifika community and make the event more interactive for the audiences in the future.” - Nicki Reece, Station Manager, Plains FM, Christchurch, talking about Culture Galore and Plains FM

In conversation with Sophie-Claire Violette, Coordinator of Mid Canterbury Newcomers Network, Ashburton

"Over the years and through the dedicated leadership of several coordinators and the work of passionate volunteers, the Mid Canterbury Newcomers Network has grown into a dynamic, community-led and community-driven organization and developed a 300+ person strong network of friends, community contacts, cultural ambassadors and grass-roots community leaders and initiatives that contribute at different levels of community building and organising. We support newcomers who have come from all over New Zealand and the rest of the world who have chosen to settle into Mid Canterbury. We are a starting point of sorts for them."

'We can utterly refute this allegation'

In response to our last issue's story about a four-month-old girl being removed by Child, Youth and Family from the custody of her Indian parents, where they had alleged that their daughter is not receiving proper care; The Migrant Times has received the following reply from the mother of the foster parents who took the child under their care. Meanwhile, the child was returned to her Indian parents by Child, Youth and Family on March 9.  

Community radio: Samadhi - Voice of Sri Lanka

New Children of who attend the Sri Lankan Language and Cultural School in Christchurch play a large part in the production of Plains FM96.9’s radio programme about their cultural heritage, Samadhi – Voice of Sri Lanka. Under the guidance of the co-ordinator of the school, Dr Kalyani Wijayawardana, the children help to host the half-hour show, which is broadcast at 1.30pm every third Saturday of the month, and repeated at 3.30pm on the second Sunday.

'Living Planet': Three-day forum to look for sustainable solutions

"The Living Economies Expo is an event recognising the interconnection of all major global issues around the driving force of our dysfunctional debt-based money system. The event will showcase examples of people doing things differently, creating healthy solutions, demonstrating what is possible, what gives hope and direction to our communities and country. Through the momentum of this event we hope to seed systemic change," says Margaret Jefferies, member of the Living Economies Trust Board, the main organiser of the event. Jefferies is also the chairperson of Project Lyttelton.

Contributing: Calling on ethnic communities to join community patrols - NZ Police

“We want to recruit new migrants onto patrols which we hope will help them fit into the local community and enable them to meet new people. The training for this is three months long, during which the volunteers learn about health and safety, observation and patrolling skills. The main purpose of the patrol is to deter, delay, deny and detect any crime from happening. On average, volunteers contribute about 10 hours every month – two 5 hour shifts - doing community patrols,” informed Helen Todd, who is NZ Police's Community Patrol Coordinator for the Canterbury region.

Filipino food experience at Learn from What You Eat programme

The culture and cuisines of Filipino food were explained late last month at a project "Learn from What You Eat" gathering at Hagley Community College. As for previous culture and food session, the funding from The Tindall Foundation has enabled the migrants and newcomers families as well as the local residents to understand the NZ's diverse culture and people from different background through the traditional ethnic dish.

Korea is in turbulence

Democratic practice has been largely withdrawn by untested leaders in Korea. However, the impeachment will benefit the expat Koreans as well as people in the Korean peninsula much greater in the future than ever. Through the 1945 liberation, the 1950 Korean War, and the 1961 military coup d'état, Korea has never been able to take away the vested interests of the pro-Japanese regime. Korea’s democracy seemed to be developed off and on owing to the ruling of the opposition democratic forces, but again this impeached Park and the ruling party’s allegiance sparked the public’s desire to reset the Republic of Korea in all aspects including democracy, culture, economy and education.

Exploitation: Auckland car-wash pays $35,151 to migrant employees

A car washing business, called Car-Fe Limited, in Auckland has paid $35,151 in arrears to 97 employees following a Labour Inspectorate investigation which found multiple breaches of employment law. The company's sole director, according to the Companies Office, is former All Blacks star Matthew Ridge. The investigation revealed that Car-Fe Limited underpaid holiday pay, failed to keep proper wage, time and holiday records, or provide employment agreements

Dutch here raise concerns on Dutch elections there

From "I did not know that there was an election", to friends that followed every step. It seems to depend partly on how often people have had a chance to go back to the Netherlands. The more they have been back, the more they still feel connected with the politics. Of those who have followed it, there seems to be a huge feeling of astonishment that even in the country that we left as a country that is very liberal and very pro freedom of speech, culture, religion etc, it is possible to give a man as Geert Wilders such a following.