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Source: New Zealand Government Office of Ethnic Affairs

Kia ora, nĭ hăo and namaste!

This month the Office of Ethnic Communities (OEC) celebrated Māori, Chinese, and Hindi language weeks.  We also observed the 125th anniversary of the New Zealand women’s suffrage movement, and saw the release of the report on Diverse Thinking Capability Audit in New Zealand Boardrooms 2018.  These events allowed us to learn and share the rich languages, history, and innovations that we have here in Aotearoa. 

I encourage all workplaces and hapori (Te reo Māori for communities) to participate in language weeks.  These weeks are a great way to shòuquán (Chinese for empower) the workforce and community, through greater cultural samajh (Hindi for understanding) and language learning. It is great to see people coming together to celebrate each others languages leading up to the United Nations International Translation day on 30 September 2018.

On 19 September we marked the 125th anniversary of the New Zealand women’s suffrage movement and the passing of the Electoral Act 1893, which gave all women in New Zealand the right to vote. Since April, OEC has featured monthly interviews with female leaders from our ethnic communities on matters of women’s suffrage and their experiences as women of influence. You can view the latest story here.

The Superdiversity Institute for Law, Policy and Business recently released the Diverse Thinking Capability Audit in New Zealand Boardrooms 2018 report at a launch event in Auckland. The report is the first of its kind, and discusses how diverse thinking in boardrooms enhances workplace performance. It is empowering to see research that is working toward a deeper understanding of the value of diversity, and of our ethnic communities.

Education Conversations were held throughout the month in Auckland.  I was recently touched to hear of one 9 year old girl’s moving contribution. OEC received a touching email from the girl’s mother, who shared with pride how her normally shy daughter, had spoken with ease in front of a room full of strangers. It is wonderful to see community members shaping the future of our education system and being a voice for ethnic communities. Inspiring contributions like this encourage us to engage in civic participation freely and openly, no matter our age, gender or ethnicity.

If you would also like to have your say about the education system, upcoming Education Conversations will come to Wellington and Christchurch. You can also make your contribution by completing a short survey here.

Tēna koe and kia kaha.

Xie xie and zaijian.

Dhanyavaad and namaskara.


Cathrine Austin