Since 2020 we have been talking to communities across the motu to get a better understanding of what belonging means for different people in Aotearoa, and what needs to change. We have been using these conversations to guide our mahi over the last two years, connecting community efforts to create greater social impact.
One of the common themes that came out of the conversations was the difficulty in forming connections across different communities, particularly with tangata whenua. Our country is deeply influenced by its colonial history, and there are not enough resources and spaces for tauiwi to connect with tangata whenua and Te Ao Māori.
Today we are announcing our latest project, Bridging Cultures.
The purpose of this project is to connect ethnic and Pasifika communities with tangata whenua, to build relationships and encourage communities to work together. We initiated this project after feedback from these communities about their lack of connection. Connecting these communities is a critical part of anti-racism work, through building solidarity and sharing of knowledge and experiences.
Further, there are visible and growing tensions between these communities. By building stronger ties between them, there is a greater opportunity to enhance social cohesion.
Finally, these hui are a means of strengthening the application of Te Tiriti by building support for tino rangatiratanga, as well as developing a shared understanding of how Te Tiriti includes ethnic and Pasifika communities. These hui will take place through various Marae across Aotearoa, offering a sacred place for learning and connection.
We are well underway with the planning of our first hui, and will keep you all updated on our journey. Kia ora as always for your support and aroha.