Inclusive Aotearoa Collective Tāhono | Update #21

Mālō e lelei,

The road trip has rolled to an end, and what a trip it’s been! We spent the month of September in Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay, Taupo, Rotorua, Christchurch, North Canterbury, Marlborough. and back to back hui in Auckland.

With the conclusion of the road trip, the project is transitioning: from phase one to phase two, from moving around the country in person or virtually to a strategising and design mode, and from a research team to a constellation team.

We would like to thank everyone who has helped in this phase – the participants, volunteers, networkers, facilitators, notetakers, and the funders who have put their trust in this project so that we could get to this point.

Thank you to Nona Morris

As we come to the next phase of our project we say a sad farewell to Nona Morris. Nona joined the project in September last year, and has played an integral role in setting up the plan for our road trip this year, scoping the project, organising trial conversations, and travelling around the country with Anjum. She kept in touch with volunteers, has written and sent out these newsletters, and so much more. She brought an umatched level of enthusiasm and energy to the project as well as a lovely sense of humour. We absolutely would not have got to this next stage without her, and the IACT team thank her deeply for all her work, while wishing her all the best for the next stage in her varied and wonderful life journey.

The last of the road trips

September, our very last month of conversations, saw Anjum and Nona nearly constantly on the road. At the beginning of the month, we headed to Whakatane for packed-room conversations. From there, we held conversations in Gisborne and also caught up with Race Relations Commissioner/Kaihautū Whakawhanaungatanga‑ā‑Iwi Meng Foon. The next stop was Napier. Our thanks to Brian Hight who helped helped put the word out about the conversations and organised space for us to meet. We ended that particular road trip with a stop in Taupo.

With Race Relations commissioner, Meng Foon in Gisborne; welcome to our first Napier session at EIT!

The next road trip took us from Christchurch to Marlborough. Our gratitude to Cathy Harrison for organising our first session with the young men and staff of a Canterbury boys college. The students were well-spoken, thoughtful and a delight to meet.

Before going to Woodend the following day, we took time to visit the Al-Noor mosque. For Anjum, it was the first time she had been inside since the attacks. There was a lovely gentleman who showed us all around the mosque, told us where he was when it happened and what he witnessed, and described how the mosque community was moving forward. It was a moving experience.

Above – with Cathy Harrison, Christchurch; students and staff of a Canterbury boys college (right).

An emotional visit to Al-Noor Mosque in Christchurch.

Woodend in North Canterbury was our next stop. A shout out to Denise Wiggins for bringing together a group of individuals, including both recent arrivals and long term residents, for organising the venue, and for providing a delicious supper. The next leg of the journey was stop and start with all the roadworks, but we did get out for a stretch and a bite to eat along the beautiful shoreline of Kaikoura. Our Blenheim sessions were small, but packed with information. Thanks to Brother Zayd and Sister Nisha for your kind hospitality and making our visit to your city such a special time. Our final session in the South Island was held in Picton, in the Little Theatre, a lovely space with a community vibe.

The Auckland Hui

The Auckland Hui, held over the weekend of 26-27 September, was a Covid-laced challenge. We had waited with bated breath to see if it could go ahead, and the Level 2 announcement was only made days before. Talie had to move at double speed to pull off not one hui, but two separate hui over two days because of the restrictions imposed by Covid, including tables with a maximum of four participants, strict protocols around food and beverage service, and masks available to all. Despite the barriers presented by Covid, the two days were packed with fascinating conversations. Thanks to our facilitators, note takers and our volunteer, Leilani Schmidt-Geen, who competently managed the front-of-house registration table.

The data analysis is in full swing

Sara is in full data analysis mode. Data collection officially closed on the 1st of October. The next stage involves the quantitative and qualitative analysis of thousands of lines of data.

This process includes reviewing all conversations and analysing verbatim into key themes across the three questions posed: when do you feel like you belong; what’s stopping you from feeling like you belong; and what needs to change so that you feel like you belong.

The final report will be published copyright-free on the IACT website by the beginning of 2021. We will send out a newsletter informing you of its publication, and we welcome you to download it and use it to develop your own projects and programmes.

Check out Anjum’s Auckland lecture

Anjum was invited to participate in the University of Auckland Winter Lecture Series for 2020. The theme for this year was ‘Sex, gender and identity in Aotearoa New Zealand: Contemporary problems and what to do about them’.

Anjum chose to speak about ‘Discrimination within Gender: Dealing with Bigotry and Racism’. Due to Covid, the lecture had to be online only.


If you would like to watch the other excellent lectures in this series, please see: Auckland University Winter Lecture Series.