Inclusive Aotearoa Collective Tāhono | Update # 10

Kia ora koutou, Greetings, and As-Salaam-Alaikum,

We are trying not to bombard you with updates, but there’s just so much that’s been happening!


In a meeting at the University of Waikato with Manukura Tom Roa of Ngāti Maniapoto, Anjum and Nona were  honoured to be given a Māori name for Inclusive Aotearoa Collective. Tom called our project ‘Tāhono’ and gave us this story for our new name:

“Hono means to link, to connect. There is an ancient healing amongst Waikato and Maniapoto called ‘hono’, for broken bones, to reconnect them! The suffixta has the English equivalent of ‘to cause’ soTāhono means ‘to cause to connect’, to bring together.”

This name will now join the IAC name and will be made part of our logo. Our deep appreciation to Tom Roa for this gift.

Planning for the Community Conversations to be held in 2020

Sandra is busy developing a plan that will guide the large number of community conversations we are planning to have throughout Aotearoa in 2020.  This includes the three major hui to be held in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch as well as a ‘road-trip’ so that Anjum and Nona can hear from those in the regions and small towns. These community conversations will take place between February – September 2020.

Tracey Bridges and Kate Smith have been providing valuable input into the Communication framework – thank you Tracey and Kate for your expertise and support!

From these conversations we will distill themes that will form the topics for the constellations which will begin to form in early 2021. These constellations will bring all those who have passion and enthusiasm for the topic together to progress actions for social change.

Out and About with Anjum and Nona

There have been quite a few events, workshops, meetings and presentations that both Anjum and Nona have attended in the past several weeks, but here are a few highlights:

Anjum spoke at the launch of the Revised National Statement on Religious Diversity in Aotearoa New Zealand.  This event was hosted by OEC and brought together members of the Auckland Interfaith Group and and other people from relevant sectors.  If you are interested in this national statement, please follow this link to read the whole statement:

Anjum also spoke at the CaDDANZ, where the main message was that New Zealanders should be free to believe and practice their faith (or no faith) without fear for their safety, or for the security of their place of worship or gathering being targeted.  This message is critical given that New Zealand is a secular state,with a growing number of faiths. Religious diversity is a significant feature of public life and includes those who profess no religion. Over the last decade, New Zealand’s religious demography has continued to expand and we are now the 15th most religiously diverse country in the world.

The talk Anjum presented for CaDDANZ conference was aptly entitledThey would not listen, They did not know how, Perhaps they’ll listen now. In case you’re trying to remember where this line is from, have a listen to Don McLean’sVincent. A summary of Anjum’s talk for CaDDANZ:

“New Zealand has a colonial history, with structures and institutions of Government and power modelled on the Westminster system. This system, while often speaking the language of diversity, actually lacks diversity both in design and in the people occupying senior positions. The result is that needs of diverse communities are neither well understood nor responded to in ways that are effective.This presentation covers a case study of one organisation’s interaction with Government, and the consequences of a system unable to adapt to diverse needs. It then presents a new initiative, the Inclusive Aotearoa Collective, which seeks to develop a national Strategy for Belonging and Inclusion and implement it through the Constellation Model, a structure for bringing diverse communities together to work on common goals.”
Nona and Anjum attended the Belong Aotearoa Annual Public Meeting in Auckland on 21 November.  It was wonderful to meet so many enthusiastic advocates for Inclusion and diversity.  The focus of this meeting was the role of the media in inclusion and diversity. Several journalists from both print and TV media spoke about racial bias and discrimination in the media.  Anjum presented the closing remarks at the end of this series of talks and workshops and covered the problems still facing communities because of the media and in spite of the media.

Public Zoom Call – 13/11/19

In the last newsletter, we invited everyone to a Public Zoom Call on November 13th to discuss the consultation process as well as to talk about the perceptions around words that we will be using.  Seven people joined this conversation and several interesting points were made. The questions we asked are below, followed by summaries of the main points that came out of our conversation.

  • Question 1: What consultations have you attended in the last 5 years?  How did the consultation go? How did it feel? What was the result?
  • When conducting a consultation, keep the conversation quite focused /refined.
  • The lack of communication after a consultation is a problem and frustrating.
  • Need to consider either getting back reasonably quickly to a group with an email or a short report, or provide  interim updates until there is a more complete report. Ongoing communication is important.
  • When a report is released, it is important to feed back or explain why some things were included and some things were not included.
  • It is important to create a timeline about what happens post-consultation and stick to it.

Question 2: What meanings do you ascribe to the words:  Belonging, Diversity, Representation, Inclusion

  • Belonging captures personal feelings
  • Inclusion and participation are linked concepts
  • Participation is about being active, action oriented, and carries a sense of process
  • Avoid tokenism
  • Ka whakamana tangata – this concept is about empowered people and a harmonious civil society through human rights
  • Mana tangata – this concept speaks to power and status accrued through one’s leadership talents, human rights, mana of people.
  • Regarding those words, we need to take action. We have to make those words happen,  take action, take personal responsibility and make sure the places we go to are safe for us to participate in.
  • To aid children in growing a sense of Belonging, place-based history that is specific to one’s locality should be compulsory (in addition to the national NZ history curriculum)

Question 3: Any alternative words/concepts you’d like to highlight or discuss?

  • Consider using a new word that encompasses the concept or action we are trying to describe, such as Companionship or Participation
  • Consider non-English terms


Concluding remarks:

In our wrap-up,  we asked how often we should we have these zoom calls.  The general response was to hold them whenever it is most useful for the IAC team. Several of the participants agreed that the zoom calls were very useful.

We would welcome the wider membership to give us feedback about which organisations or individuals you think would be useful for us to have our conversations.

Please email or message us with your feedback at [email protected]

We really appreciate your input!

Job Openings!

We have two job openings for positions that will start in 2020.  We’d love to hear from you if you have the skills, and passion to join our team!  Please feel free to share these job descriptions through your networks too! These job openings are for:

Data Analyst
Events Coordinator
Both job descriptions are listed on our website and on SEEK (use links below to apply).

Applications for both of these roles close on 8 Dec 2019

Use these links if you wish to apply for either of these positions.

Thank You For Your Support

Thank you to NIDEA (National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis) and CaDDANZ (Capturing the Diversity Dividend of Aotearoa/New Zealand) for their support and for sharing knowledge about population diversity in Aotearoa. Their shared expertise will greatly aid our understanding as we go forward with this project.