Kia ora koutou, Greetings, Namaste, Bonjour, Shalom, Hamjambo, Hola, Nihau, Konichiwa & As-Salaam-Alaikum,
Our Team has been going full steam this last month, preparing for and launching our Around Aotearoa Road Trip. We will be visiting about 64 towns and cities across the country to hear from as many different people in as many different sectors across the country as possible.
Nona and Anjum landed in Nelson on 23rd February and after three days of conversations at the top of the South Island, they headed south, meeting with a range of people along the West Coast. From there, they drove over the Haast Pass to Central Otago and Lakes District, where they finished up this segment in Queenstown. Both are now getting organised for the next round of conversations.
Stay tuned to follow their journey around the country. Please like our FaceBook page and help spread the word about the conversations we are holding. We want to include and hear from as many voices as we can as we travel the country.
CHRISTCHURCH HUI COMING SOON!
Saturday, 28 March 2020
Our Christchurch hui is around the corner. We will be working with 100-150 participants to listen to and record their stories about belonging, barriers, and ideas for change. There are still spaces left! If you would like to attend, or if you know people who you think should attend, please contact Talie at:
THE ROAD TRIP
Nelson and Motueka (23-25 Feb)
We were so fortunate to be hosted by the wonderful Dennis Dolejs and supported by his brother and sister, Dan and Dixie. On our first day there, we met with members of the Jewish community, followed by a large gathering of the Bhutanese community.
Our Nelson hosts.
Both were conversations that were full to the brim with insights and experiences, with the Bhutanese group giving us the only one of our conversations that was trilingual on this segment of our journey!
Thank you very much to Anna Fyfe-Rahal for a full day of facilitation and recording stories with the Tea and Talk group and the Muslim youth group at the local Islamic centre.
One of the key contacts at Victory Centre also spent time with us, giving us an insight to the communities she works with in Nelson. In Motueka, we had the opportunity to join the Kaumatua group at Te Awhina Marae, who can only be described as wonderful, warm, and welcoming. We also learned of the connection our Māori advisor, Sandy Morrison, has to this special place.
Later, we met with a key leader at the Motueka Community House, a river tribe traveller, and a member of the Riverside Community.
Westport, Greymouth, Hokitika, Franz Josef (26 – 29 Feb)
While in Westport, we heard from several individuals in the community, as well as meeting with BullerREAP and Grey Power members.
The amazing women from Buller REAP.
In Greymouth, we were invited into the student flat of a first year Outdoor Recreation student at the local Polytech, who assembled nine other first years for a chat.
Hokitika gave us a very full day of meetings, starting with conversations at WestREAP with representatives of rural education programmes. We had a lovely conversation with the parents of a local playgroup and their babies, and went on to meet a transwoman who owns a business in town.
After a very full day, and a drizzly cold rainy one at that, Anjum and Nona picked up fish and chips from a recommended shop and headed back to their accomodation to warm up. At Franz Josef, we met a local farmer who gave us a great rural perspective.
Central Otago and Lakes District (1-4 March)
After a glorious drive over the Haast Pass, where we couldn’t resist stopping at waterfalls, we arrived into the nurturing hands of Amy Pearl of The Weaving House. She had organised and catered all of the meetings with community members, as well as providing us with accomodation and food.
Outside Ashrams’ Restaurant in Wanaka.
We met the Thrive Community Group at their picnic in the park, two separate groups of diverse community members representing all walks of life, and then held one-on-one meetings with an educator, a vicar, a restaurant owner and former Dunedin mayor, Sukhi Turner.
From Wanaka, we headed to Cromwell, where the Cromwell Community Centre became our station for the day. We met with women working with Central Otago REAP, the disability sector, the Newcomers Network and with the Community Centre manager. It was a ‘fruitful’ day, that ended with a stop at one of Cromwell’s well-known orchard vendors.
From Cromwell, we travelled to Queenstown, where Kate Smith, one of our comms team, hosted us. The next day, before Anjum and Nona flew off in different directions, there was still time to meet with Queenstown Lakes District Council, the VP of the Indian organisation, and the team at Wakatipu Youth Trust.
OTHER FEBRUARY ACTIVITY
While we were all heavily occupied with getting the first road trip off the ground, we still managed to squeeze in some other events this past month.
Maori Women’s Welfare League Hui for Central North Island took place in Hamilton this year, and Anjum and Nona were honoured to be invited and given a space to speak about the project. They also enjoyed a beautiful lunch prepared by several of the talented women of the league.
Wellbeing Hui in Hamilton, which brought together 350 stakeholders in the Waikato, was attended by Anjum, where she introduced the Prime Minister, and later spoke on how to lead a movement.
OEC Central North Island Interfaith Hui: This event attended by Nona and Anjum, has patterned their work on social inclusion using the IACT model. It is heartening to see the work we have done is already being put to use by others, and the event provided opportunities to network with a variety of faith group representatives.
Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Awards: Our very own Anjum was not only nominated for this award but became a semi-finalist! She and family enjoyed a wonderful awards night celebrating a very special group of citizens who have made important and lasting contributions to the country.
Anjum was invited to join the Ethnic Minority Women’s Rights Alliance Aotearoa, and she presented the work of IACT there.
Issac Oron, an organiser of the Earth Beat event interviewed Anjum about IACT. Our team will be running a conversation at that event in March.
We have also had wonderful conversations with the Mental Health Foundation and the Akina Foundation, who have been generous with their advice and support. We also loved meeting Dr. Bex Graham, a community psychologist, and Dr. Aroha Yates-Smith. Each of these conversations are enriching and very much valued
OUR MĀORI ADVISORY TEAM
We are so honoured to have Sandy Morrison and Matua Tom Roa take on the roles of Te Ao Maori kaitohutohu and kaiārahi. Their guidance and wisdom has been invaluable, and we particularly thank Professor Roa for the name Tāhono. Thank you to both for agreeing to support and guide our journey of belonging and inclusion.