Bridging Cultures

Uniting local communities through storytelling, history, and Te Tiriti o Waitangi

Bridging Cultures is a programme held in partnership with marae throughout the country. It is designed to counter discrimination and improve belonging and inclusion for minority groups in Aotearoa. The programme brings diverse communities together to strengthen connections with each other and mana whenua, built on a foundation of tikanga and Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

A major part of the initial workshop is whakawhānaungatanga, where our facilitators and the manaaki of the marae help to guide participants in sharing experiences and stories of themselves or people they know. From these group conversations, participants develop a better understanding of what other community groups experience as a part of the local area and within Aotearoa.

The day also includes local storytelling from mana whenua, and education on Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

To make the most of the day’s connections and learnings, participants continue the conversations and develop actions through an ongoing rōpū, with facilitation and support from Tāhono.

While we primarily promote this event to Pasifika, tangata whenua, and ethnic communities, we welcome Pākehā to attend and participate. All of our work strives to create an inclusive, accessible, and safe space for our rainbow and disabled whānau, and we warmly invite all life experiences to share in the wānanga of Bridging Cultures.

  • Why on the marae?

  • Why is it needed?

  • What is the rōpū system?

Participant feedback

“Pai rawatu. Moving, emotional, thought-provoking.”

“The event not only helped lift the mana of everyone but allowed for us to have a voice in a place we need to be seen in.”

“As a long-term migrant, I wish I had attended a hui like this one as a new arrival. It is a great initiative, and my wish is to see more of these types of initiatives as it breaks the stereotypes and brings people together.”

I met so many lovely people of different cultures and backgrounds and have opted to continue catching up at future hui. I was reminded that everyone has a story to share and that learning and knowing whakapapa helps cultures connect.”


Since mid-2023, we have run a successful series of Bridging Cultures events from Papakura to Invercargill.

We are currently looking for local funding to support more events. If you feel the need for a workshop in your area, reach out and let us know.

Recent events