It's safe to say that 2023 was a year jam-packed full of activities and projects for both Multicultural Nelson Tasman and our diverse communities. We're now starting to prepare for our summer festivals and it feels like they really only just ended - but as they say "time flies when you are having fun".
The year started on a high note with MNT winning the Bowater Hyundai Community Impact Award at the Nelson Pine Industries Chamber of Commerce Business Awards and then we saw the Tasman Asian Night Food Fair and Multicultural Festival come back with a bang after a hiatus thanks to Covid. We enjoyed a second Multicultural Football festival with a whopping 16 teams registered and held the first Multicultural Cricket festival with Nelson Cricket at Victory Square.
We finally furthered our presence on the ground in Tasman with the employment of a part-time Community Coordinator for Motueka, and saw the successful funding of the Shared Communities initiative by the Ministry of Culture and Heritage - bringing together 2 years of groundwork by the Consortium that includes MNT, Nelson City Council, Arts Council Nelson and MakeShift Spaces. This project saw the employment of a full-time 'Cultural Navigator' (based out of MNT) to support communities in turning their arts, culture and heritage ideas and aspirations into realities.
Importantly, we continued our anti-racism work, hosting the 'Top of the South Working Group Against Racism' meetings throughout the year with interested agencies and partners, plus two more anti-racism and allyship full-day workshops with adults, as well as venturing into short preventative/awareness raising sessions in colleges, with Police and Community Law. We secured funding to hold three "Tangata Tiriti - Treaty People" workshops with former refugees and migrants - this mahi aligning with MNT's vision of Te Tiriti-based multicultural communities living happily and in harmony.
Our Mynties (Multicultural Youth Nelson Tasman) continue with a strong presence under the guidance of wonderful Ramiesha, and we're so proud to announce that three of our rangatahi have recently been selected to sit on the Nelson Youth Council (part of Nelson City Council). We look forward to seeing their continued contributions to our community.
A big thanks to all the organisations we have collaborated with this year, and a special acknowledgement to Welcoming Communities Coordinators Bill Huppler (NCC) and Birte Becker-Steel (TDC) and Migrant and Refugee Community Navigator, Norma Sequera.
So, on behalf of our Board and staff, we would like to wish everyone a very Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and a safe break over the summer.
From left - Ramiesha & Anna (MNT Nelson) Sez (MNT Motueka) & Karolina (Shared Communities)
Multicultural Motueka Reflections
Establishing Multicultural Nelson Tasman’s presence in Motueka has proved to be a fun and fruitful experience. We have been well received in the community, with many different stakeholders and agencies expressing strong support. Chief among these has been the local library, Te Noninga Kumu, with its Head
Librarian, Janine Gillions, going above and beyond to promote our activities as well as providing an excellent space to hold our events.
We ran our first event - Migration Stories - in conjunction with TDC’s Welcoming Week. As the title suggests,
the idea behind this was to provide a supportive space for migrants to share their story of migration: why they chose to leave their home country and emigrate to Aotearoa, and what challenges they encountered once here. Consequent discussions proved poignant, with a deep level of empathy being created through slipping on the migrants’ shoes and sharing their life-changing experiences. Encouraged by this we ran Migration Stories Part 2 which was even more successful with one audience member describing the Q & A sessions as “pumping” and the discussions as highly stimulating. Migration Stories Part 3 is scheduled for January 20th 2024with 5 migrants keen to share their journeys.
The challenge to establish a Motueka Multicultural Youth Group is an ongoing project. So far, we have run three Youth Group activities, such as playing badminton at the Recreation Centre. While these have been well received, numbers have fluctuated depending on the weather and other external factors.
Our next event is a Multicultural Potluck Dinnerto be held on December 8th at the Memorial Hall in Motueka. This is designed not just for migrants but for anyone interested in multiculturalism, and sharing food with people from different cultures.
Through running these events, local people have come forward to volunteer their services, such as teaching English. Already this offer has been gratefully received by 3 different family groups.
As well as language needs, further practical pastoral care has been provided to migrants seeking help with health and dental issues as well as employment. The local fire brigade (FENZ) has also come to our aid by providing and installing free smoke alarms into two migrant households.
We have also promoted and been involved in Cultural Competency Workshops, Te Tiriti Workshops, Bislama Language Week, Active Aging Expo and the Kai Festival. Next year we are aiming to hold a Multicultural Festival as well as support a local Diwali celebration.
Racism and Hate Crime Prevention Workshops
Thank you to Garin College for hosting NZ Police, Community Law and Multicultural Nelson Tasman in November, to run a short workshop on racism and hate crime. The students were fabulous and had lots of ideas and we could see they were upholding their school values in relation to this mahi. We’re confident they will be great ‘upstanders’ against racism if and when they see or experience it. If you know a high school that would be interesting in holding one of these sessions please get in touch with MNT.
Multicultural Cricket is Back!
The Multicultural Cricket Festival is back on December 19th from 5pm, and will be bigger & better than last time - and may have some superstar international players watching from the sidelines! This year the venue has been changed to Greenmeadows Stoke, as it has 6 wickets, allowing us to play more cricket. The rules will be the same as last time, 6 a-side 12 overs innings. Nelson Cricket is working close with NZC and Bangladesh Cricket due to the ODI (One Day International) here on the 20th of December, and we are very likely to have Blackcaps & Bangladeshi Tigers coming down to the evening to get involved in the festivities.
There will be prizes for best supporters, best dressed, sportsmanship. Plenty of new balls provided! We will also have a kids zone on the side. It is $50 per team to register, or if you need to be added to an existing team as an individual, let us know. Please contact Dustin on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Multicultural Kai and Korero
We had two multicultural Kai and Korero events during October and November. The first one we had was Korean Cuisine with Jeong Ae Seo and then we had our Board member Monique Dyson showcasing Southern Thai Cuisine. The attendees were very keen to learn the new ethnic dishes and the most interesting part of the session was chatting to the chefs and sharing kai together as a group. Thanks to The Food Factory for hosting us.
Recent Festivals With Our Communities
October and November saw multiple festivals and events for our communities, many of which were able to be supported under the Shared Communities Initiative. You can see more photos by Kat Beyle here and more will be uploaded soon.
Thanks to members of the Gujarati community, Nelson had it's first Navaratricelebration open to the public. This was held at Nelson College for Girls over three evenings and saw wonderful displays of Garba dancing, gorgeous clothing and of course puja (ceremonial worship) with a lighted lamp (arati) in front of the deities.
Fijian Independence Day (which falls on 10th October) was celebrated on October 21st at the Enner Glynn Scout Hall, and participants enjoyed a kava ceremony, food, dancing and plenty of fun.
The festival of Dashain was celebrated by Nelson's Nepalese community on October 22nd at Old St John's Hall. Almost 100 people came together and celebrated with food, performances and dancing - with many talented families taking to the stage!
Khuado Pawi, the harvest celebration very important to the Zomi community from Myanmar, was celebrated on October 23rd at Saxton Oval. Community members and guests enjoyed speeches and performances, including traditional dances and songs and then sat down to enjoy a meal together.
This year, there was not one, but three beautiful Diwali celebrations, each with their own distinctive feel, which really showcased the diversity between our communities and faith groups.
Nelson Sanatan Ramayan Mandli celebrated Diwali on Saturday 4th November at Enner Glynn Scout Hall (which has probably never looked as lovely as it did on this day). Their special celebration also had quite a Pacific vibe, as many of their members originally come from Fiji.
Shri Duga Vedic Sanatan Ramayan Bhagwat Mandal held their special event at Putangitangi Greenmeadows Community Centre in Stoke on Saturday November 4th and enjoyed hosting local MP Rachel Boyack and many other guests.
Last but not least, on Sunday 5th November there was a large Diwali event at Founders Park, which was organised by Indian community member Anjali Puri and open to the public. It saw about 2500 people in attendance and participants enjoyed watching performances, sampling a wonderful array of Indian food, and contributing to decorative rangoli in the Energy Centre.
Latin American and Spain Film Festival
The Nelson leg of the Latin American and Spain Film Festival launched in October, with the Peruvian Embassy supporting and attending the opening night festivities at Putangitangi Greenmeadows Centre. The festival ran throughout October and November and showcased a diverse range of films from Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Mexico and Spain.
- MULTICULTURAL YOUTH NELSON TASMAN -
One of the main highlights of the last couple of months was the MYNTies joining the Mask Carnivale 2023 as part of Nelson Arts Festival. They created their own masks, spending a lot of time and effort showing how important their roots are for them through their beautifully decorated masks. Their efforts paid off when they were awarded Second Prize in the Community Group section. Thanks very much to Community Artworks Nelson for guiding them.
They also had their final group bonding for the year, which was a good chance to say 'goodbye' to some of our lovely youth who contributed so much during 2023.
Another piece of great news is that some of our MYNTies were selected to be representatives on the Nelson Youth Council, so we hope to work more collaboratively in the coming year.
As mentioned earlier, the first multicultural youth group in Motueka was started in August and Sez, our Community Support Coordinator is organsing some cool events for youth in Motueka. So watch this space!
Thanks to Nelson City Council and Tasman District Council for your support to our multicultural youth.
We are recruiting new members for MYNT!
Do you want to empower other young people to thrive in an environment of diversity, unity and acceptance? Do you want to help us make Nelson Tasman a paradise of unity? Do you have children that would like to get involved with the MYNTies? Get in touch with us if you require more information or want to join the group! Thanks to Nelson City Council for funding the Multicultural Youth Nelson Tasman. Watch our latest recruitment video here
- OTHER EVENTS / NEWS -
First Pop Up Multicultural Market
The first pop-up Multicultural Market will take place on Sunday, December 17th, with the purpose of this event being to help increase and facilitate the participation of migrant and former refugee communities in events that promote and preserve their cultural traditions. Stall spaces will be free of charge for communities that would like to participate, You can register your interest here. https://forms.gle/upFbpf5nZS4Exmo9A
The War of Chimeras - screening in February
The Ukrainian community in Nelson/Tasman are thrilled to announce the upcoming viewing of "The War of Chimeras,” a compelling documentary directed and produced by Anastasiia and Mariia Starozhytska, a remarkable mother-daughter team who are Ukrainian refugees now residing in Auckland. Their film delves into a part of the rich history of Ukraine, offering a unique perspective on the struggles and triumphs of its people. On Saturday, 24th February at 7 pm, the Suter Theatre in Nelson will host this film and following the screening, Anaastasiia and Mariia will be present to talk about their film and answer any questions the audience may have. For more information about the film, please visit the following link Ticket information will be sent around mid-January, please watch this space. We greatly appreciate and thank Shared Communities for support of this event.
We always appreciate your help
Multicultural Nelson Tasman is an independent charitable organisation that ensures that ethnic migrants and former refugees settle and integrate well, and have opportunities to participate in and contribute to the wider community. Equally, we educate locals and newcomers from different ethnicities to understand each other, learn about and appreciate new Zealand's bi-culturalism, and the richness and benefits that a multicultural society brings. We advocate for unity in diversity.
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Naku te rourou nau te rourou ka ora ai te iwi -
With your basket and my basket the people will live!