‘Our Dream for Aoteaora’ is the theme of the Race Relations Day celebrations organised by Auckland Regional Migrant Services (ARMS) on the 21st of March.
The one day event in New Zealand’s Auckland will explore the implications for migrants of the current review of NZ’s constitutional arrangements, abuse of employment rights, issues relating to accessing of our health services, and valuing diverse voices in local democracy.
Aoteaora, which means the land of the long white cloud, is the Maori name for New Zealand.
“ARMS’ dream for Aotearoa-New Zealand is to be a nation that upholds human rights and democracy, and is fully inclusive”, says Dr Mary Dawson, ARMS Chief Executive. “For Auckland, as a super-diverse city, ARMS’ dream is that the voices of our diverse communities are fully heard and their contributions truly valued”.
The speakers at the event are lawyer, Mai Chen; workers’ advocate, Dennis Maga; African health advocate, Tuwe Kudakwashe; and member of the Puketapapa Local Board, Ella Kumar.
The event also celebrates the 10th anniversary of the opening of ARMS Regional Centre. “Many new migrants come from very different systems and political regimes,” says Dr Dawson.
“Many are apprehensive about seeking advice, knowing where to go for assistance, whether to speak up, and how to adapt to their new country. The role of ARMS is to make sure that assistance is available to newcomers, and that they are treated with respect.”
Auckland Mayor Len Brown is looking forward to the celebrations.
“Migrants have always brought and continue to bring a wealth of experiences to this great city, which we should and do celebrate,” says Mayor Brown.
“Aucklanders are increasingly aware of the value of diversity, and if that goes going hand in hand with tolerance and celebration we will build a truly inclusive city.”