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Over 80 representatives from Regional Multicultural Councils (RMCs) representing at least 60 different ethnic communities in Aotearoa joined iwi at the Huarahi Hou Hui at Waiwhetu on June 29.

Kaumātua of Te Runanganui o Te Atiawa Dr Kara Puketapu and the National President of Multicultural New Zealand, Pancha Narayanan, have largely been responsible for spearheading the development of Multicultural New Zealand’s (MNZ) ground-breaking Huarahi Hou with a pathway to a treaty based multicultural communities.

Launched in 2018, Huarahi Hou means ‘new beginning, new direction or new pathway.’ For MNZ the strategy provides a pathway for multicultural communities to better understand the Treaty of Waitangi and contemporary Māori culture. It aims to help them cultivate strong, ongoing relationships with local tangata whenua, stimulating curiosity about each other’s lives through formal and informal marae visits.

Dr Kara Puketapu, told the multicultural whānau that, like Māori, they are all mokopuna. “We are all someone’s grandchild. That’s what Māori call whakapapa,” he said.

“What interests us as Māori, is your culture. You all come from different countries with different cultures and that’s what we want, because the world we leave for our grandchildren and their grandchildren will be a joined-up community made up of all the peoples of the world, not just New Zealanders.”

Key goals for Huarahi Hou aim to: ground the settlement experience of migrant and refugee people in the origins of Aotearoa; promote opportunities for cultural exchange between Māori, migrants and people of refugee background; identify opportunities for economic engagement and Influence government policy on migration and the integration of Māori values into new migrant communities and the wider culture.

Thanks to funding from the Office of Ethnic communities and Te Muka Rua Foundation, MNZ has already collaborated with iwi to organise four noho marae visits; 51 migrants attended the first visit to Awataha Marae on the North Shore on November 24 last year; 60 attended a noho at Tomairangi Marae in Invercargill on February 9 and another 80 visited Kauwhata Marae in Feilding on May 2. A fourth noho is still to be scheduled in Nelson.

Huarahi Hou has also had strong support from E Tu Whanau (MSD).

Huarahi Hou.

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