Christchurch City Council

Christchurch, or Otautahi, is a thriving multicultural city at the centre of the South Island.

The City Council is committed to fostering both cultural diversity and positive relationships between its diverse communities. The Council recognises the special role of Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu as the representative of the tangata whenua of the city and the majority of the South Island, and seeks to maintain positive relationships with the Runanga, as well as with Maori who have come to Christchurch from other parts of New Zealand, Pacific peoples and all other ethnic communities.

The Council supports the New Zealand Diversity Action Programme through a wide range of projects and programmes across the full range of council functions and services. This includes the contributions of the Christchurch City Libraries, Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu, and the Council’s teams of community advisers. Community advisers manage relationships, provide advice, and support community development, community recreation and sport development, and community engagement through information, networking, providing facilities, administrative support and financial grants.

Visit the Christchurch City Council website.

Projects 2012
Cultural Diversity and Community Outcomes

The Council has identified a wide range of projects and programmes that contribute to cultural diversity, aligned to the eight community goals in the Council’s long term community plan (2006-2012). The goals cover the environment, lifelong learning, prosperity, good governance, inclusion and diversity, community health, safety, recreation and urban design. The full list of projects and programmes for 2011 will be published on the Council’s website.

They include:

  • translations of Council information and a guide for new migrants, consultation and engagement processes with Maori, Pacific and ethnic minority communities
  • administrative and financial grant support for community groups
  • programmes, arts and cultural events reflecting and celebrating the city’s cultural diversity, and building the capability of Council staff to serve the city’s diverse communities.
Race Relations Day and Diversity Season

The Council supports a wide range of activities for Race Relations Day on 21 March, both in the community and for the Council’s own staff. Race Relations Day is promoted as the culmination of a diversity season starting with Waitangi Day and the Chinese New Year and encompassing many other events through February and March. In 2012, these will include the Culture Galore Festival, the Chinese Lantern Festival, and a programme of activities for Council staff. In particular Council will be promoting how best to access and use language and sign interpreters, as Language will be a theme for our activities.

For Race Relations Day this year, Customer Services and a team from across Council have worked together to promote Race Relations Week in and around Council with the following activities:

Our stories

  • Colleagues from diverse backgrounds will be telling a little of their stories, and these stories will appear every day on Council’s intranet, so others can learn more of their culture.

Team Celebration

Teams are encouraged to celebrate their diverse cultural backgrounds on a day from 19 March to 23 March.  They might do this by:

  • Celebrating Language Diversity by talking about how to access and use language and sign interpreters effectively.
  • Using the delightful resources that are placed in tea rooms to have some lively discussion on cultural and language diversity. We will place Conversity cards and Conversity serviettes there, along with the Race Relations Day Poster 2012. These are available from Jenny Magee.
  • Celebrating with food from their teams’ cultures.

Special Council staff training on Using Language Interpreters Effectively

  • Council staff will have the opportunity to attend this special training with Interpreting Canterbury to be held on Thursday 22 March with trainers from Interpreting Canterbury.
  • Customers will be given these new cards, to encourage them to request free interpreters when needed.

Relaunch of revised New to Christchurch? Useful tips for migrants resource in 7 languages

  • With increased migration expected in Canterbury, this on-line resource has been revised and translated into 7 languages. The English translation will be available on the Council’s website for Race Relations Day, and the other versions will follow.

 Race Relations Week Quiz

  • There will be an online staff quiz during Race Relations Week.

Citizenship Ceremony

  • On Race Relations Day, there will be a citizenship ceremony in Christchurch. There will be 78 candidates from 23 nationalities being welcomed as citizens by the Mayor.

Visit the Council’s special Race Relations Day web page for further information.

Christchurch City Libraries: Matariki and Maori Language Week

An annual programme of events and learning activities is held throughout the Christchurch City Library network to support Matariki (Maori New Year) and Te Wiki o te Reo Maori (Maori Language Week). Christchurch City Libraries, Nga Kete Wananga o Otautahi provides a range of resources and services to Tangata Whenua and migrant groups. A Maori Services Coordinator works alongside the Kaitakawaenga (community liaison) and an Information Librarian, Maori to provide support, research assistance and collection management of items of cultural, historical, social and linguistic significance for the indigenous people of Aotearoa. Te Ara Tika, the Libraries Bicultural Plan outlines how the Library supports the information and cultural needs and aspirations of Tangata Whenua. City Libraries also provide a range of initiatives for culturally and linguistically diverse groups, and part of that role is to purchase mother tongue collections for the Libraries.

Contact: Jenni Marr, or  (03) 941 8999


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