People with disabilities

Te Urunga Award for inclusiveness

The Human Rights Commission presents the Te Urunga Award to support inclusiveness at Polyfest. The award is presented to the cultural group displaying the most inclusive practice in a creative performance at each of the festival’s six stages.

Te Urunga works to promote the inclusion of students, both disabled and non-disabled, in such a way that each member of the group is valued for their contribution to the performance. The Commission will support schools in the lead-up to the event to develop inclusive practices by offering free workshops, guidance and support.

Working inclusively will allow a diverse group of students the opportunity to work together to create a dynamic and creative cultural performance for the festival. The winning group from each stage will receive a trophy. Each group will receive a Te Urunga certificate for inclusiveness.

Disabled people are one of the most discriminated groups in our communities, particularly Māori and Pacific people. A recent Human Rights Commission report on disabled children’s access to education found barriers preventing full participation in education, sports and cultural extracurricular activities.

Of particular concern,  Māori and Pacific disabled people are faced with further barriers making them  unable to realise their cultural rights and preventing them from participating fully in community life.