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Christchurch Inter-Cultural Assembly meets for first time

19 March 2003

Christchurch Mayor Garry Moore is delighted at the support the city’s new Inter-Cultural Assembly has received from local ethnic groups and a prestigious line-up of race relations advocates.
Next Monday, 24 March, Mr Moore will host the inaugural meeting of the Assembly at the Civic of Canterbury. Along with more than 70 invited representatives from Christchurch’s various cultural groups, the meeting will include guest speakers such as Mark Solomon, Kaiwhakahare of Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu; Minister of Immigration, Lianne Dalziel; and Race Relations Commissioner, Joris de Bres.
“ The Inter-Cultural Assembly is a tangible response to the emerging tapestry of cultures in Christchurch,” Mr Moore says. “ It is not a group that will duplicate the roles of organisations working in this field but rather a forum to harness their collective energy and share information.”
The establishment of the Assembly addresses several of the 34 recommendations made in the 2000 report ‘Inter-Cultural Relations in Christchurch’ prepared by Ahmed M Ali (Hassan ) and Patrick O’Connor. This report was requested by the Mayor’s Working Party on Ethnic Relations and its implementation comes under the Council’s Arts, Culture and Heritage Committee.
“ There are now 180 ethnicities in Christchurch and a need for groups working in this area to adopt a more cohesive approach,” Mr Moore says. It is hoped that the Assembly will provide the opportunity for representatives to share what is happening in their communities and assist in actively fostering positive ethnic relations in Christchurch.
Only invited guests will be admitted to the inaugural meeting of the Inter-Cultural Assembly, which will also include entertainment and a chance for those attending to get to know one another. It is planned that members of the Inter-Cultural Assembly will meet every few months.

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