Unity in Diversity: Celebrating Race Relations Day with a spectacular showcase in Palmy!

Our Organisation

In a celebration of diversity and unity, our Palmerston North centre proudly took part in this year's Unity Week events.

We were thrilled to be part of this exciting occasion in celebration of our cultures, organised by the Manawatu Multicultural Council.


Debi Marshall-Lobb, Deputy Mayor spoke directly after the opening karakia. Nina Kirschbaum, president for Manawatu Multicultural Council, Arthur Chin, Deputy Chief Executive Strategic Engagement and Partnership, Ministry for Ethnic Communities and Tangi Utikere, Palmerston North’s local MP, also spoke in celebration of diversity and inclusivity.

Everyone highlighted the amazing strength and vibrancy our diverse communities bring, while also recognising we are not yet paradise, and that we still have work to do in combating racism and discrimination.

It was then English Language Partners’ (ELP) learners time to shine. Around 80 people joined together to fill the space with a resounding rendition of Tūtira Mai Ngā Iwi.

ELP learners Radha Raju and Gurmeet Kaur Bagga took the stage to talk about their new lives in Palmerston North. Both have embraced opportunities to learn and improve their new lives and feel they're very much part of the community.

Radha arrived last August from Sri Lanka and, not speaking English well, she joined ELP. Radha now works as a caregiver and says daily life is much easier to manage. “I work with people from different countries, and we are all equal in our rights, and we’re all friends: bosses and co-workers.”

Gurmeet came to New Zealand six months ago to visit her family and instantly fell in love with the country. She’s since made a lot of friends at ELP.

“We are from different countries, but we have so much in common.”
Gurmeet Kaur, English Language Partners' learner, shared her fascinating experiences of what it's like to immerse oneself in a new culture and language.

Gurmeet loves living here and says the expression ‘Unity in Diversity’ is also used in India. She says India, with all its castes, religions and cultures, has a lot in common with Aotearoa’s mix of cultures. “I am lucky to be in such a beautiful, green and peaceful country.”

“I’d like to thank ELP’s teachers for helping me with my English-speaking skills and for giving me the courage to stand in front of you all and speak so confidently.”

The vibrant event also featured the Karen community, who took the spotlight to give a lively and colourful traditional dance performance.

Then it was time to indulge in a wide variety of delicious dishes from all around the world, and to chat and laugh together, finishing the event with a true melting pot of flavours, cultures and friendship!

English Language Partners' learners and staff joined the shared meal of delicious dishes from around the world - a true melting pot of flavours!

With thanks to Jo Davies for her help with this item.

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English Language Groups

  • 2-4 hours per week
  • Learn Kiwi English in a class
  • Learn about New Zealand culture
  • Go on day trips
  • Meet other people in your community
  • Qualified teachers
  • Fees may apply. Ask at your centre.
  • In all centres

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