The Counties Manukau branch of New Zealand Police jointly celebrated Diwali at Manukau Police Station on 30 October 2018, in partnership with Department of Corrections.
Counties Manukau Police District was the first district in New Zealand to host Diwali celebrations back in 2012. Diwali is now an annual event at Manukau Police Station and has gained momentum and popularity every year.
The purpose of celebrating Diwali at Manukau Police Station is to encourage cultural awareness among New Zealand Police staff and create a pathway for better social interactions between police and people of diverse cultural and religious backgrounds.
The event was attended by nearly 200 people and attendees including staff from New Zealand Police, Department of Corrections, Oranga Tamariki, Honorary Consul of Fiji Harish Lodhia, representatives from Fire and Emergency New Zealand, New Zealand Red Cross, Ministry of Social Development, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, members of Counties Manukau Police District and Area South Asian Advisory Boards, and representatives from various community organisations and ethnic media.
District Commander Superintendent Jill Rogers spoke about the significance of Diwali in terms of victory of good over evil and Diwali being the largest Hindu festival in the world.
The highlights of the event were performances by Ambika Krishnamoorthy and a folk dance by seniors from Shanti Niwas Charitable Trust. A delicious three course vegetarian meal provided a tasty conclusion to the event.
The event was also a great networking opportunity for representatives from various agencies and community groups.