Four Tangata Tiriti Project workshops for ethnic community members were held with funding received from the Ethnic Communities Development Fund. The Tangata Tiriti workshops were intended for new migrants, and aimed to give participants a sense of connection with and belonging to the Treaty agreement as ‘new’ New Zealanders.
As well as learning about New Zealand history and the Treaty of Waitangi, each of the workshops provided attendees with the opportunity to hear from representatives of mana whenua (local Māori) in the area that the workshop was held and to learn something about Māori history or culture. For many of the 90 participants, this was their first encounter with Māori culture.
The participants were able to share snippets of their personal experiences, background and history, with mana whenua in a cultural exchange of ideas and understanding. A highlight for some of these workshops was the shared lunch prepared by participants, which consisted of traditional cuisine from their home countries.
Following the workshop, participants said they wanted to learn more about New Zealand and Māori history. They reflected on a shared empathy with mana whenua, in feelings of solidarity and the desire for preservation of language and culture. Participants also stated they felt more connected, and were able to see New Zealand as an inclusive country that values diversity.