Celebrating a city of diversities
Porirua City is reportedly one of the wealthiest in the country, yet when journalists want a hard luck story – diseases linked to child poverty, unemployment, damp homes – they head to our patch.
Our city has a rich Maori history and was in its formative years a seaside destination for European settlers.
Today we have one of the largest Pasifika populations outside the Islands and a thriving migrant community.
Yes, we are a diversities.
Diversity of income – true – but also diversity of cultures, outlooks and attitudes.
There’s a great thing happening in the local Catholic community which I’d like to share with you, and it’s an example of how as a city we could become closer.
For some years, Holy Family School in Cannons Creek has been buddying up with St Theresa’s School in Plimmerton.
They have been coming together in each other’s patches
of – turn about – twice a year.
Through this a wonderful thing happens, best described by Holy Family School principal Karl Vasau last November:
‘‘Today all the students of St Theresa’s School Plimmerton (decile 10) visited Holy Family School Porirua (decile 1) for our annual cultural/ liturgy/ sports exchange.
‘‘Children can teach adults so much about acceptance, diversity and friendship!’’
They certainly can. And we as parents have a responsibility to facilitate and nurture acceptance and a celebration of diversities.
We have our very own citywide celebration of diversities happening this week: Porirua Festival of the Elements, the largest Waitangi Day festival in the country.
It has been running for more than 20 years and attracts 30,000 visitors.
Its programme is an eclectic mixture of arts – hands-on and performance- based – from around our community.
This year there will be acts from an incredible array of local and national musicians, dancers, circus performers, writers and artists in all the spaces inside and outside Te Rauparaha Arena and Pataka.
The festival is a huge event – there really is something for everyone in the extensive programme.
Check out the programme online at elementsfe stival.org.nz.