Cel­e­brat­ing a city of di­ver­si­ties

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

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

city

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.

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