Six Indian community groups in New Zealand received a grant from the new Ethnic Communities Development Fund. The associations successful in receiving the grant this year are the Northland Indian Association Inc, New Plymouth Indian Community Inc, Indian Social and Cultural Club Christchurch, NZ Telugu Association, NZ Tamil Senior Citizens Org, and New Zealand India Central Association (NZICA).
While NZICA was the recipient of the largest grant of $25,000, the others were successful in receiving grants of $5000 each.
The contestable fund is aimed at improving New Zealand’s social cohesion and supporting the development of established and emerging ethnic communities.
Projects were considered in three categories: cultural events, leadership development, and social cohesion.
Among projects in the social cohesion, the category focused on sports and recreational activities for teenagers from refugee backgrounds and marae-based activities to build understanding in a diverse neighbourhood. This was the largest category, including projects aimed at building a sense of belonging and inclusion across New Zealand society.
This year, 62 groups received $520,000 from the new Ethnic Communities Development Fund. Congratulating the groups, Minister for Ethnic Communities, Judith Collins, said, “I look forward to seeing these initiatives progress and contribute towards building strong and connected communities.”
NZICA, the oldest Indian community association, was formed in 1926 with branches in Auckland, Country Section (Taumarunui), and Wellington, where there was a sizeable population of Indians residing.
NZ Telugu Association
New Zealand Telugu Association was established in 1998 with an intention to maintain the culture of the Telugu community in India. Telugu is one of the largest spoken regional languages in India.
Venkat Raman Rao, Treasurer of NZTA, said that their association received the grant for their work in promoting Telugu culture in New Zealand, community work in facilitating cross-cultural linkages between different segments of Kiwi society, and other community work.
Indian Social and Cultural Club Christchurch
This Christchurch-based community group mainly works to promote Indian culture within the community and to other communities in New Zealand. It also organises social functions with music, dance, and other cultural activities.
Thomas Shaji Kurian, the treasurer of the association, said that their organisation received the grant mainly for organising the festival of Diwali in Christchurch.
“Our last year Diwali festival saw an attendance of around 10,000 people and 340 local performers performed at the festival.
“The main aim of our association is to promote Indian culture and bring together people from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds on one common platform,” Mr Kurian said.
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