Aotearoa – we all belong

Press Release – English Language Partners New Zealand

Do you feel you belong in New Zealand? This question was the inspiration behind a colourful new poster about our multicultural nation. A map of New Zealand was created from the words: ‘Aotearoa, we all belong’ translated into 30 languages.Aotearoa – we all belong

Do you feel you belong in New Zealand?

This question was the inspiration behind a colourful new poster about our multicultural nation.

A map of New Zealand was created from the words: ‘Aotearoa, we all belong’ translated into 30 languages. The design includes Burmese, Hindi, Samoan, Chinese, NZ Sign and Te Reo Maori. There is also space for people to write the phrase in their own language, if it isn’t on the poster.

The 2006 Census identified New Zealanders as increasingly multilingual. A reported 671,658 people are able to speak two or more languages: an increase of 19.5 % on the 2001 Census. The country’s growing diversity was also signalled through the 10.4 % of people who now identify with more than one ethnic group.

The poster was developed to support International Mother Language Day (21 February) and Race Relations Day (21 March), with the Human Rights Commission and UNESCO both supporting the initiative.

English Language Partners New Zealand (ELPNZ) and the Community Languages Association of New Zealand (CLANZ) are behind the poster highlighting New Zealand’s diversity.

“There are so many ethnicities in our country today; together we all make up the unique place that is our New Zealand,” said Nicola Sutton, Chief Executive of ELPNZ. “The map’s different written forms represent us as a nation in a creative and colourful way.”

Sunita Narayan, President of CLANZ said: “It’s exciting to think our country has grown so much in its diversity over recent years. We all have a place here. Today’s Kiwis speak a myriad of languages and enjoy and share the variety of cultural celebrations and international cuisine.”

English Language Partners operates in 23 locations and works closely with migrant and refugee communities. They offer a range of programmes to assist with community and workplace English language. Almost 3,000 volunteer tutors and 280 professional staff deliver services to nearly 8,000 people each year. Over 150 languages and dialects are represented on their national database.

CLANZ works to maintain community languages – running language classes and developing initiatives to support teaching practices in their community based schools.

Websites: http://www.englishlanguage.org.nz | http://www.clanz.co.nz


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ENDS

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