17 May 2019

Inclusive Aotearoa Collective: anti-discrimination plan to boost collaboration

12:31 pm on 17 May 2019

A plan is being launched in Wellington today that seeks to combine efforts being made to fight discrimination.

Anjum Rahman

Acting head of the Islamic Women's Council Anjum Rahman presented the Inclusive Aotearoa Collective plan. Photo: Sally Tagg

The acting head of the Islamic Women's Council, Anjum Rahman, was presenting the Inclusive Aotearoa Collective plan at today's Philanthropy New Zealand summit in Wellington.

Ms Rahman said a lot of good work was being done for marginalised communities, but it needed to be better streamlined. She said the current competitive model meant information and resources were not being shared across different organisations fighting these problems.

"There is no national strategy on diversity and inclusion. People are doing wonderful work in various places but there's no overall cohesive way of looking at it, what's being done and where the gaps are, and how can we get people working together."

Ms Rahman said the plan would focus on a new way of working.

"It's about building spaces for people to collaborate because often what we see is that groups and organisations are working in a very competitive model which means that we don't share information, we don't learn from each other.

Ms Rahman said the plan would facilitate ways to fight broad-spectrum discrimination - not just racism and bigotry.

"People are working within their own communities, and what we know with marginalised communities is the amount in which they are marginalised is different, but the mechanisms that will help solve those issues are often very similar."

Ms Rahman said it was important to get people talking across these groups and communities, and sharing resources in a more collaborative way, which an overall strategic approach would help.

She said the plan would be community-focused and community-lead.

"It's very much about what they need and what works for them. We're looking at setting up what you'd call a secretariat to help facilitate that process of bringing people together, and finding ways to make happen, what they need to happen."

The plan would seek government support and cooperation.

Ms Rahman said it could mean government as a whole, or from within government departments.

"I see it as them being partners, but they would not lead the process - the direction would be lead by community.

"Accountability is paramount but it has to be a community-lead process, because this is about empowering communities."

Ms Rahman hoped the plan would be in place by the end of the year.