Newsletter June 2023

Kia ora and greetings to you,

The RDC Webinars: ‘E tū te Mana o Te Ao – Building a Climate of Hope’
Thanks to the RDC Climate Action Group members who organised the Webinar series, over 500 people registered for the series.
The series opened with Dr Jane Goodall offering her reasons for hope amidst the realities of Climate Change. The following webinars then offer the shorter- and longer-term effects of climate change in Aotearoa New Zealand, the Pacific Region, and the World, and most importantly help build a climate of hope by sharing suggestions for climate action.

The Recordings of the Webinars
The RDC Climate Action Group is keen for the recordings to be widely used. As the focus for discussion in groups or meetings they can encourage  everyone that every small action taken in the face of the climate challenge matters!!
The recording of each webinar can be accessed on the Religious Diversity Centre webpage:   

Donations to Climate Action
The Religious Diversity Centre Climate Action Group is inviting all who have appreciated the webinars to contribute to a fund from which donations will be made to the trusts and organisations supported by the webinars’ keynote speakers. These are: The Jane Goodall Institute, The Helen Clark Foundation, A Rocha Aotearoa NZ,  Ora Taiao NZ, Intergenerational Climate Ambassadors, Pacific Climate Warriors.  

Your donation can be made in either of two ways: Through Givealittle: link through and click “Donate” OR Through the RDC’s Donations page:  link through and fill in each field.  In the last field “message to add” please be sure to enter “Climate”.

The RDC and the Media
The RDC has made its first foray into public media. Invited by the new ‘Paddy Gower has Issues’ show a group of religious leaders agreed to take part in a discussion of an issue of concern to people in the community. The media team were surprised and delighted with the religious diversity in the group, and the light-hearted discussion that they took part in. Watch the video here.

Year 12 Leadership Diversity Day
Seven schools attended the 2023 Leadership Diversity Day in the wharenui at Unitec on 25th May : One student commented:  ‘It was great that there was openness about one’s beliefs without being judged’.
More information about the Leadership Diversity Days:


RDC Trustees Honoured

The Paul Morris Scholarship in Diversity and Inclusion
A scholarship in Religious Diversity and Inclusion has been launched to honour RDC trustee, Professor Emeritus Paul Morris.  The scholarship will support students undertaking research on topics related to religious diversity and inclusion in New Zealand and the Pacific. Topics will include religious and social cohesion, religious minorities, interfaith relations, religious identities, discrimination and exclusion, religion and government policy, and religious literacy and competency. 
The University Religious Studies Programme is seeking to raise $100,000. The RDC has made a donation in appreciation of Paul’s contribution to enhancing understanding of religious diversity in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Donations for the Scholarship can be made online at: paul-morris-scholarship

Dr Mary Eastham
RDC Trustee, Dr Mary Eastham, was awarded the Queen’s Service Medal ‘for services to interfaith communities’ in the King’s Birthday and Coronation Honours List 2023. 
Mary has been an active member and leader of the Palmerston North Interfaith Group since it was established in 2011. Most recently Mary has been a member of the hard working group who organised the RDC webinar series.
As testimony to her leadership and enthusiasm, 60 plus members and leaders of the Palmerston North community have gathered in the public library to watch each of the ‘Building a Climate of Hope’ webinars. The lively discussion that followed the webinars has led the group to propose continuing to meet to pursue the questions related to facing the challenges of climate change.  Our congratulations to Mary!


Training weekend for Religious Diversity Workshop facilitators
Six new facilitators are now part of the RDC Facilitators team after their three day training over King’s Birthday weekend.  We are currently planning our schedules for workshops in 2024. Be in quickly and ensure you get your preferred dates. For more information on these workshops, please see:”

As we are approaching Matariki celebrations and longer days, you might like to learn more about Te Ao Mārama. Dr Jenny Te Paa Daniel explains this beautiful Māori concept of inter-connectedness in a short videoclip:

Ngā mihi nui,
The Religious Diversity Centre