Newsletter May 2021

The Religious Diversity Centre

Kia ora koutou, warm greetings to you all.

We are so lucky to be in New Zealand and to be able to meet, greet, celebrate and get together but we are also mindful of our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world who are struggling with the pandemic and having to reduce their social contacts.

Trustees at Parliament

Four Trustees, Jocelyn Armstrong, Marc Rivers, Paul Morris and Selva Ramasami had the honour to be invited to Wellington. Together with members of the Wellington Interfaith Council, they attended the Reception held in Parliament following the State Memorial Service for HRH the Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh on 21 April 2021.
The Trustees are photographed here with former Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Jim Bolger and Mrs Bolger.

Fasting in four Religions

Fasting is a regular practice in a number of religions. We were able to record radio interviews and video clips in recent weeks during the times of fasting and celebration in the Baha’i, the Christian, the Jewish and the Muslim communities.

New Trustee Member for the RDC
The RDC Trust Board meeting in March welcomed a new trustee,
Anthony Green.
Anthony is a freelance writer, editor, and independent researcher. Having lived and taught in the UK and Singapore, he moved to New Zealand 20 years ago where he belongs to the Christchurch Muslim community.
Anthony Green was interviewed on Muffin Talk. The interview and a short video clip with his thoughts about Ramadan are available on our website

RDC Submission to the Climate Change Commission Draft Report to Government
The RDC joined many other faith and interfaith groups in making a submission on the Climate Change Commission Draft Report to the Government. Our submission urged the Commission to represent to Government the urgency of:

  • taking every action necessary to mitigate the threats of climate change to the entire earth,     
  • its responsibility to the island nations of the Pacific especially those where sea level is undeniably linked to climate change,
  • real support for the different sectors in society as they grapple with their response to the threats of climate change.

The full submission is available on our website here.

RDC Research Projects
The Trust Board is happy to support the following two RDC 2021 Research Projects:

  1. The national Religious Literacy survey
    The survey will gain evidence of the level of religious literacy in the population. It will seek to discover the level of people’s knowledge of different religious communities and their awareness and experience of those communities in their context. It will also ask about people’s understanding of the role that religion plays in a society and the impact of religion on people’s lives. The final results and report are due in August 2021.
  2. ‘Guide for Disaster Resilience for Diverse Religious Communities’
    This project is now underway in partnership with Auckland Council Emergency Management. The task is to produce a ‘Guide for Disaster Resilience for Diverse Religious Communities’. A series of hui for consultation with religious communities will take place in different areas of the city as part of the process.

Workshops and Professional Development
The Religious Diversity Centre offers two kind of workshops/seminars:

  1. Interactive Workshops (Interactive Workshops for local or religious communities)
    Bringing people together from different religions provides a transformative experience and improves teamwork and cohesion in a diverse society.
  2. Interactive Workshops as Professional Development
    Workshops in School Staff Rooms are proving popular and helpful to the teachers without them having to spend time travelling to workshops.

For more information, please contact

The National Interfaith Forum
The National Interfaith Forum, held every two years and last year postponed due to Covid-19, is now scheduled for May 2022. The Forum will be hosted by the Tauranga Moana Interfaith Council, with support from the Waikato Interfaith Council. Their joint organising committee has announced that the event will take place Friday evening 6th of May through Sunday noon 8th of May 2022 in Tauranga, Bay of Plenty. Additional details regarding programme, accommodation and theme will be announced later.

Upcoming Event
Book Launch on 25 May 2021, 6pm (AUT City Campus): Reimagining Faith and Management.
The editors include RDC trustee Professor Edwina Pio with Robert Kilpatrick and Timothy Pratt.

Please note that the newsletter, events and resources are available on our website at

Kia kaha – stay safe,

The Team at The Religious Diversity Centre