The Muslim Cultural and Wellbeing Advisory Group wanted help finding ways for their community to engage and grow their voice following the terrible events of March 15, 2019.
Muslim New Zealanders are an extremely diverse population with different sects, ethnic backgrounds and languages. Some are New Zealand born, some have chosen to make New Zealand their home, and others are refugees forced from their home countries.
It is a community that has never genuinely engaged with each other, never mind the wider community or the Government. And most importantly, after March 15, a community that was fearful and hurting.
We worked closely with the Advisory Group to develop a process, strategy and reporting tools that would all draw on the experiences of the community itself. This was an approach that put a high priority on trust and listening – for example, recommending smaller face-to-face forums overlarge mosque-based events. All our work for the group was pro bono.
Our approach was endorsed by the Muslim Advisory Group, forming the basis of recommendations to the Government. The Advisory Group’s lead had this to say of our work: “Engaging our communities in this way will be healing in and of itself.”