English Language Partners and Women’s Wellbeing Programme

Women’s Wellbeing Programme

Anna Hayes, the manager of Rotorua English Language Partners, introduced the participants in the Rotorua Multicultural Council’s Women’s Wellbeing Programme to the support that her organisation provides to former refugees and to migrants for whom English is not their first language. Anna is also a celebrated local Maori weaver and we had a wide-ranging discussion about networking, the value of volunteering and the free Te Reo Maori lessons offered by Te Wananga O Aotearoa.

English Language Partners will be training new volunteers as teachers to work with former refugee and migrants in June 2020. Contact Anna for more information. Erika Raubenheimer.

Thanks to the JR McKenzie Trust for funding.

Women’s Wellbeing programme continues

Another successful session for the Women’s Wellbeing programme. Charlie at Dress for Success explained the wide range of services they offer: so much more than a smart, free outfit to wear to your job interview. Thanks for organising the visit, Valeria Liaskovskaia.

Here are the impressions of Marina Kirk-Osman about today’s visit of the Rotorua Multicultural Council’s Women’s Wellbeing programme to Dress for Success:

“We had another educational session today at Dress for Success. I found its support for job seekers truly amazing. Every week is so interesting and educational. For the first time in my life of travelling and meeting different cultures I am getting to learn how much New Zealand has to offer – for free. Volunteers helping to build up community networks and supportive community groups.

“Dress for Success assists women and men by providing them, for free, with professional attire to help them to feel comfortable and good about themselves when going for job interviews. Dress for Success is an international charitable trust founded in 2012 by Kim Pears.

“Rotorua is a small town with an amazingly supportive community. Volunteers sort out the bags of donated clothes and hang them in a room where the job seekers are then guided to choose a dress or suit, shoes and accessories. They are even helped with their make-up.

“Clothes that are not formal enough for interviews go into another room and are sold at very reasonable prices.

“Dress for Success provide more than a dressing programme for interviews. They empower women to achieve economic independence and contribute to their personal development. They help with CV writing and online job hunting. They cannot guarantee that you will find a job but you will learn to market yourself.

“I would like to thank Charlie for his time, for the great work that Rotorua Dress for Success are doing and for helping us today to learn so much about this charitable trust. A great thank you to Valeria Liaskovskaia for arranging all these sessions for us. Thanks to Erika Raubenheimer who joined us today for telling us about the social work she does.

“I feel truly blessed to be part of this programme and thankful to live in this beautiful town with such a diversity of cultures, sharing and caring for each other.”


Institute of Directors’ meeting on Cultural Diversity in Governance

Institute of Directors' meeting on Cultural Diversity in Governance

Thanks to the members of the Executive Committee of the Rotorua Multicultural Council, Yumiko Kawano and Valeria Liaskovskaia who attended the Institute of Directors meeting tonight on Cultural Diversity in Governance. The members of the panel were Dr Jim Mather, Chairman of the Board of Lakes District Health Board and Radio New Zealand; Dr Margriet Theron, President of the Rotorua Multicultural Council; and Mr Ezra Schuster, Director for the Bay of Plenty for the Ministry of Education and Public Sector Lead for the Bay of Plenty.

The Rotorua Multicultural Council’s team looking very serious while introducing themselves at the Institute of Directors’ meeting on Cultural Diversity in Governance held at the Prince’s Gate Hotel on 27 February 2020. Hari Chhagan, Daniel Perese, Bludov Dmitrii, Valeria Liaskovskaia, Lily Joy Paulmitan Alomari, Emily Emire Amira Khan-Malak, Yumiko Kawano, Leonardo Hernandez and Margriet Theron.

Photo credit: Laura Gaveika, IoD Bay of Plenty.

Citizens Advice Bureau and Women’s Wellbeing Programme


Thank you very much to Jane, the Manager of the Rotorua Citizens Advice Bureau, for outlining all the services of the CAB to the participants in the Rotorua Multicultural Council’s Women’s Wellbeing Programme. Some points to remember:

  • the CAB is for everybody, not just for citizens
  • you do not need an appointment; just drop in
  • on some days there is a Justice of the Peace or a lawyer on duty to help you
  • CAB runs free workshops for migrants
  • there is a Driving in New Zealand workshop coming up soon
  • they have a directory of volunteering opportunities in Rotorua
  • you will find the CAB in Eruera Street, between Fenton and Tutanekai Streets.

LIKE the Rotorua CAB Facebook page to learn more about this wonderfully helpful organisation.

Thanks to the J R McKenzie Trust for funding the Women’s Wellbeing Programme.

Thanks for Palestinian Multicultural lunch

Many thanks to Nabih and Cate for hosting the amazing Palestinian Multicultural lunch in the Rotorua Library! It was a real success, more than 50 people from all over the world came to the lunch.

Thank you very much to our Executive Officer, Yumiko Kawano, for hosting the Palestinian Multicultural Lunch today. Thanks to Marina Kirk-Osman for writing this report to add to what Yumiko has already written.

“What a great privilege to have a Palestinian lunch today with not only Palestinians but a great multicultural group of people coming together.

“The opening today was done by our wonderful Yumiko Kawano, Executive Officer of the Rotorua Multicultural Council, as our President, Margriet Theron, is on a short family vacation in the South Island. Yumiko’s opening was something new to the multicultural group. She asked that we all introduce ourselves; this was so beautiful and I really enjoyed it.

“It was interesting to hear and see so many different nations and cultures sitting in the same room, celebrating the lovely Palestinian lunch as one nation and one culture.

“We all shared a little of who we are and where we are from, as well as what we are doing today, living in our new home town of Rotorua.

“Yumiko then introduced Nabih Monsour. He told us his beautiful life story, from growing up in Palestine to ending up here in Rotorua. He has a Palestinian food stall at the Rotorua Thursday Night Market which is a big hit with the community for his tasty dishes and great cooking skills.

“We all had a taste of Nabih’s beautiful dishes that included Falafels, one of the traditional Middle Eastern dishes, as well as some Hummus. Most Palestinian sweets are pastries filled with either sweetened cheeses, dates or nuts such as almonds, walnuts or pistachios – delicious.

“I am so grateful to be part of this multicultural nation.”

Some of the members of our Women’s Wellbeing programme which is organised by our Administrator, Valeria Liaskovskaia, also attended the lunch. From left: Valeria from Russia, Astrid from Sweden, Chanti from Cambodia, Yumiko from Japan, Marina and Lucinda from South Africa and Patrice from the Philppines.

Thanks to our funders: Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust.

A two day workshop for youth, mental health first aid training

A two day workshop for youth, mental health first aid training

NZ INDIAN CENTRAL ASSOCIATION and WINTEC present, in partnership with COUNTIES MANUKAU HEALTH and with the support of COGS.

A two day workshop for youth, mental health first aid training.


We all experience life’s ups and downs. Mental Health First Aid is a programme that helps you know how to deal with challenging life situations. It also teaches you how to support others who are going through a difficult time.

Using real life situations, trained instructors show you how to listen without judging, and support and encourage people to seek professional help if needed.

You will learn a lifelong skill that will make a positive difference to you and others.

Who should attend this workshop? Anyone over 18 years of age interested in learning how to give mental health first aid.

This is a two day workshop being held over two Saturdays. Course materials and lunch will be provided.

Venue: Rotorua Youth Centre.

Registration: $25

To register: [email protected]

Report on this week’s Women’s Wellbeing programme

Women’s Wellbeing programme

Thanks to Marina Kirk-Osman for her report on this week’s Women’s Wellbeing programme:

The Rotorua Multicultural Council’s Women’s Wellbeing Group’s tour to Ohinemutu Village on Wednesday was a beautiful educational one. On a hot, sunny day walking through the village and hot springs was no joke but worth every second; an educational step taken.

Our guide, Rawiri Te Kowhai, was great. He explained everything in such detail. How the name came about; how Maori came to settle in Rotorua; about their trade routes and what they traded; about the lady warriors and how the lake was formed.

My oh my, it was a head full to take in on one tour but very, very interesting. I must say New Zealand has a great and interesting history, from her people to their plantation, cultures and tribes.
We are so blessed to be here and learn new things everyday.

Many thanks to Valeria and Margriet for having this group as part of the Rotorua Multicultural Council’s programme. In our group there are ladies from Russia, Sweden, the Philippines, Brazil, Sri Lanka and South Africa – a beautiful group of ladies.

Women’s Wellbeing

Are you a woman who has moved to Rotorua from another country? Are you still trying to find your way around the many new people and places that you need to know about to become fully settled in your new home town?

A new programme that will soon be offered by Multicultural Rotorua can help you. Join us for ten weeks, one early afternoon per week. The programme will help you feel that you belong in Rotorua, that your family’s needs are met, that you know how to care for the environment and that you lead a balanced life.

This programme is free, funded by the JR McKenzie Trust. We will be walking to places around town. Preschoolers are welcome but we are not providing childcare.

Please tell friends with limited English about this programme. Register your interest at [email protected] or send pm in messenger.

When: Wednesday, 5 February 2020, 12:30 pm – 2 pm

Where: Rotorua Library Te Aka Mauri, Haupapa Street