Tuesday, 1 July 2008

community comes first

after a very hectic three days in wellington, i find i have so much to catch up on that i don't have time for a long post today. i was pleased to take part in the inaugural stakeholders forum, organised by the federation of islamic associations of new zealand. it was an opportunity for the community to interact with government agencies, and a very useful step in helping the muslim community integrate in nz.

the forum was preceded by the federation's AGM, which i attended. it was certainly an interesting weekend, with me being the only female in a room of about 25 muslim men. quite daunting you would think, but in practice it wasn't so. the men were all very chivalrous, would make sure i got my meals first, would offer me cups of tea and always listened with respect to anything i had to say. which was a really nice feeling. i recall meetings back in the 1980's which weren't always so! but even so, i can tell you that i was definitely ready for some female company after that two days. (actually, there should have been and usually is at least one other woman present, but the three that could have been there had various illnesses and family problems to contend with).

good news, no absolutely great news: gary mallett and his team were absolutely trounced in the wel energy trust elections which ended this weekend. this gives me great hope, because it means:
1. that splashing around a lot of money on full page advertisements doesn't mean you'll win;
2. that the people of the waikato were willing to put community interest ahead of individual interest.
which means that, despite what the polls are saying right now, there may be still be a good chance for a fourth term labour-led government.

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