i had a lovely day on friday. i drove down to new plymouth to speak to a women's group there and meet up with the settlement support co-ordinator. i've found that speaking to groups in small towns is not as daunting as you would think. i used to be a little nervous, thinking that they would be more hostile than a metropolitan crowd. in that they may have less interaction with ethnic minorities, particularly ones that are so obviously different as me!
but they were a wonderful audience, and i had a lot of positive feedback. i was really interested in one of the programmes they have running there. it's basically a mentoring programme, where a women's group (forgot what it's called) take responsibility for providing one mentor for each ethnic minority migrant woman. the mentor will take her shopping, to the doctor, or just help out as needed. i thought it was really sweet, and an effective way of making migrants feel welcome.
this piece from hon lianne dalziell in the herald is worth a read. it's about regulation for the finance sector, particularly around financial advisors (ie the people who advised you to your money into bridgecorp or five star finance, but didn't tell you they were getting paid a nice commission to do so) and non-bank deposit-takers (ie finance companies).
an important point she makes is that:
the Government cannot legislate to eliminate risk. And even if we could, we wouldn't, because without it we would have no entrepreneurship, no investment, no innovation and no growth to ignite our transformational ambitions for New Zealand.
also found this piece interesting, although i don't agree with everything the writer says. i found the link in the comments section of gordon campbell's latest post on the olympics. mr campbell's post covers the human rights abuses in china, particularly leading up to the olympics. the brendan o'neill piece talks about the double standards in protests against china. i don't think the fact that other countries commit human rights abuses should be a reason to not speak out about what's happening in china. however, we should be equally vocal in highlighting other abuses around the world.