#myidentity campaign launched to celebrate diversity: Now join the challenge

A social media campaign, #myidentity, was launched Thursday, March 1, 2018 at SKYCITY Auckland to increase well-being, connection and racial harmony by encouraging New Zealanders to share their stories about their unique identities – be it a race or ethnic origin, a gender, a religion, a sexuality, an (dis) ability, an occupation, etc.

The launch included never seen before videos of Hon Carmel Sepuloni, Minister for Social Development, Disability Issues and Associate Minister for Arts Culture Heritage, and Pacific Peoples; and Hon Julie Anne Genter, Minister for Women, Associate Minister of Health and Transport, talking about their identities. Both Ministers spoke at the campaign launch, which was officially launched by the Governor-General of New Zealand, Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy in front of an audience of 200 attendees.

Over 40 prominent New Zealanders have shared their #myidentity stories including Capt Pete Bethune (Founder of Earthrace Conservation), Dr Hinemoa Elder (tertiary education academic and former television presenter), Ian McInnes (CEO, Tear Fund),Melanie Higgins (Consul-General, US Consulate Auckland), Alison Taylor (CEO, Centre for Social Impact), Diane Maxwell (Retirement Commissioner), Hon James Shaw (Co-Leader of the New Zealand Green Party and Minister for Climate Change, Minister for Statistics and Associate Minister of Finance), Priti Ambani (Co-Founder of The Next Billion), Mele Wendt (Consultant and Board Director), Alexia Hilbertidou(Founder of GirlBoss New Zealand), Rob Hennin (Chief Executive, nib New Zealand),Scott Pickering (Chief Executive, ACC), Ete Eteuati (actor and comedian), Vanisa Dhiru (President, National Council for Women), Riahn Hoani (nib New Zealand) and the Head Girl of Manurewa High School.

We invite you, your family, business, organisation, school etc to accept the Challenge. The website www.myidentitychallenge.com has been set up to allow all New Zealanders to add their stories. Superdiversity Centre for Law, Policy and Business Chair, Mai Chen, said, “This will encourage greater connection and understanding in our families, workplaces, schools, neighbourhoods, schools and hospitals. With the growing diversity in New Zealand and Auckland in particular, it is important to ensure we better understand who we are working with, serving and relating to. We don’t all look the same and we can’t assume we know the other person’s background. A person’s identity affects how they think and act. The campaign should grow economic and social capital in helping us to better understand who we are as New Zealanders.”