A generous contribution of $100,000 has been made by NZCT towards the new Diversity Centre of the Indian Association of New Zealand. A new Centre is necessary because the old, dilapidated building has become unsafe for use.
Suresh Ramji, President of the Indian Association of New Zealand, explains that the Association was founded in the late 1970s. Suresh said, “Indian families in South Auckland felt the need to get together for social and community occasions. There was also a compelling urge to teach Indian ethnic languages, Gujarati and Punjabi in particular, to the Kiwi Indian children.”
This prompted them in 1979 to hire the classrooms at the Papatoetoe Central Primary School on weekends to start teaching the language and culture to the children. While the children were in classes, the parents got to know each other well and a sense of community spirit evolved.
A community centre was purchased at 25 Tui Road and the incorporated society named Manukau Indian Association was registered in 1981. Now the name has been changed to the Indian Association of New Zealand.
The old community centre that served the local community of all ethnicities for nearly 40 years is currently being rebuilt as a modern Diversity Centre. Suresh said, “We are really thankful for NZCT’s generous contribution of $100,000 towards the construction of our new Diversity Centre. The new Centre gives us exciting opportunities to provide a high-quality, contemporary and cost-effective facility for a wide range of community and family activities. This includes a multicultural digital archiving centre.”
The building will incorporate the latest features to ensure a fully sustainable and eco-friendly future.