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Wednesday March 28, 2018

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Multiculturalism on display Continued from page 1. “The school hall was tightly packed,” he said, adding that the food stalls outside were very well patronized as people tried new tastes and new dishes. Performance groups were truly international he said There were diverse groups from Asia, including several different Chinese groups, not least Inner Mongolia, and also a number from the Indian subcontinent and Sri Lanka. Africa was also represented. The festival was opened by the Mayor Justin Lester and there was great support from the local politicians, with the three councillors from the Northern Ward and both the electorate and list MP from this area attending as well. The event had been a full year in the planning said Brian, after the success of the first one in 2017. This event had followed up from the group’s Annual Gen-

Sri Lankan dancers in action. PHOTO: Brian Sheppard

eral Meeting, at which Brian had drawn attention to the successfully strong multi-cultural community that Churton Park

had become, with at least 17 different nationalities represented. Newcomers of many nation-

alities were being rapidly accepted into one of the fastest growing and most diverse communities in Wellington.

Memorable weeks for newest MP

SALES

Steve Maggs steve@wsn.co.nz 587 1660

By Glenise Dreaver

Nicola Willis of Northland, National MP Steven Joyce’s replacement as a list MP, has had a few weeks to remember. It started with her automatic

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promotion to the vacancy, with her swearing-in to come “very soon”. “I’ll be on the parliamentary e mail system in less than a fortnight.” Then, quite separately, she was

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Nicola Willis of Northland, list MP replacing Steven Joyce.

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one of the guests with a prized invitation to last week’s dinner with Barack Obama. “I’d assumed we’d be very much backroom people and never expected the chance to speak to him.” But the organisers and partners were lined up with Barack for a photo - and she found herself beside him and exchanging some words. “I told him I was a brand-new MP and we talked about that.” Nicola came to Parliament through her role in the National Party’s research unit, becoming adviser to then Education spokesperson Bill English. “Bill was just the most amazing mentor.” “He said then ‘Nicola, politics isn’t about personal ambition, it’s about what you can do

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for other people, and if we work hard in this portfolio we can make a real difference for parents and children’.” In 2008, Bill recommended her to John Key as senior adviser when he became leader of the National Party. From her role with John, Nicola then went on to take a role at Fonterra. She then moved on to stand as a candidate for Wellington Central, winning a list place in Parliament on election night but losing on special votes. Nicola has already been given the role as National spokesperson for early childhood education – unsurprising perhaps as she is well aware of the issues as a consumer, being the mother of four young children aged eight, six, five and “two and a bit”.

SGCNZ will hold its 24 Regional SGCNZ University of Otago Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival 2018 nationwide from mid-March – mid-April. In accessible bites, NZ’s youth will perform 5- and 15-minute scenes from the Bard’s plays. In our Festivals’ 27 th year, Wellington’s Regional UOSWSF will take place on 10,11,12 April from 7pm at Wellington East Girls’ College Hall. Experience the exceptional creativity. See the website for details: sgcnz.org.nz M: 0272836016

Wellington East Girls’ College Hall, Paterson Street, Mt Victoria

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Independent Herald 28-03-18  

Independent Herald 28-03-18

Independent Herald 28-03-18  

Independent Herald 28-03-18