News

Auckland Peace City & Nuclear Free New Zealand Annual Event 2013

posted on 24 June 2013

This year, Soka Gakkai International New Zealand hosted the Auckland Peace City and Nuclear Free Annual Event at the SGINZ centre in Ellerslie on Saturday 8th June.   Over 100 people including Auckland Mayor Len Brown, attended the event, with live music provided by the Victorious Marching Band and guitarist singer Vicky Yiannoutsos, and of course a delicious afternoon tea.

Jimi Wallace, the emcee and SGINZ General Director, introduced the nuclear free legislation as  “one of the rare moments when humanity came before economics, where the environment came before short term gain. It was a moment of clear cut sanity, when the innate and natural desire of humanity for peace, health and a future for generations to come took precedence and was actually acted on in reality.”

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SGINZ celebrates International Women’s Day in Wellington

posted on 14 March 2013

 

In celebration of this year’s United Nations International Day of Women on 8 March, women from different religions and diverse beliefs, from different ethnicities and cultures joined together for the Wellington Women Walk for Peace event, which comprised a lunchtime Peace Walk through the city of Wellington and a Peace Celebration at the Te Papa Museum of New Zealand.  The events this year emphasised the empowerment of women and speaking out against violence on women and children, and against war.
 
The events were organised by the Wellington Women Walk for Peace founders and friends, including representatives from Soka Gakkai International of NZ.

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iChoose in the Media

posted on 6 March 2013

On 1 March, Scoop editor Alastair Thomson attended the iChoose performance at Kelston Boys High in Waitakere.  He interviewed director Lisa Brickell and ICAP producer Kay Yoshikawa and asks the question “why bring the show to NZ?”  Check out the interview plus the video clips on the show and workshop (including a moving segment when the entire auditorium of school boys broke out into a spontaneous haka in appreciation for the show) on  http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1303/S00008/ichoose-to-stop-using-passive-violence-500-words.htm.

Other media coverage includes an interview with the cast and crew by Auckland based Chinese/ English news channel, WTV – see http://www.tv9.co.nz/?p=3681.

And article by independent blogger Amazon News Media -  see  http://is.gd/natcon.

iChoose Debuts in Auckland Schools

posted on 1 March 2013

On 25 February 2013, the SGINZ-sponsored iChoose anti bullying programme was rolled out to Auckland high schools. 
Debuting in front of Year 9 students at Mount Albert Grammar (High) School, one of the largest and most multicultural schools in New Zealand, the cast were warmly welcomed and given plenty of positive feedback from both students and teachers. The performance captivated the audience and kept them engaged throughout. The personal experiences shared by the cast resonated with students, many of whom left with a smile. And teachers were very appreciative of Yukie Oki, a Mount Albert teacher who had arranged for the program to come to her school.
Later that day, iChoose was similarly well received at central Auckland’s Dilworth School, an all-boys boarding school established in 1906. The humour combined with realistic scenarios identified key issues of violence. Later, through the workshops, students engaged on a more personal level with the cast and freely asked questions. One activity was based around giving and receiving complements. Students found complementing themselves and others a unique and refreshing experience. One boy said he found the exercise particularly uplifting. Toward the end of the workshop, a teacher shared his impression of iChoose and a quote he found profound and important. Another student stood up and recalled a quote by Gandhi used in the performance, which he felt was an essential point.
There can be little doubt that iChoose has had a great impact on students at both schools, providing food for thought and a better awareness of passive violence. It will be of value to follow up on these schools in a few months to see the changes that have occurred in terms of bullying and passive violence.
The many comments submitted by the students and other audience members include the following:
“Really informative and funny at the same time. I liked how everybody had their own real experiences, which made it really easy to relate to—how no matter what is happening, believe in yourself and you can push through.” • (Sarah Gudsell)
“It was a great performance, it was great how it had a lot of meaning. I liked how they showed their own stories.” • (Zak)
“I thought it was very good, and I think even though it did not relate to me, I know people who have been bullied can relate to the show. I liked the humor and the fact I could learn things. I learned how to respond to bullying and how to help people who have been bullied. ” • (Anonymous)
“I liked how it had different perspectives and stories. I learned that you are not alone and to be kind to yourself and others.” • (Jaimee)
“What an interesting way to teach as about passive violence. I learned that even though the actors have only been together for a week they are really open about very personal stuff and also open to sharing in front of an audience.” • (Shannon)
“It was matched perfectly. Stories connected with the kids. Uses metaphors. I wish I had known it was such a powerful performance so I could have invited the student mediators.” • (Paul Ferner, counselor)
“Just wanted to take the opportunity to say thank you to all the team from iChoose who visited Dilworth this week. We have had some wonderful feedback from the boys who really related to your cast and the messages that they delivered. Please pass on our appreciation to all involved and we would certainly be keen to be part of any future presentations from the ICAP organization. Kind regards” • (Neil Ritchie, Head of Senior Campus, Dilworth School)

On 25 February 2013, the SGINZ-sponsored iChoose anti bullying programme was rolled out to Auckland high schools. 

Debuting in front of Year 9 students at Mount Albert Grammar (High) School, one of the largest and most multicultural schools in New Zealand, the cast were warmly welcomed and given plenty of positive feedback from both students and teachers. The performance captivated the audience and kept them engaged throughout. The personal experiences shared by the cast resonated with students, many of whom left with a smile. And teachers were very appreciative of Yukie Oki, a Mount Albert teacher who had arranged for the program to come to her school.

Read the full post