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AIC Student Wins National Race Unity Speech Award

Our congratulations to Thai An Vo for winning the national Race Unity Speech Award over 180 students.

Although in Auckland for only several months, he conveyed his message articulately  and with conviction.

Students were tasked with explaining how they related to race relations in New Zealand by interpreting a traditional Maori proverb and a quotation on unity.

The speeches addressed themes such as appreciating cultural differences, growing together as a country and whether the Treaty of Waitangi can help all New Zealanders have a sense of belonging and connectedness.




It was Thai An’s speech that most impressed the chief judge, Superintendent Wallace Haumaha QSM, General Manager of Maori, Pacific and Ethnic Services, and a panel including Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy and Berlinda Chin, director of the Office of Ethnic Affairs.

 "A racial friendly Aotearoa is made up of countless racial friendly relationships like mine, like yours, like ours, and there are no other shortcuts. He rau ringa e oti ai. With many hands, the work will be done,” said Thai An in his winning speech. Thai An's speech was truly thought-provoking and engaging," says Superintendent Haumaha. "His perspective on moving forward together as a multi-cultural nation was entirely pragmatic and practical.  His comment that 'the biggest changes can never come without the small ones' absolutely resonates."  From

A presentation ceremony for Thai An was held in June in the College Hall, where Dame Susan Devoy, Police Superindendent Wallace Haumaha of the Maori, Pacific and Ethnic Services Group, Police Inspector Rakesh Naidoo, National Strategic Ethnic Affairs Advisor and the Auckland speech awards coordinator made a presentation.