The Rt Hon Helen Clark will launch The Religious Diversity Centre in Aotearoa New Zealand at noon this Wednesday, 30 March 2016, in the Grand Hall of the New Zealand Parliament.
The Religious Diversity Centre will be a national centre of educational and research excellence fostering an appreciation for and understanding of religious diversity among all New Zealanders. It will provide training and professional development for those working in a multi-cultural, multi-religious environment, high quality research, and educational opportunities. It will also offer a point of call for expert advice on issues of religious diversity for policy makers and media.
As Prime Minister, Helen Clark supported New Zealand’s National Statement on Religious Diversity and was instrumental in New Zealand becoming one of the four sponsoring nations of the Regional Interfaith Dialogue that involved 15 Asia-Pacific countries. The former Prime Minister has graciously agreed to be the Patron of the Religious Diversity Centre. She will be home briefly from New York where she currently heads the United Nations Development Programme.
The Hon Christopher Finlayson (National), MP Su’a William Sio (Labour), and MP Marama Davidson (Green) are sponsoring the launch.
“The time has come for a Centre that ensures accurate information is available about New Zealand’s religious communities and the issues that impact on them—and on us all,” said Centre Chairperson Jocelyn Armstrong. “If sound knowledge feeds into wide public discussion then quality policy-making can be achieved for the country.”