In Common | Who We Are
Who We Are
Our People
InCommon seeks to exemplify the diversity we value in the membership of our working group and advisory group. We believe only through people from all backgrounds working together will we really make a difference in this mahi. We have a deliberate kaupapa to include people from a diverse ethnic and cultural communities. Our advisory group provides strategic overview, input and advice. The advisory group consists of members of mana whenua, ethnic, faith and cultural communities.

Our advisory group members are:

Noraini Abbas – from the Muslim community of Christchurch. “I have been working with Otautahi Creative Spaces and Purapura Whetu Trust since last August. Both of my jobs are working alongside the Muslim Community. I am also involved with Active Muslim Explorers whanau group and Sow a Lyttel Seed community group. The story of how and why the InCommon campaign started motivated me to be part of it. Favourite sport to watch or play? Football!”

Christina Henderson - Te Mana Ora. Christina's whakapapa is to Te Rāpaki-o-Te Rakiwhakaputa and Ngāi Tūāhuriri. She is a Health Promoter focused on Māori health in Ōtautahi.

Simon Oe – Korean Society of Christchurch. “I am a New Zealand born Korean. Being born in New Zealand I have the New Zealand culture embedded in me as well as the Korean culture which I have gotten from my parents. I enjoy meeting new people and learning about new cultures by working as the Head of PR for the Korean Society of Christchurch and being part of InCommon. Favourite takeaway? Fried Chicken.”

Faisal Abaas – Let’s Play Aotearoa. “I am from Pakistan, and I moved to New Zealand back in 2015, I have a wife and two daughters: Fayha (11) and Farwa (7). I am a Software Developer by profession and love playing cricket and squash and I an avid video gamer :) I play an hour or so every night. I have a bucket list and one of the items on my list is to travel and see 30 countries before I die. For now I have only seen 5; 25 more to go! What’s your favorite kind of movie? Action”

Akira Le Fevre - Te Whatu Ora. "I am of Māori and Japanese descent, born and raised in Ōtautahi Christchurch. I trained as a graphic designer and illustrator and previously worked for the New Zealand Aids Foundation and Family Planning. Last year I joined the Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury team where I work with on increasing the numbers of people from minority communities employed in the health sector. In my spare time I’m a committee member for Christchurch Pride and a long-term supporter of Qtopia. My hobbies are drag, my drag persona is Little Miss Cinnamon, and I love supporting the Rainbow community. Do you like op shopping? Yes! I can’t drive past a secondhand shop without stopping! My partner and I are big toy collectors."

Samuel Hidray Equbazgi, University of Canterbury Bachelor of Social Work with Honours student. "I arrived in New Zealand in 2019 as a refugee from Eritrea and have lived in Ōtautahi Christchurch since then. I was born in Ethiopia to Eritrean parents and lived there until I was 13 years old, when my father and I were deported to Eritrea. There I studied journalism and worked for the Eritrean National Television before coming to New Zealand. I am passionate about advocating for, and supporting former refugees, and I volunteer much of my time for the Eritrean community in Ōtautahi. It resonates with me that InCommon is endeavoring to create a space for everyone to belong. I support this because I knows what it really means to feel like you belong. What is your favourite sport to watch or play? Football – playing, coaching and watching it!"

Our working group undertakes the operational and strategic work of InCommon. It is a group of people dedicated to our kaupapa, collaborating across local and national government, business and the community sector.

Our working group member are:
Holly Griffin, InCommon Project Manager. Holly works with former refugee communities and has a community wellbeing and project management background, previously working for Healthy Families, Ministry of Health, New Zealand Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross in the Pacific and Asia.
“My mother was born in England and my father is from Whakatū Nelson, I grew up in Waitaha Canterbury, but have lived and worked in different parts of Aotearoa New Zealand, the Pacific, East Asia and Europe – including Fiji, Bangladesh and France. A few years ago, I returned to Ōtautahi Christchurch with my husband Jope, who is from Suva, Fiji and we now have a toddler.
I love learning about different cultures and ethnicities and really appreciate my friendships with people from many different cultural and religious backgrounds. I’m passionate about celebrating our differences and commonalities.
What value do you treasure most? Manaakitanga / caring for others”

Eileen Yee, Ministry for Ethnic Communities. Eileen is an Advisor, focusing on engagement and partnerships for the Ministry.
“I am a fourth/fifth generation Chinese New Zealander and have recently been discovering my great, great grandparents’ footsteps in Ōtautahi, Christchurch. I’ve lived, worked and travelled in 25 countries but call New Zealand – my birthplace – home. I could be described as a ‘crazy cat lady’. I love spending my free time hanging at home with my partner Mark (who has converted into loving cats too) and our two cats, Mishka and Maisie.
The InCommon campaign speaks to my lived experience of racism and discrimination in Aotearoa by highlighting the positive outcomes that are possible through forming genuine connections with people that may not look or sound the same as myself and the true benefits this can lead to.
What’s your favourite pizza topping? Pineapple!”

Elizabeth Hawes, Social Equity and Wellbeing Network. Liz is the Social Equity and Wellbeing Network (SEWN) experienced Kaituiora. SEWN’s vision, purpose and mahi is centred around the active promotion and support of social equity, justice and well-being initiatives. SEWN exists to collaborate with others in the identification, understanding, and advocacy on issues that impact on the marginalised such as those who suffer from prejudice, xenophobic behaviour and discrimination.

Viviana Zanetti, Christchurch City Council. Viviana is a Community Development Advisor focusing on Multicultural communities in Ōtautahi.
"I seek to support communities and to empower people."

Emily Arps, Te Whatu Ora. Em is a Mental Health Promoter and previously worked on the All Right? Campaign.
"I was born in Ōtautahi and have lived here most of my life. My partner George and I are getting married this New Year’s Eve, and we have a wonderful, bubbly, energetic, caring three-year-old called Olivia.
I studied a Master of Health Science, focusing on positive psychology interventions, which opened the door to mental health promotion. My role involves supporting communities to look after their mental health and wellbeing.
I also have a strong passion for woodwork, and recently completed a pre-trade certificate in Joinery. My dream is to one day merge these two seemingly unrelated careers, and support people to master skills and projects that they previously didn’t think they were capable of.
I’m really keen that Liv grows up aware of, and celebrates, the many different ways of being, and the many commonalities between us. And InCommon does just that.
Shoes off or on inside the house? Shoes off , we just got new carpet!"

Sue Turner, voluntary advisor to InCommon, former Project Manager of All Right?. Prior to Sue’s retirement she directed the All Right? campaign for more than a decade and lead the Getting Through Together-Whāia E Tātou Te Pae Tawhiti national social media response to Covid-19.
“I was born in Invercargill and have lived in many places around Aotearoa and for a short time in England. I love exploring Aotearoa and the world! I have three gorgeous grandchildren whom I love hanging out with.
I’m passionate about mental wellbeing and love being able to contribute to a Kaupapa that promotes cultural identity and celebration of difference because being proud of who we are and where we come from makes a positive difference to our lives.
Do you believe in love at first sight? Yes.”

InCommon exists because of the passion and hard work of many people who have contributed their expertise, time and experiences since the project’s conception in 2019.

We acknowledge the mahi of our former members and contributors to InCommon:

• Grace Chang, former Working Group member from the Ministry for Ethnic Communities
• Fay Elhanafy, former Working Group member from the Ministry for Ethnic Communities
Katy McRae, former Working Group member from the Christchurch City Council
• Sue Turner, former Working Group member from Te Mana Ora
Liz Kereru, former Advisory Group member
Amanda Booth, former Project Coordinator
Lana Hart, former Working Group member
• Jane Mountier, former Project Coordinator
• Magnum Tuipulotu, Ministry of Education, former Working Group member
Agnieskzka Parr, graphic designer
• Nin McKay, University of Canterbury PACE Intern
Vaea Coe, Te Whatu Ora, former Working Group member
Rebecca Parnham, Giving Seeds of Love, former Working Group member
• Claire Appleby-Phillips, Christchurch City Council, former Working Group member
Lucy D'Aeth, Community and Public Health, former Working Group member
Nicholas Latty, Office of Ethnic Communities, former Working Group member
Mahtab Mahjor, University of Canterbury Intern for InCommon Launch
• Dunya Sabre, administrative assistant for InCommon Launch
Rami Baha, photographer/videographer for InCommon Launch
Jeremy Sim, photographer
Nazeef Khan – MC for InCommon Launch
• Nibil Kassem, event management for InCommon Launch

We thank McCarthy Design and Daybreak Consulting for our creative design, Great Scott for supporting the promotion of our campaign, our umbrella organisation SEWN our funders the Christchurch City Council and the Rātā Foundation.

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