Data helps students honour their culture

Census data helped students at Mount Albert Grammar School present their case for funding so they could honour Chinese performance art.


With the help of census data, the Chinese Culture Group at Mount Albert Grammar School received funding to support their performance art.  

Eva Chen’s daughters are in the Chinese Culture Group. Last year, they came home from school saying it was hard for students to join the group, because post-Covid the cost was difficult for their families to afford. 

The students fundraise to help pay for their own cultural costumes, often designed by the students themselves, and organise their rehearsals and performances. 

Eva met with the school, and using census data was able to talk about the Asian and Chinese population in Aotearoa New Zealand.  

“With the help of census data, the school was able to understand more about the Chinese and Asian population, and some of the challenges the students face,” she said.   

The school supported Eva in applying for funding through the Ministry for Ethnic Communities, using the census data. The Ministry approved funding, seeing how important the group was for the students, in terms of the youth leadership skills they were developing, and for the community.   

With the funding, the Chinese Culture Group were able to triple their numbers in a year and learn from a cultural tutor.  

“Our tamariki, our children, are seen and helped by our data. The power of data is shown even in fans floating across a stage,” Eva said.   

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