Potatoes for Peace head down under to New Zealand

April 28, 2019

It has been a busy period for Potatoes for Peace and the potato people over the past few months. After successfully undertaking a school pilot programme amongst refugee children in Malaysia from Myanmar, Potatoes for Peace arrived in New Zealand at the end of March with a hearty welcome.

Potato William, Mahra and Mahniah first spent some time in the country’s North Island, where they were greeted by friendly, unassuming people who accepted their differing backgrounds.  It was a great opportunity for Potatoes for Peace to learn about the history of New Zealand and particularly exciting to understand Maori culture and beliefs from wise elders and teachers within the Maori community.

Potatoes for Peace ran its first pilot school programme in New Zealand at Rotorua Intermediate with 120 students over 3 days in early April, with Potato William, Mahra and Mahniah assisting in class teaching, meeting students, staff and the school principal. During those 3 days we discussed topics such as identity, diversity, and prejudice through the perspective of the potato friends they had each created.

The students commented at how Potatoes for Peace helped the way in which they saw ‘others’ and understand empathy. On the last day of lessons students from Pukaki 2 class performed an impromptu Haka, a ceremonial dance in Maori culture, which was so moving and truly an honour.

Potatoes for Peace was also pleased to present at the 23rd International Union for Health Promotion and Education World Conference on Health Promotion in Rotorua to present the ethos, vision and importance of Potatoes for Peace.

Finally, Potato Mahra, William and Mahniah flew to Christchurch in South Island at a time of deep reflection by the nation and its citizens. As well as visiting the beautiful botanical gardens the Potato friends were welcomed to Al Noor and Linwood mosque where they endeavoured to assist in some rebuilding.

From North to South Island, our spud ambassadors have been spreading their message of empathy, diversity and acceptance. I wonder which country Potatoes for Peace will head to next?


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All comments (1)
  • Muslim Maori
    April 30, 2019 at 9:48 am

    I love this sister Arohanui from Christchurch


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4 points to “Peace”

The philosophy of Potatoes for Peace is that peace can be created;


By educating and creative thinking prejudice/hatred can be prevented;


Everyone can contribute towards peaceful societies in different ways;


By embracing and interacting with others we can gain empathy.