Press Release: Civic Dinners

July 20, 2018




July 21, 2018


Join Us at the Table: Auckland Regional Migrant Services Trust (ARMS) serving up delicious community conversations.


Bringing together communities is what ARMS has succeeded in doing for 16 years, and the Civic Dinners are no different. They provide the opportunity for people of all walks of life to come together and have courageous conversations, over delicious food.

Civic Dinners have been successfully held internationally, and have been designed to encourage the listening and understanding of different perspectives through a simple structure. The structure involves the host posing three questions to guests and allowing each guest an equal amount of time to share their thoughts. It transforms dinner tables into forums of positive change and has been used as a tool for organising and taking action; sparking real and lasting change.

ARMS is excited to host three civic dinners across the Auckland region with the first held in July this year. The inaugural Civic Dinner was inspired by the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New Zealand. The diverse group both ethnically and professionally, therefore explored women’s rights, power and femininity. Major themes arose around the inequality of women’s development, participation and leadership, particularly so for ethnic women across different sectors.

The first dinner was a huge success and we hope to continue with the remaining two Civic Dinners. ARMS hopes to continue to bring local thought leaders, community groups and individuals together, to have conversations that matter.

ARMS’ Chief Executive, Rochana Sheward, believes that the civic dinner model for interaction is a powerful resource for creating a better quality of interaction for Aucklanders.

Our hope as organisers is to create an inclusive environment that provides opportunities for Aucklanders to come together and engage in a unique way. These dinners not only leverage the collective wisdom of individuals in our communities but they bring different voices to the table to discuss topical themes” she added.

The next Civic Dinner is on Thursday 2nd August and will explore what kiwi identity is, and what it means to be a ‘New Zealander’. The third dinner on Wednesday 22, August will be a discussion on how social isolation can be tackled.

Those interested in participating in dinners happening in August visit and complete the survey. Limited seats available.


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Media contact:

Rochana Sheward – Chief Executive Officer                                     09-625 2440