It was a day we never thought would happen in our country. We were naïve, but who dreamed there could be such hatred, such intolerance residing amongst us.
How could anyone possibly do this?
There has been shock, bewilderment, profound sadness, anger. But most of all there is a determination that this must never happen again.
We all with have our part to play in making that pledge a reality.
In our industry we need to ensure that we are tolerant of the views of others. We need to ensure everyone is treated with respect, treated like we would like to be treated ourselves. We need to encourage and celebrate the success of all our people.
Over the past two years New Zealand Winegrowers has expanded our activities to support the people in our industry.
We have long supported the Young Viticulturist of the Year, we are now supporting the Young Winemaker of the Year. In 2017 we launched Women in Wine which is continuing to grow its activities including its mentoring programme. In 2018 we supported the launch of the Marlborough School of Wine and are supporting it again this year.
And recently we have launched our Diversity Survey. Over 700 industry members participated in the Survey which was a great outcome. The results will be released to the industry shortly. Those results reveal there are some work-ons we need to address.
So let us all resolve to do our bit in our communities to make sure we never have another March 15 again.
NZW Board responds
Ours is an industry that cares deeply about its people, and New Zealand is home to workers and their families who have come here from many parts of the globe, and who are an integral part of our winegrowing community at all levels.
The success of New Zealand’s wine industry depends strongly on the commitment and passion of the employees behind it. We need to ensure that we respect the views and beliefs of others, and encourage and celebrate the success of all our people.
To help make this a reality, New Zealand Winegrowers has decided to place $30,000 into a newly created Communities Fund, which it will use to promote and support cross-cultural understanding and relationships within our winegrowing communities.