Hi, I am all for bi~culturalism in the workplace. I work in health and disability sector so its ‘mandatory‘ to incorporate TOW principles into out everyday. practises. But every meeting, every meal etc ee are required to have prayers to open and close meetings and powhiri and shared meals. How can I request a cessation of this mandatory religious aspect without com
ing off as a racist culturally insensitive asshole?

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I have thought about this myself. More along the lines of non participation in certain parts than actually requesting it stop, which I am not brave enough for. The feeling I get from teacher training college is that the treaty was signed and this is what we have to do now. There is little room for questioning in any way. 

As a student teacher on placement I have decided to stay in the closet and go with it instead of rocking the boat. But when I am working I would like to know what to say when it comes up.

All the constant prayers. At the beginning of a meeting to open, at the end of a meeting to close it. Any get together at all and it drives me INSANE!! Which by the way, has nothing to do with supporting my Mormon client to pray at meals and help.her organise her bible studys, that doesn't bother me cos its not ME that's expected to participate personally (like any bloody thing in the staff office.)

I've been out of NZ a long time. Is this one of those "well it's religious, but it's more about respect" type of things? I believe that you should be able to opt out of things, rather than be expected to go along with it. Would it offend people if you opted out?

Its part of Maori protocol, ergo it's cultural to pray every 5 mins. The boss at my work is Maori and REALLY into her culture, so from me (a pure blood Pakeha/Honki) yeah it would be offensive. Are there any Maori atheists in the group? Or any you (all) might know of I could get culturally sensitive advice on this?

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