Mr Tahir Nawaz Satti, President of the International Muslim Association of New Zealand has shared the Wellingtonian of the Year Award for 2019 popularly known as “The Wellys” together with climate change activist district councillor Sophie Handford.

The Wellys, offered in nine different categories are given to honour members of the community who work often behind the scenes, towards making some exemplary local contribution to the local community.

Tahir Nawaz was recognised for promoting friendship and inclusion in the NZ community, for working to bring Kiwis in all their diversity together against racism and to stand strong in opposing the wider scourge of discrimination.

Tahir Nawaz showed calm and strong leadership in the wake of the tragic Christchurch mosques’ shootings and helped the community to come together in unity after the terrorist attack. Such patience and compassion shown by the leadership and the members of the community directly thwarts any divisive and violent agenda to take root in the peaceful society that exists in New Zealand.

Sophie Handford said that she was “honoured and extremely humbled to receive this award alongside Tahir Nawaz.”

The awards night was held last month at Te Papa, that Tahir Nawaz could not receive in person because he was overseas engaged in some important commitments.

“On my return, I found my email box full with over 600 messages of support and congratulations in relation to this award and therefore I wish to thank the wider Wellington community for their support as well as the Wellys award committee for bestowing me with this honour,” Tahir Nawaz said.

He further added, ” although racist attitude is not compatible with Kiwi values, it is very important to not close our eyes to this sort of problem that unfortunately exists in any community, for us all to keep vigilant.

Tahir showed calm and strong leadership in the wake of the tragic Christchurch mosque shootings and role modelled how to come together in unity after a terrorist attack. Such patience and compassion directly thwarts any divisive and violent agenda.