Nominations for the inaugural Pride of New Zealand Awards, to celebrate New Zealanders who make the most positive, uplifting and inspiring contributions to their community, are now open. Tong Too is the second Hawke's Bay local to be nominated for the Pride of New Zealand Awards.

Napier man Tong Too knows how daunting it is settling into a new country, let alone a new town.

So for more than 40 years, Mr Too has been a key advocate for minority groups in the Hawke's Bay, namely the Chinese community.

"Most of them, when they arrive, they're all pretty reserved and a lot of New Zealanders don't know they exist.

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"I'm there to show [new migrants] how to integrate into society and to showcase their cultures through performances and things like that, so people can see them in the community."

Mr Too is the immediate past president of the Multicultural Association Hawke's Bay.

From 1997 to 2009, he served as the Hawke's Bay Chinese Association president and is also a founding member of the Ethnic Association in the area.

He has also worked on the NZ Chinese Association, as the vice-president, and was an ethnic adviser for the local council.

Amongst all that, Mr Too, who is a qualified accountant, taught martial arts for free for more than 30 years.

Now retired, he puts even more effort into his voluntary work with minority groups and helps to organise events such as the local Diwali Festival and The Asian in the Bay Awards.

Mr Too says he regards it as a privilege to be able to assist others.

" A lot of them can't speak a word of English when they arrive and they can't get a job and then they can't provide for their family. I help them do all those things, so they feel a part of the community."

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Hawke's Bay Today will work alongside the New Zealand Herald and The Hits in recognising the efforts of everyday Kiwis who make a real difference.

Mr Too will also be presented with a Civic Honours award later this month.