Councils to play pivotal role in migrant services

  • George Hawkins
Ethnic Affairs

A new Migrant Resource Centre will be established by the Auckland and Manukau City Councils to improve support services for new migrants, Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel and Ethnic Affairs Minister George Hawkins said today.

The Ministers have announced the allocation of more than $674,000 over 18 months for piloting support services to help new resident migrants settle in New Zealand.

“One of the significant allocations has been the $132,000 to the Auckland and Manukau City Councils to establish a Migrant Resource Centre for the Auckland region, and to improve the co-ordination of services. This is an excellent illustration of partnership between local and central governments," the Ministers said.

The funding, sourced through the Migrant Levy, has been distributed to organisations in Auckland, Palmerston North, Wellington and Christchurch to provide community learning, mentoring and support services for new migrants.

George Hawkins welcomed the funding as recognition of the valuable contributions that new migrants made to New Zealand communities.
"These communities were ignored by the previous government and I am rapt with the projects that will be funded out of this pilot," he said.

Lianne Dalziel added: "I am particularly delighted that we have been able to approve the Auckland Chamber of Commerce proposal to link professional migrants with professional networks and I am looking forward to seeing some real results from this.

“I am also pleased with the regional spread of funding as we have managed to do this by supporting existing co-operative initiatives. These pilots will go a long way towards improving existing services such as access to information, employment and business support, and community learning."

Other groups to receive funding are Auckland Ventures Incorporated; Relationship Services Auckland; Enterprise Waitakere, West Auckland; Shakti Migrant Refugee Centre, Auckland; the Ethnic Council of Manawatu; Multicultural Centre for Learning and Support Services (MCLaSS), Wellington; ESOL Home Tutor Service, Wellington; and the Refugee Migrant Centre, Christchurch.
“I have consistently stated in the past that the true measure of New Zealand's immigration policies is how well our migrants settle into New Zealand life.

“For too long, migrants have been regarded as numbers crossing our borders with little consideration given to the quality of settlement outcomes. The previous government showed little interest in what happened to new migrants after their arrival.

"This government is interested in what happens to migrants by investing in the next stage after their arrival. By doing this we will deliver benefits for both the new migrants and the communities in which they settle.

“The alternative is to risk losing the very people we have strived to attract to New Zealand. The Labour-Alliance government is committed to ensuring this does not happen,” Lianne Dalziel said.