No Other Conference as Diverse

  • Max Bradford

A diverse range of speakers and commentators have been finalised and will ensure that the Population Conference is fully representative of all New Zealanders, Immigration Minister Max Bradford said today.

"I doubt if any other New Zealand conference could boast such diversity of people, backgrounds and expertise.

"We have around 40 experts in various fields from social historians to economists, trade unions representatives to employers, refugee and ethnic communities to the Business Roundtable, Maori policy experts to Asian advocates, environmentalists to bankers, sociologists, urban planners and more."

Mr Bradford said he encouraged people and groups with an interest in New Zealand's population and future to participate in the conference.

"We deliberately set out to make sure the Population Conference would be relevant to all sectors of New Zealand."

Mr Bradford said the Government wanted to make sure New Zealand was prepared for the diverse population issues that face New Zealanders in the future.

"Every decision we make now will have consequences in years to come.

"For example, the 1995 changes to English language requirements have been criticised by some, and linked to falling numbers of Asian immigrants who have in the past brought large amounts of investment and new business into New Zealand."

That case highlighted the consequences of decisions and the importance of being informed, looking long term and looking at all the angles, Mr Bradford said.

Mr Bradford said the conference would look at a wide range of issues. For example:

How many migrants should come here? What sort of migrants?
How would our schools cope with a flood of new non-English speaking children?
If we allow our population to increase rapidly, are our cities equipped to house them?
Will our motorways become incapacitated by peak-hour traffic?
How will we protect the environment?
If New Zealand does not have enough skilled workers to support our business and industry, how will our businesses compete with the rest of the world?
Can skilled people from overseas fill the skills and labour gap? How do we make sure new migrants from different cultures settle in New Zealand easily?
How can we make sure our schools, polyptychs and universities respond to changing skill requirements?
What are the implications of an increasingly multi-cultural society?
With one-parent families increasing and our population aging, will our social services cope in years to come?
The Population Conference will look comprehensively at the overall impacts of population on the economy, communities, the infrastructure of our cities, the environment, our culture and national identity, social services, the labour market and business development.

"It'll also examine the impacts of the Government's immigration policies - the mix of migrants we are getting, the relationship between social and economic migration and issues relating to migrant settlement."

Research to support the Conference is well underway, particularly focussing on includes analysis of long term social and economic trends from the latest census data and the impact of immigration.

Speakers and commentators include:

Dr Jim Smith of California -

chairman the National Academy of Sciences Panel on Demographic and Economic Impacts of Immigration 1995-1997. His published work also covers issues relating to ageing, health and retirement, women in the labour market and long term savings.
Len Cook -

Government statistician
Professor Ian Pool -

population change in New Zealand in relation to social and economic policy, Waikato University
Professor Richard Bedford -

international migration, particularly in relation to the Pacific Island peoples and New Zealand, Waikato University Paula Rebstock, Department of Labour, general manager, policy
Sir Tipene O'Regan -

economic, cultural and resource management aspects of Maori participation in New Zealand society.
Dr Liliana Winkelman -

Canterbury University: specialises in economics, internation trade, industrial organisation.
Roger Kerr -

NZ Business Roundtable
Anne Knowles -

NZ Employers Federation
Hekia Parata -

public policy development
Sir Ross Jansen -

chairman Midland Health
Sir Neil Waters -

chairman NZQA, Foundation for Research, Science and Technology
Dr Manying Ip -

senior lecturer in Chinese, Auckland University
John Yeabsley -

senior research economist NZIER
Dr Rasalingham -

president of the NZ Federation of Ethnic Councils
Elizabeth Rowe -

general manager of the Social Policy Agency
Stephen Tindall -

founder of The Warehouse
Prof. Peggy Koopman-Boyden -

Dean of Social Sciences, Waikato University
Denise Church -

chief executive Ministry for the Environment
Kerry Marshall -

Mayor of Tasman District and president of Local Government NZ
Claire Johnstone -

chief executive Wellingotn Chamber of Commerce
Dr Rajen Prasad -

Race Relations Conciliator
Pansy Wong -

Prof. James Belich -

author, Professor of History, Auckland University
Pauline Winter -

chief executive of Workbridge, Pacific Island Businesswoman of the Year
Prof Grant Cushman -

Professor of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, Lincoln University
Prof Geoffrey Kearsley -

Professor of Tourism, Otago University
Dr J Morgan William -

Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment
Cath Wallace -

lecturer, School of Business and Public Management, Victoria University Kwame Mfodwo 0 law lecturer, School of Management Studies, Waikato University
Wira Gardiner -

foudning chief executive Ministry of Maori Development
Whetu Wereta -

independent consultant for Te Puni Kokiri, NZ Police, Statistics NZ, Law Commission
Dr Papaarangi Reid -

specialist in public health medicine, Wellington School of Medicine
Ralph Norris -

ASB Bank managing director, NZ Business Roundtable.
Gerald Thorby, JP -

chairman of the Pacific Island Business Development Trust, Manakau Pacifi Markes and South Auckland Hospice Trust
Dr Shirley Mendoza -

business management consultant, special interest in migrants, training and development
Phillip Gibson -

executive director Asia 200 Foundation
James Koh -

presidnet NZ Software Associaiton, director of Environment Science and Research Institute
Wendy Pye -

journalist, writer, publisher, media specialist, businesswoman.