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Partnerships Succeeding In Auckland

The achievements of Auckland City Council’s Partnerships Committee were reviewed at the final meeting of the year on Thursday 7 December. Nine areas of importance were originally identified as needing support and have formed the focus of the committee over the past two years. Committee chairperson, Councillor Maire Leadbeater said, ”The Committee has made a successful beginning to pursuing solutions for a broad range of groups which form a growing part of our society. I think we have achieved a fantastic result in a very short time.”

The Committee has focussed particularly on unemployed people, Asian and new migrants, refugees, Pacific peoples, people with disabilities, the voluntary sector, gay and lesbian communities, children, educational institutions and social service agencies. “The issues we have covered have seen us promote and host conferences, hui, forums and meetings with speakers discussing diverse and well targeted subjects,” said Councillor Leadbeater. “ I am sure much has been achieved with plans and programmes being set in place accordingly,” she said.

During the year comedian Philip Patston was co-opted on to the committee and has vigorously promoted disability access issues. “This is a major area for the city to address,” said Councillor Leadbeater. “We have a large number of disabled people of all age ranges living in Auckland city, and interestingly what emerged from Philip’s research is that many parts of the city are quite inaccessible to them. Philip Patston has introduced the phrase ‘Nothing about us, without us’ and our committee has heard this and hopes to adhere to it,” she said.

The committee has set in motion a process where specific issues affecting refugees and new migrants will have the opportunity for advocacy to identified agencies and even central government. “The numbers and diversity of migrants and refugees has increased significantly over the past two years. The associated problems with settlement and cultural adjustments requires the committee to advocate on all types of issues, for instance we are aware of the need for better access to classes where English is taught as a second language,” she said.

“The advocacy does not stop there,” Councillor Leadbeater said. The research is already completed on Maori and Pacific Islands issues, with the Glen Innes pilot underway and a project dedicated to making Auckland City more responsive to the needs of Pacific peoples beginning in the new year, Councillor Leadbeater sees the year ahead as full of opportunities.

“I am really looking forward to next year’s challenges and feel very confident that the committee will continue to break down barriers and form lasting partnerships in the community, as it has been doing since its inception,” she said.

ENDS

For further information please contact:
Councillor Maire Leadbeater,
Chairperson, Partnerships Committee
Tel: 3769098 or 025 436957

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