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Auckland’s Asian Communities Are Valued

13 July 2001

Auckland’s Asian Communities Are Valued, Says Partnerships Committee Chair

The findings of Auckland City’s Asian Communities Needs research are being misconstrued by some commentators, says Auckland City Council’s Partnerships Committee Chairperson Maire Leadbeater.

“I am distressed and shocked that some of these people are interpreting responses from Asian immigrants as grumbling or complaining, when this is so far from the truth,” Councillor Leadbeater said.

“I was humbled and delighted that Asian Aucklanders opened up to our research team. They trusted us enough to share some heartfelt concerns.”

Councillor Leadbeater said participants in the survey had provided a lot of positive feedback, as well as many new ideas and practical solutions to address problem areas.

“The loudest message is that Asian Aucklanders want to join with us to help develop a vibrant and culturally diverse city. This can only be positive for all of us,” she said.

“To take a simple example, there are parts of Auckland such as Sandringham and the Richardson Road area which are now lively hubs for Asian businesses and restaurants and these are areas which would otherwise be neglected ‘ghost towns’.”

Councillor Leadbeater said the report provided a clearer idea about the problems that must be addressed.

“It will take time to solve problems such as migrant unemployment but Auckland City has undertaken to work with Government and other agencies to ensure that the migrant reservoir of skills and resources is tapped to the full.

“The research participants gave us important guidance about how we can break down language and cultural barriers,” Councillor Leadbeater said.

She added that the refugee and migrant forums and the Asian networking meetings initiated by the Partnership Committee had been very successful.

“Migrant communities are finding their voice. It is time for the rest of us to listen, to learn and to work with these communities.”

ENDS

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