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Manukau studies new settlers' policy

Manukau studies new settlers' policy

Manukau City Council is seeking public feedback on a draft policy and action plan for the city's growing new migrant community.

The council is taking the initiative because it recognises that existing services are inadequate and fragmented.

The draft plan will shortly be available for public comment and feedback before being considered as council policy. It is currently available on the council's website and will later this week be produced in Chinese, Hindi, Samoan and Arabic as well as English and Maori.

With 165 different ethnicities, Manukau City has one of the most culturally and socially diverse communities in New Zealand and is a major area of settlement for new migrants.

The Mayor of Manukau City, Sir Barry Curtis, said new settlers bring much to their new homeland, including a distinctive personality, a wealth of talent, skills and ideas.

"This diversity is a key success factor in building Manukau into a vibrant and strong community," said Sir Barry.

"However, to settle successfully, new settlers need an environment with the necessary support services for people to create a new life for themselves."

Sir Barry says support services for new migrants are currently inadequate and fragmented, particularly in the key areas of information, orientation, English language and employment.

The plan was developed with contributions from more than 130 participants from new settler communities, Mana Whenua groups, community organisations and government agencies.

Raewyn Stone, the council's planner for diverse communities, says the plan includes a vision for new settlers, values and principles, priority issues and specific needs of new settlers.

The action plan suggests key roles for Council, including advocacy and co-ordination of services, orientation and information, promoting employment and community development and capacity building. Working in partnership with community organisations and government agencies is a key theme of the policy.

"All organisations and individuals with an interest in new settlers' issues need to be aware of the draft policy and provide feedback on it by May 16th," said Ms Stone.

Comments should be sent to Ms Raewyn Stone, Planner, Diverse Communities, at Manukau City Council, Private Bag 76917 Manukau City. Email mailto:raewyn.stone@manukau.govt.nz

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