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'Mayors support the call for immigration strategy

Auckland Mayoral Forum Chair's Statement - 'Mayors support the call for a regional immigration strategy'

The Auckland Mayoral Forum has asked the region's council chief executives to investigate a framework for the development of a regional settlement strategy for new immigrants. At its monthly meeting today, the Mayoral Forum met with Immigration Minister, Lianne Dalziel, to discuss immigration and the Auckland region.

She outlined the background to new policy changes in two immigration bills introduced to Parliament and called on the region to work together on a co-ordinated regional settlement strategy. She says a regional strategy could bring about better co-ordination of funding and resources.

The Mayors supported the need for a strategic approach, building on the work of Manukau City Council, which has already developed its own city settlement strategy for new immigrants. They asked their Chief Executives' Forum to investigate the issue.

Chair of the Auckland Mayoral Forum, George Wood, says that the Auckland region is home to 47 per cent of the country's total migrant population. "We already attract a lot new residents from throughout New Zealand and many Kiwis returning home from overseas make Auckland their home too. Put this altogether and you can see why the region has to work on this issue."

Mayor Wood says the Mayors support the Government's new immigration policy changes. "We need to look at what we can do in partnership with central Government, business and community groups to ensure new migrants settle well," he says. [ends]

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