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Manukau City Launches A First For New Settlers

Manukau City Launches A First For New Settlers

Manukau City Council is one of the most proactive councils in New Zealand and testament to this is the launch of the New Settlers’ Policy and Action Plan.

The official launch of the New Settler’s Policy and Action Plan will take place on Friday 8th August 2003 at the Te Puea Memorial Marae in Mangere Bridge at 2.00pm. The launch will be attended by a number of dignitaries including the Prime Minister, Rt Hon Helen Clark.

The New Settlers’ Policy and Action Plan is a visionary, innovative and practical response to the needs of the city’s new settler community.

Manukau City, with a population of 310,000 is the third largest city in New Zealand and is recognised as one of the fastest growing and most diverse cities New Zealand.

Sir Barry Curtis, Mayor of Manukau, says “new settlers bring much to their new homeland, a distinctive personality and a wealth of talent, skills and ideas. “This diversity is a key success factor in building Manukau into a vibrant and strong community underpinned by a dynamic, prosperous economy.”

Current services for new settlers are acknowledged as being inadequate and fragmented, particularly in key areas of information, orientation, English language and employment.

"Good settlement requires co-ordinated planning and service delivery at national, regional and local levels. Central Government, local government, community organisations and the private sector all have a role.

"Council recognised the need to develop a policy and action plan at a local level that clearly identified our role in settlement and where we could make the most impact. It will help us to develop policies and services that respond to the aspirations, needs and priorities of Manukau’s new settler communities,” says Colin Dale, Chief Executive.

Contributions to the Policy came from about 500 people from new settler communities, Mana Whenua groups, community organisations, Government agencies and the wider community. The draft policy was translated into five languages and discussed at hui, workshops and community meetings.

Jenny Wang, Executive Director Chinese New Settlers Services Trust, says “We would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to the Manukau City Council for initiating the efforts to develop a novel policy and action plan that addresses the concerns of the local new settler communities.

“It not only shows council caring for Chinese residents, but also indicates that council wants to get feedback from the Chinese community and has commitment to work for them and other new settler communities.”

The Action Plan for 2003/04 is “realistic, practical and achievable” Mr Dale said, and includes a welcome pack for new residents, increased support to new settler groups and network, activities for young new settlers and support to refugees.

The Action Plan is to be developed each year in consultation with new settlers and other partners.

Manukau City Council has also worked with Auckland City Council and New Zealand Immigration Service to establish the Auckland Regional Migrant Resource Centre – now operating and governed by a Charitable Trust. Council is now working on the establishment of a satellite resource centre in Manukau.

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