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Diversity - A Dirty Word At Auckland City Council?

Media Release
City Vision-Labour Councillors - Auckland City Council
For Immediate Release
Monday 3 March 2008

Diversity - A Dirty Word At Auckland City Council?

A range of actions to help new migrants integrate into Auckland looks set to be axed by John Bank's new Citizens and Ratepayers Auckland City Council.

"Diversity has become a dirty word at Auckland City Council", says Councillor Dr Cathy Casey. "Council projects with the word 'diversity', 'migrant' or 'refugee' in their title are now on the 'under review' list and are highly likely to be cut."

Three of the projects at risk include:

- Expand the range of services and initiatives available to help migrants integrate into their Auckland communities

- Carry out initiatives that celebrate the diversity within the city's people

- Put in place a migrant settlement strategy for the city and advocate this to central government and other stakeholders.


Dr Casey says that during the last term, the City Vision-Labour led Council made enormous progress in working with the agencies assisting migrants and refugees to come up with a positive programme of action. "When the mosques were vandalised two years ago, the last council told the public about all the positive things it was doing to encourage cultural integration and help new migrants successfully settle here.

"The majority of new settlers (approximately 70 per cent) settle in Auckland. In the 2001 census, 181 different ethnicities were recorded in the Auckland region. Given the population projections for the future, it can be expected that Auckland City will become increasingly and more visibly multi-cultural in its make up", Dr Casey says.

"Given this and the council's own desire that Auckland City become 'one of the world's most vibrant and dynamic business and cultural centres', it is crucial that Auckland City Council continues to take a leading role in the community by showing how a city welcomes and celebrates its new residents and citizens.

"How Auckland welcomes its new settlers impacts upon how we are seen internationally. Do we want to be seen as a welcoming, accepting and inclusive community or a city that is unwelcoming, unaccepting and socially segregated?"

ENDS

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