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Workshops ensuring ethnic communities are 'election ready'

PRESS RELEASE – 27 August 2014

Auckland Regional Migrant Services Trust (ARMS) is ensuring that local ethnic communities are ‘election-ready’ and will have their voices heard by the key political parties prior to the upcoming General Election.

ARMS is pleased to partner with the NZ Electoral Commission to engage with Auckland’s ethnic communities about the importance of exercising their right and responsibility to vote.

Through a series of community workshops, ARMS is informing our culturally diverse communities about the democratic right to vote, what this involves, and how their members can have a say as to who should govern our country.

These NZ General Election workshops will be run with Auckland’s African, Indian, Pacific, Middle Eastern, South East Asian, Filipino and Russian communities, with language support where necessary to support their understanding of the voting process including how to enrol, how they can cast a special vote if they wish, and how the MMP system works. Unbiased information will be presented about the policies of each political party as they relate to key concerns of different ethnic communities.

Through the community election workshops, ARMS will also be gathering up the views of ethnic communities about their most pressing issues. These will be presented at a multi-ethnic forum where representatives of all the major parties will have the chance to say what their party can offer Auckland’s ethnically diverse communities.

Representatives from each community will be invited to participate in this forum to get a sense of which party would be best to represent their concerns.

WHO: Auckland Regional Migrant Services (ARMS) Trust in partnership with the Electoral Commission

What: A series of workshops with ethnic communities

Friday 29 August, 6-9pm with Niuean youth, in partnership with the Vagahau Niue Trust. Venue: Favona School Hall, Wakefield Rd, Favona.

Saturday 30 August, 10.30am to 1.30pm with Kiribati, Nauru, Solomon Island and Vanuatu communities in partnership with Pasifika Migrant Services Charitable Trust. Venue: Lower Conference Room, Otahuhu Town Hall, Community Centre, 10-16 High St, Otahuhu.

Sunday 31 August, 10.30am with Auckland’s Filipino Community. Venue: St Mark’s Church, 334 Pakuranga Rd.

Sunday 31 August, 2.30pm to 5.30pm with refugee background communities, in partnership with Auckland Refugee Community Coalition. Venue: Lynfield Room, Fickling Convention Centre, 546 Mt. Albert Road, Three Kings.

Sunday 31 August, 3 to 6pm with the Tuvaluan community, in partnership with the Tuvalu Auckland Community Trust. Venue: Tuvalu Church Christian Hall, 17 Aetna Place, Henderson.

What: A forum with the candidates

When and where: 2-4.30 pm, September 6th at the Fickling Centre, Waikowhai Room.

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