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International Migrants Day

Many communities across the global will be observing International Migrants Day today, the 18th of December. For New Zealand, as one of the most diverse countries in the world, it’s imperative to recognise, and celebrate, our diversity.

The Auckland Regional Migrant Services (ARMS) hosted a morning tea with the new migrant communities in Auckland today in celebration of International Migrants Day.

ARMS Chief Executive Officer, Rochana Sheward believes that a lot needs to be done in Auckland to strengthen the engagement with ethnic communities, within their neighbourhoods and local communities.

“Recently, we have seen a lot of debate on the impact of immigration in New Zealand. Let's continue to debate that, but let's not stereotype any one group”, she said.

“Auckland’s diversity is evident in sports and social clubs, in schools, and among our workforce. We need to embrace this diversity and work towards better integration platforms, either through sharing ethnic food, participating in ethnic festivals such as Lantern festival or Diwali, but also by recruiting more diverse workforce and treating everyone with equal respect”.

Skilled migrants make up 60 per cent of total immigrants. With these new arrivals come new businesses, new investment and new connections with key export markets.

This year, through its engagement work, ARMS heard about key concerns and issues affecting community integration and wellbeing in Auckland. The top three being: cost of living, community safety, and employment.

We are pleased to see the Labour Party championing an Ethnic Policy for New Zealanders. As a lead not-for-profit, service provider in the settlement support sector, we would like to advocate for better social cohesion and integration initiatives from Central Government, as well as better multicultural policies which create an equal pathway of settlement for all New Zealanders.

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