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Seminars Put Asian Issues In Spotlight

A public seminar series on critical issues facing Asians in Auckland will be run by The University of Auckland and AUT beginning on March 21.

Auckland and its Asian Communities will be presented by the Centre for International Development of Auckland University of Technology and the New Zealand Asia Institute of The University of Auckland.

Four seminars will address key issues for Auckland's Asian communities, including their assimilation into New Zealand society, involvement in education and the political process and business and employment practices.

Director of The University of Auckland's New Zealand Asia Institute, James Kember, says the seminars are intended to foster public discussion on the role of Asians in Auckland's social and economic life.

"New Zealand has entered the 21st Century with more Asian residents than Pacific Island. Koreans alone now number nearly 20,000 compared with less than 1,000 ten years ago.

"Inevitably there are some cultural pressures that come with this - on accommodation, jobs, education and daily life.

"The purpose of this seminar series is to explore what the real challenges are of a growing Asian community in New Zealand, and the social and economic impact of this for all New Zealanders," he says.

The first seminar in the series will look at the history of Asian settlement in New Zealand, examine the lessons of the past and identify critical issues for today.

Speakers will be Race Relations Conciliator Gregory Fortuin, AUT's Deputy Vice Chancellor (Maori Development) Toby Curtis, University of Auckland demographer Hong-kee Yoon and New Zealand-born Chinese public servant Lily Lee.

The seminar will be held on Thursday March 21 in Old Government House at The University of Auckland, beginning at 5:30pm.

Three subsequent sessions will focus on Asian participation in the political process (30 May, at AUT, business and employment (1 August, at the University of Auckland and education and meeting multiple needs (26 September, at AUT).

The New Zealand Asia Institute and Centre for International Development were both established to promote debate and research on issues affecting New Zealand and Asia

All four seminars are free and tickets are not required. For further information, please contact Pradeep Kanthan at the New Zealand Asia Institute office, ph. (09) 373 7599, ext. 3723 or email nzai@auckland.ac.nz


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