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Minister Welcomes New Ethnic Affairs Advisors

Monday 8 July, 2002

Minister Welcomes New Ethnic Affairs Community Advisors

Employing additional community advisors in the Office of Ethnic Affairs will mean better communication, a better informed government and a stronger base for New Zealand’s ethnic communities, says Ethnic Affairs Minister, George Hawkins.

The Office is looking to recruit additional community advisors in Auckland and Christchurch.

When filled, the number of community advisors employed by the Office will increase to five, bringing permanent staff numbers to nine and temporary staff to two, Mr Hawkins said.

The positions would be funded from a $700,000 rise in funding for the Office announced in the last budget.

“The increase of $350,000 over each of the next two years promised in the Budget, represented a rise of almost 50 per cent on the Office’s funding of $696,000 in the current year,” he said.

Mr Hawkins said he was delighted at the continued expansion of the Office’s capabilities.

“Employing additional staff with strong links with local ethnic communities will allow their voices and concerns to be more readily heard and from the Government’s perspective, mean better communication with one of the fastest growing groups in New Zealand,” he said.

The jobs follow a year of firsts for the Office which included supporting an apology and reconciliation process arising from the Chinese ‘Poll Tax’, a recently announced pilot Telephone Interpreting Service linking several Government Departments, and increased funding.

Established by the present government in 2001 and based in the Department of Internal Affairs, the Office of Ethnic Affairs provides information to ethnic groups constituting more than 10 per cent of New Zealand’s population.

ENDS




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