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Ethnic Perspectives In Policy guide launched

Ethnic Perspectives In Policy guide launched

A new policy manual designed to ensure that government considers the needs and views of New Zealand's diverse ethnic communities was launched today by Ethnic Affairs Minister Chris Carter.

"The manual, called Ethnic Perspectives in Policy, has been compiled by the Office of Ethnic Affairs and recognizes that New Zealand is becoming an increasingly diverse society," Mr Carter said.

"According to the 2001 census, ten per cent of New Zealanders come from backgrounds other than Maori, Pacific Island, or Anglo-Celtic. It is vital that the different needs and views of these growing communities are reflected in the decisions government makes and the way policy is designed.

“Ethnic Perspectives in Policy has the endorsement of Cabinet and is a critical instrument in achieving that goal," Mr Carter said.

"It provides useful information about ethnic diversity in New Zealand, the role of government departments, and guidelines to develop policies and services that are more responsive to ethnic communities”.

Mr Carter said that ethnic communities comprised people born in New Zealand, established migrants, recent migrants, and refugees. Some ethnic communities, such as the Chinese people, had enjoyed an important presence in New Zealand for over a century, and had played a part in shaping the New Zealand of today.

"Ethnic people contribute to our society in every way - economically, socially and culturally. By ensuring the views and needs of ethnic communities are reflected in policy we are putting everyone in New Zealand on a level playing field."

Mr Carter thanked former Ethnic Affairs Minister George Hawkins for spearheading this initiative when he held the portfolio.

Ethnic Perspectives in Policy is available on-line at http://www.ethnicaffairs.govt.nz . Hard copies can be obtained from the Office of Ethnic Affairs, Box 805, Wellington. Tel 494-0546

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