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Promoting strong community relationships

Hon Chris Carter
Minister for Ethnic Affairs

Promoting strong community relationships

Budget 2007 expands the Labour-led government's work with New Zealand's ethnic communities with extra funding for the Office of Ethnic Affairs.

"At 23 percent, New Zealand now has one of the highest rates in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development of people born overseas. Our society is becoming more complex and throughout this period of change we need to take sensible, pragmatic steps to nurture strong community relationships," Ethnic Affairs Minister Chris Carter said.

"Earlier this year, the government announced the Connecting Diverse Communities programme, an initiative that seeks to draw together existing, enhanced and new government programmes concerned with promoting social cohesion. Budget 2007 adds to this programme by providing $2.4 million new operating funding over four years to the Office of Ethnic Affairs for its work with ethnic New Zealanders," he said.

The new funding will allow the Office to:

-expand its Ethnic Advisory service to Hamilton. The services facilitate strong relationships between government and ethnic communities and highlight emerging ethnic sector issues to government.

-expand Intercultural Awareness (IAC) training in government organisations. The IAC programme is designed to build inter-cultural competency that will contribute to a more efficient public service.

-expand the Building Bridges programme, which helps ethnic groups build relationships with the wider community and expand policy capacity to support ethnic communities to participate in and influence government policy-making.

"New New Zealanders are making a considerable contribution to New Zealand culturally and economically, and Budget 2007 recognises that fact. The new funding for the Office of Ethnic Affairs will help us celebrate the advantages of diversity, and avoid the tensions that have arisen between communities elsewhere in the world."

ENDS

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