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Catholic Church to Look at Immigration Issues

CARITAS AOTEAROA
The Catholic Agency for Justice, Peace, & Development

MEDIA RELEASE

Catholic Church to Look at Immigration Issues

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Tuesday 10th September 2002

The NZ Catholic Church is preparing for a week-long, Church-wide discussion on immigration issues which will take place during the Church’s annual Social Justice Week, 15th to 21st September.

“Immigration issues evoke strong opinions and emotions. The materials for our discussion are grounded in the essential Christian values of hospitality and welcoming the stranger - universal values that all people can relate to, whatever their culture or religion. We want to help put some balance back into the debate and encourage people to take these things into account when they discuss immigration”, says Anne Dickinson, Director of Caritas Aotearoa, the organisation that has produced materials for Social Justice Week.

Anne Dickinson also hopes that through Social Justice Week 2002 the Catholic community will renew its practical efforts to assist new settlers coming to New Zealand, especially those who face barriers to full participation in their new communities.

“One way we can help is to support the work of organisations who provide valuable services to migrants and refugees. Organisations such as the Refugee & Migrant Service, Refugees As Survivors, the Refugee Family Reunification Trust, the ESOL Home Tutoring Service, and the various Refugee & Migrant Resource Centres around the country, are doing vital work and are key to successful integration of new settlers. They are our ‘Welcoming Society’ in action”, says Anne Dickinson, “We need to support them”.

ENDS

CONTACTS:

Anne Dickinson, Caritas, 04 496 1742

For more in-depth information on refugee and migrant issues in NZ please contact:

Peter Cotton, Refugee & Migrant Service, 04 384 6295
Alan Chapman, Refugees As Survivors, 04 384 7279
Amanda Calder, Refugee Family Reunification Trust, 04 475 7994
Therese O’Connell, ESOL Home Tutoring Service, 04 384 1992

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