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New Out West Migrant & Refugee Project Launched


Tuesday, 22 April 2003

Media Release: New Out West

New Out West Migrant & Refugee Project Launched

A new initiative is up and running in Waitakere City that aims to help migrants and refugees settle successfully into their community.

New Out West is a collaborative, inter-sector project involving Waitakere City Council, ethnic community groups, Non-governmental organisations, West Auckland District Council of Social Services and a range of government agencies working together to develop innovative local solutions to meet the needs of migrants and refugees.

“This project is about working together, building on existing services and filling the gaps where existing services do not meet the needs” said Councillor Annette Fenton, Waitakere City Council’s representative on New Out West.

A key gap that has been identified is information and support for migrants and refugees who are seeking employment.

The project is currently looking at ways of supporting the employment needs of Waitakere’s new migrant and refugees through work experience opportunities, networking with employers and by providing employment related information, advice and advocacy.

Capacity building ethnic communities to help their own people is a major aim of the project and the formation of a multi-ethnic advisory body is being mooted as a forum where migrant and refugee issues can be raised, and Council and government policies and service delivery can be influenced.

“It is time to provide a voice for ethnic communities to lobby Council and central government about issues affecting new migrants and refugees” said Anoma de Silva, Waitakere Multicultural Society chairperson.

Ethnic diversity is increasing in Waitakere as more migrants and refugees choose to live in the Auckland Region. China, the United Kingdom and Australia are the top three source countries for migrants into Waitakere (2002 Permanent and Long Term Arrivals, Statistics NZ).

At the 2001 Census 46,413 people or 28% of Waitakere residents were born overseas compared to 38,373 people or 25 % of Waitakere residents born overseas at the 1996 Census.

New Out West is being launched at a Multi-ethnic Hui on Saturday 3 May 2003, 10am at the Council Chambers, Civic Centre, 6 Waipareira Ave, Henderson.

The Minister of Immigration Hon. Lianne Dalziel is expected to speak at the launch.

Media enquiries to Monica Sharma, Project Manager, New Out West ph 09 838 7103 or email wadcoss2@xtra.co.nz

WAITAKERE MULTI-ETHNIC HUI

Council Chamber, Civic Centre
6 Waipareira Ave
Henderson

AGENDA


10.30 Mihi


10.35 Speeches


11am Introduction to New Out West – goals, who’s involved, projects (employment, access to information and democracy)


11.05 Democracy Project - Proposal to form a multi-ethnic advisory group made up of Waitakere’s ethnic communities


11.15 Questions and discussion

Refreshments will be available at the conclusion of the meeting.


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