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Migrants explore political system

Media Release

7 September 2013

Migrants explore political system

Settlement Support is offering a free seminar, ‘Local Government’, for migrants and newcomers, on Wednesday 11 September, 5.30 - 7pm at the Whangarei Migrant Centre, 71 Bank Street.

The seminar will give participants an overview of New Zealand’s local political system and explain how to participate in the democratic process. The roles and functions of Whangarei District Council and Northland Regional Council will be outlined, along with their connection with Central Government. The structure of the Council and the processes of Council’s long and short term planning will be explained. The seminar will also give participants a clear view on the many ways that the public can participate in decision making.

“Whangarei is preparing for the upcoming local body elections. Each day new placards are being posted along the roadsides by the candidates,” says Ellen Altshuler, Settlement Support Coordinator.

“Local Government is the level of Government that touches our lives most directly. If you enjoy walking or cycling, have a dog, own or build a house, love art, or are concerned for your environment, your life is influenced by Local Government.

“Newcomers to New Zealand may not fully understand that in this sort of democracy there are many ways for ordinary people to have a voice. With the local body elections coming up in October people who are new to New Zealand will find out how it all this works at this seminar.

“One of the goals of Settlement Support is to assist newcomers to develop a sense of belonging to the local area. Understanding how New Zealand’s Local Government system works can help with that. Settlement Support - Whangarei will continue to run information seminars and workshops to bring newcomers up to speed with information that most New Zealanders are able to take for granted.”

The seminar is open to anyone who wants to understand the local political system and be able to participate in it. The event runs from 5.30pm until 7pm at the Whangarei Migrant Centre, 71 Bank St. Tea, coffee and a snack are included. Everyone is welcome to attend.

For information and to register, phone Ellen Altshuler, Settlement Support Coordinator, on 470 3056 or email ellena@wdc.govt.nz.

ENDS

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