Tauranga City Council is the first council in New Zealand to sign a ‘working together’ agreement with the newly established Ministry for Ethnic Communities.
The purpose of the agreement is to commit to work together on the strategic goals of developing and supporting ethnic communities. A number of actions have been identified, including developing governance skills for ethnic people and building the capacity of ethnic groups and organisations for sustainable funding.
The agreement, along with Council gaining accreditation from Immigration NZ for its success with the Welcoming Communities programme, is one of the things that makes this city a great place to live, work and play, says Commission Chair Anne Tolley.
“We are doing the mahi to ensure diversity is recognised and valued in our city. Our city is growing more and more diverse each day. We have people from all round the world who want to make Tauranga their home.
“We recognise the immense contribution from the newcomers to our sub-region. We’re so much richer with the variety of cultures and languages, and the wonderful kai that is now part and parcel of our community’s fabric,” says Anne.
A community event was held to celebrate the signing, with many local ethnic groups represented at the event.
Anusha Guler, Deputy Chief Executive, Community and Partnerships, Ministry for Ethnic Communities, signed the agreement with Council Chief Executive Marty Grenfell and is looking forward to collaborating with Council.
“Ethnic communities make up 20 per cent of Aotearoa New Zealand’s population. It’s great to see the importance of these communities recognised in this way, and we look forward to working more closely with Tauranga City Council.
“This signing will ensure a greater understanding of ethnic communities and how integral their contributions, expertise and knowledge are to local government,” says Anusha.
Tauranga City Council is one of 10 councils to gain accreditation from Immigration NZ for its success with the Welcoming Communities programme. In June 2020, Council was accredited as an ‘Established Welcoming Community’ – a status that acknowledges the efforts of Council and its community to welcome newcomers and create an inclusive environment for all ethnicities.
Premila D’Mello, President of Multicultural Tauranga, also attended the signing event and congratulates Council and Welcoming Communities for the partnership with the Ministry for Ethnic Communities.
“We hope to see new ways to support and celebrate our migrant communities in the Bay of Plenty,” says Premila.
The Welcoming Communities Programme has recently expanded to include the Tauranga/Western Bay Global Ambassadors Youth Programme, which engages and empowers local youth from diverse backgrounds to become active role models for diversity, global awareness and cooperation.
Global Ambassador Jayzel Borlaza shares her hopes for the future with this signing.
“We hope the opportunities of the partnership will help our community to come together across cultures, and strengthen our connections with each other – we are one.”
Caroline Lim | email@example.com
The colour and vibrancy of Tauranga's ethnic community (Powhiri Welcome of Newcomers to the Bay, New to the Bay Expo and Turban Day).
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