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Ethnic Affairs gets new Director

The Government has confirmed Berlinda Chin as the new Director of the Office of Ethnic Affairs (OEA) with immediate effect.

She took over as the Acting Director of the Office in November, succeeding Mervin Singham on his appointment to the post of Deputy Chief Executive (Strategy & Governance) of Internal Affairs.

Ms Chin joined the OEA in 2005 and became a Intercultural Advisory Manager in 2007 and has worked on social and economic issues related to intercultural competence and the advantages it brings to New Zealand.

Specialist services

She led a team of intercultural advisors providing specialist information and advice to businesses, the Government and communities.

Her previous experience was in the export education sector, adult education training and programme design in Malaysia and New Zealand.

High demand

Internal Affairs Deputy Chief Executive (Policy Regulatory & Ethnic Affairs Branch) Paul James said that selecting the right candidate for the post was a challenge on the face of several qualified applicants.

“This is a testament to the reputation of the OEA and importance of the work it does. Berlinda has a deep knowledge of and is highly committed to the work of Ethnic Affairs. Her demonstrated skills to empower, motivate and lead are critical to the work in which OEF is involved,” he said.

Strategic advice

Ms Chin said that her immediate priorities were to ensure that the Minister and relevant stakeholders continue to receive excellent strategic advice and solutions that promote the benefits of ethnic diversity in New Zealand.

New Zealand has an Ethnic Affairs Minister but no Ministry. The OEA, which has the overall jurisdiction over ethnic communities, is administered by the Department of Internal Affairs.

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