MNZ welcomes Immigration Policy Review

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Pancha Narayanan

Pancha Narayanan

Wellington, June 26, 2021

Also: West Coast Multicultural established in Greymouth


                                                   From Productivity Commission Report June 2021

Immigration Policy Review by the New Zealand Productivity Commission underlining a potential change to relationship with Maori is a welcome step.

The government has asked the Commission to review the immigration system. It had announced in May 2021, “once-in-a generation reset” of the immigration system.

Building relationship with Maori

We applaud this new effort to relationship building with Maori within the immigration system. We provided an Eight-point proviso to the government in 2020.

Among other recommendations, we emphasised the recognition of Huarahi Hou (A new pathway to Te Tiriti based multicultural communities) as the mainstream approach to welcoming migrants and former refugees in Aotearoa,

This includes (a) Integration of tikanga Maori and whakawhanaungatanga (building relationships) within Aotearoa’s settlement strategy for migrants and former refugees (b)  Local Government New Zealand to develop Treaty-based multicultural strategies, and implementation plans with all City and District Councils.

Space for Non-Western Models

The review of Immigration Policy must also consider the need to create space for non-Western models of understanding and science in Aotearoa’s social welfare, academic and health spheres.

MNZ as a peak body has been calling for this change since its inception in 1989.

We have always emphasised stronger relationship with tangata whenua.

The announcement about the review of Immigration Policy demonstrates that the united wisdom of the 24 Multicultural Councils has finally been vindicated.

From Productivity Commission Report June 2021

 MNZ’s 60 plus touchpoints around the country are known to pack a punch bigger than their weight for community well-being and social connections.

On April 17, 2021, on their Hikoi to Waitangi by nearly 50 Rangatira (community leaders) from this network made the resolution to go public.

It is a matter of serious concern that this successful and durable community-based network that forms the foundation of a cultural infrastructure for New Zealand remains seriously underfunded and under-resourced.

This leadership hui unanimously agreed that the situation continues to underline the underwhelming settlement outcomes in communities around the country.

Regional Council at Greymouth

On another, more pleasant matter, I am happy that the Te Tai Poutini West Coast Multicultural was established on June 19, 2021 in Greymouth.

MNZ was invited by the community leaders from Reefton Hokitika, Westport, Moana and other regional towns to guide the establishment of this Regional Multicultural Council.

This Council will ensure that people of all ethnicities celebrate their cultures with pride and confidence in their local communities.

I would like to take this opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to New Coasters for their aroha and manaakitanga (hospitality) in hosting this gathering.

At this meeting, I  congratulated the local leaders from more than 15 different ethnicities for their courage, confidence and care in their efforts to make the region a better place for their mokopuna (grandchildren). I am grateful to all the lovely people of the West Coast who attended the inaugural meeting to form this Regional Multicultural Council.

The needs of the community, purpose and approach of the new RMC were discussed and agreed upon, and the team is eager to get underway.

Well done West Coasters.

Pancha Narayanan is President of Multicultural New Zealand incorporating all the Regional Multicultural Councils in the country. He lives in Wellington.

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