The Government’s Wellbeing Budget is investing in New Zealand’s long-term future by supporting the Office of Ethnic Communities in promoting social cohesion, inclusiveness and diversity, says Minister for Ethnic Communities Jenny Salesa.
“The Government is committed to the wellbeing of New Zealand’s ethnic communities, and we are providing ongoing support to our Muslim families and brothers and sisters in the wake of the 15 March terror attacks,” says Jenny Salesa.
“It is crucial for our ethnically diverse and multi-faith communities to be connected, engaged and supported – and know that New Zealand continues to be a peaceful country.
“The Wellbeing Budget provides $9.4 million over four years to strengthen our ethnic communities. This follows an additional $1.8 million for the ethnic communities portfolio announced in April,” said Jenny Salesa today at a Parliamentary iftar celebration, which breaks the days-long fast during Ramadan.
“This initiative will do this by supporting our ethnic communities to develop and lead their own initiatives. An increase in grant funding will help programmes that promote leadership, culture and connectedness.
“In the last nine years, the Office of Ethnic Communities has been limited in doing its role. We are changing that by giving the Office of Ethnic Communities the resources it needs to perform even better than before.
“The Office of Ethnic Communities currently has 22 staff members across New Zealand. This new funding will support 15 additional staff across Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
“This boost in staffing resources will improve the Office of Ethnic Communities’ ability to proactively address issues affecting ethnic communities throughout New Zealand. It also protects the vital link between ethnic communities and the Government.
“The Office of Ethnic Communities has a broad range of responsibilities. Among other things, it holds local and national meetings with ethnic communities on topics ranging from improving safety, preventing crime, countering racism and discrimination.
“This initiative is an important part of achieving the Government’s plan to build healthier, safer and more connected communities,” says Jenny Salesa.