Press Release – New Zealand Labour Party
Rajen PRASAD Ethnic Affairs spokesperson 16 October 2011 MEDIA STATEMENT New Zealand must cultivate diversity
Ethnic Affairs spokesperson
16 October 2011 MEDIA STATEMENT
New Zealand must cultivate diversity
Realising the full potential of our ethnic communities is critical to improving the social, cultural and economic life of all New Zealanders, says Labour’s spokesperson for Ethnic Affairs Rajen Prasad.
“New Zealand’s ethnic population will reach 500,000 by the 2011 general election and by 2026 it is projected to be as large as the current Maori population,” Rajen Prasad said.
“Labour’s ethnic policy announced today focuses on moving New Zealand’s ethnic relations beyond symbolism to joint nation building.
“We must engage our growing ethnic communities and ensure they have the opportunity to excel at every level of national life.
“In order to do this Labour will establish a Ministry of Ethnic Affairs (MEA) to maintain comprehensive intelligence on New Zealand’s growing pluralism.
“An inclusive, contemporary, diverse New Zealand needs cultivation,” Rajen Prasad said. “A Ministry will provide a central liaison point and spearhead progress towards fully recognising our shared histories as citizens of Aotearoa New Zealand.
“Too often ethnic communities are marginalised despite a genuine desire to participate in the social, cultural and economic life of New Zealand. Coupled with treatment which can be dismissive, exclusive and demeaning, ethnic communities often struggle to have their skills recognised and utilised.
“Labour will tackle barriers thwarting ethnic participation and the under-representation of ethnic groups in governance and advisory roles.
“Labour’s policy will also include an integrated national plan for refugee resettlement. Key tenets of this will be to reinstate the Refugee and Migrant Study Grants and allocate additional funding for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) education.
“Labour’s policy is a broad-based action plan to combat issues that have stalled progress within our ethnic communities for far too long,” Rajen Prasad said.