Multicultural NZ (Federation of Multicultural Councils Inc.) and the New Zealand Newcomers Network are to join forces, creating New Zealand’s largest and most far reaching national body concerned with the social and cultural welfare of migrants and newcomers.
Tayo Agunlejika, Executive Director of Multicultural New Zealand, says ‘the joining of the two organisations is exciting, a creative and positive response to the challenges many not-for-profits are facing today. Multicultural New Zealand strives to be an adaptable and relevant organisation and do the best for all ethnic communities throughout New Zealand, including refugees, migrants and newcomers. The two organisations are a natural fit and we are looking forward to further expanding our reach and impact.’
The New Zealand Newcomers Network will be a free standing and independent programme within the structure of Multicultural New Zealand and continue the same national services, supporting regional Newcomers Networks and all their volunteers to create and provide informal social activities and events for migrants and all newcomers to and within New Zealand.
Andreja Phillips, the National Manager of New Zealand Newcomers, says ‘our extremely transient modern society makes it difficult for new people to build a sense of belonging – it can be very lonely. And it’s not just migrants from overseas – Kiwis moving around New Zealand come up against the same challenges. Newcomers Networks play a vital role providing connections, events and other activities to help people feel at home in their new community. Sometimes it’s something like this that makes all the difference between people successfully settling down, or becoming isolated and not being able to integrate. Newcomers Networks are also great for social connectedness in the host communities and forging links between ethnic communities. Cultural competence and connection just happen naturally in these relaxed and informal settings.”
To now have the opportunity to provide Newcomers Network services under the auspices of Multicultural New Zealand is reason to celebrate. The closer collaboration will enable the two service providers to collaborate more widely, create more linkages and be more relevant to funders.