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New Ministry for Ethnic Communities launched

  • Posted on: 06, 30, 2021
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New Ministry for Ethnic Communities launched

Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities Priyanca Radhakrishnan has welcomed the launch today of the new Ministry for Ethnic Communities.

“This is the first time in its history that New Zealand has had a Ministry and Chief Executive solely focused on improving outcomes for our ethnic communities, which make up nearly 20 per cent of our population,” Priyanca Radhakrishnan said.

“Our Government wants to ensure that New Zealand is a place where everyone feels safe, valued, heard, and has a sense of belonging.

“Aotearoa New Zealand’s diversity is a source of strength and we must ensure we take steps to become even more inclusive so that diversity can thrive.”

The Government committed to establishing the Ministry last December, as part of its response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch masjidain on 15 March 2019.

The Ministry will continue to deliver the functions of the Office of Ethnic Communities, but will also look to build additional functions and influence across the public sector.

“Many from our diverse ethnic communities have been calling for a Ministry for some time now, and I want to acknowledge them today,” said Priyanca Radhakrishnan.

“I know, from conversations with those communities that there’s a lot more we need to do to tackle the challenges many are facing in the labour market, education and health sectors and when accessing Government services.

“Some have also raised the need to address the discrimination that has led to the underrepresentation of these communities at various levels of leadership. I’m pleased that the Ministry’s priorities will be shaped by what’s important to the communities it serves.”

The Ministry’s priorities will be:

  • Promoting the value of diversity and improving the inclusion of ethnic communities in wider society
  • Ensuring government services are accessible and for ethnic communities
  • Improving economic outcomes for ethnic communities, including addressing barriers to employment
  • Connecting and empowering ethnic community groups.

“I look forward to working with the Ministry’s new Chief Executive, Mervin Singham, on tangible actions that will lift the wellbeing of our ethnic communities.”

Media contact: Alex O’Connor +64 220973929


Notes to the editor:

Aotearoa New Zealand’s ethnic communities include anyone who identifies their ethnicity as:

  • African
  • Asian
  • Continental European
  • Latin-American
  • Middle-Eastern.

Based on the 2018 Census, ethnic communities make up around a fifth of New Zealand’s population, almost a million people. This includes new and temporary migrants, former refugees, asylum-seekers, long-term settlers and those born in New Zealand.

The new Ministry replaces the Office of Ethnic Communities, which was part of the Department of Internal Affairs.

More information on Aotearoa New Zealand’s ethnic communities can be found on the Ministry for Ethnic Communities website.

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